The Black Stars may have qualified for the group stage of the African qualifiers for the 2018 Russia FIFA World Cup, but a section of the fans in Kumasi who watched last Tuesday’s scare from Les Coelecantes of the Comoros Island are worried about the team’s quality and capability to clinch a fourth birth at the mundial.
With the exception of man-of-the-match, Mubarak Wakaso, and full back, Harrison Afful, the fans are of the view that the rest of the players were ordinary on the day and their performance did not merit the win by the Stars.
However, the fans are holding Coach Avram Grant for much of the blame for the unimpressive performance of the team, describing him as ‘lazy’ and not doing much to make entry into the Stars competitive to merit the national jersey.
A number of radio stations monitored by the Graphic Sports a day after last Tuesday’s match, urged the FA to be on the heels of Coach Grant to expand its scope of selecting players to give more budding talents opportunities and not to make the team an ‘automatic choice for some players.’
Without necessarily mentioning names, the fans said some of the players had been over-pampered and it was time they justified their inclusion into the team.
The fans also called on the FA to ensure that Avram Grant spent more time in Ghana to monitor local talents some of whom could compete for places in the senior national team.
The Stars scored in each half to register a 2-0 win over the lowly-ranked Comoros at the Baba Yara Stadium after a first leg 0-0 last Friday. Wakaso scored from a freekick in the 18th minute and Jordan Ayew added a second in the 85th minute.
But the team’s performance was a pale shadow of its former self, hence the fans’ cry for fresh injections to make it more solid.
More worrying is the fact that all the big names on the continent, including Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Cameroun, Senegal, Algeria and South Africa are through to the final phase of the qualifiers and would not be easy opponents in Ghana’s progress.
Balloting for the 20 qualified African teams in a group of five is expected to be held next year. Winner in each group qualifies automatically for the Mundial.