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The Black Sheep return to the Black Stars

KPB joins the Ayew Brothers in confirming his return to the Ghana national team

 

Andre-Ayew-with-Kevin-Boateng-at-the-2010-World-Cup

 

Like three Black sheep returning to their shepherds flock, the Ayew brothers and now Kevin Prince Boateng have ended their hiatus from the Ghana national team by announcing they are ready to return. I don’t know how to feel about their return, logic tells me I should be pleased as they are three of our better players. Though on the other hand I must admit I felt some contempt about the way they came to their decisions to quit the team in the first place.

Kevin Prince Boateng last played for the Black Stars in October 2010 and “retired” just after a year later in November 2011. At the time he claimed his body could not cope with the demands of both international and club football. Many Ghanaians (including myself) saw this as a lame excuse and concluded he only used Ghana to play in the 2010 World Cup and secure a transfer from his then club Portsmouth, who had just been relegated from the premier league. However now it seems he has had a change of heart as GFA Chairman Kwesi Nyantekyi had announced that Boateng agreed to return to the Black Stars before Ghana’s against Sudan in June.

This has now been made official by Boateng himself in a letter stated; After a few consultations, I have decided to change my decision and confirm my availability to play for the Black Stars whenever I am needed,”. In response the GFA said it is delighted with Boateng’s decision to return claiming it will “surely re-energise the Black Stars for our future challenges

In the case of the Ayews, Andre claimed a breakdown in his relationship with Ghanaian FA left him with no option to quit. While his brother took exception to being dropped for the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa. In June they both announced they are returning to the team without any set conditions. They said after a meeting with the GFA in June; “We cannot play football with conditions. We play football with our heart. There are no conditions set to our comeback.

All three players may be in line to make their comebacks against Zambia in Kumasi next month should Kwesi Appiah include them in his squad.

The return of these players is ultimately good for Ghana as the Black Stars need their best players available to them if they are going to achieve success on the pitch. However these players should not assume they are going to walk straight into the team. They have to be picked first and it will be interesting to see particularly in the case of Ayew’s if Kwesi Appiah includes them in the squad for Zambia. During the Black Stars disappointing  CAN campaign in South Africa, two players to come away with any credit were Christian Atsu and Wakoso Mubarak. Both young exciting attacking wingers in the similar mould of Andre Ayew /Kevin Prince Boateng, will be of the view that they merit a place in the first team on current form.  Oh yes the return of the Ayews and KPB will provide a selection headache for Kwesi Appiah but I’m sure it’s a headache he would rather have before a vital game with Zambia.

So with three more “retired” players back in the fold, all we need now is for Michael Essien to return or do we? That’s another debate for another time…

 

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)