Brief History Of Black Stars’ Captaincy

CptgynTHE recent injury of substantive captain of the Black Stars, Asamoah Gyan and the purported internal bickering among certain personalities within the Black Stars squad, who may possibly lead the team out for the two Afcon qualifiers has provoked this piece.

With the knowledge that the issue of captaincy ruined our chances in 1992, it should not be out of place to put the issue in perspective in a way.

Some have mentioned John Boye or Jonathan Mensah in addition to Dede Ayew as

possible candidates

It is intended to inform our cherished readers by giving a brief background of the history behind and the appointment of Black Stars captains since 2006.

Obviously, Stephen ‘Tornado’ Appiah will go down in history as one of the greatest captains the nation has ever had, if not for anything at all, he captained the side that qualified the country to its first ever World Cup in 2006.

Ghana qualified to and participated in the 2006 Afcon in Egypt, ably captained by Stephen Appiah with Micheal Essien, Sulley Muntari, Asamoah Gyan, Prince Tagoe and John Mensah as some of the young players who joined the already established names like Richard Kingson, Matthew Amoah, Baba Amando, Sammy Adjei, and Emmanuel Addoqauye Pappoe.

As the team qualified to its first World Cup in Germany, these same players with a few other inclusions like Derek Boateng, Otto Addo, Shilla Illiasu and Habib Mohammed went along with the old stock. In fact, the two locally based players were part of the team in Egypt.

After the World Cup, Andre Dede Ayew, Anthony Annan, Harrison Afful, Junior Agogo and Kwadwo Asamoah joined the team for the 2008 Afcon hosted by Ghana. Do you remember “host and win”? So the core of the team, namely; Stephen Appiah, Laryea Kingston, Sulley Muntari, Michael Essien, Olele Kingson, John Mensah and Asamoah Gyan were joined by the four players mentioned earlier. The likes of Otto Addo, Eric Addo and Addoquaye Pappoe faded out. Stephen Appiah’s presence meant the captaincy was not in contention.

Then came Afcon 2010 in Angola. The core of the team then, was beefed with most of the players who aided the team to win the 2009 World Youth Championship. The winning team, which was led by Andre Dede Ayew, produced Agyemang Badu, Jonathan Mensah, Dominic Adiyiah, Daniel Agyei, David Addy, Samuel Inkoom and Jonathan Mensah for the Black Stars team that placed second to Egypt in the Championship. The presence of Stephen Appiah, John Mensah and Richard Olele Kingson meant the bearer of the captain’s armband was again, not in contention.

The most important thing here is that Appiah, John Mensah, Olele, Sulley, Essien and Gyan have all maintained consistency in the team since the 2006 World Cup while Dede, Kwadwo Asamoah, Annan and Afful have also maintained consistency with the team since 2008.

The 2012 Afcon saw the captain’s band firmly wound around the arm of John Mensah in the absence of Stephen Appiah and Richard Kingson. Asamoah Gyan, Muntari, Dede, Annan and Afful were still part of the team.

Asamoah Gyan became the automatic choice for the captain’s arm band in 2013, in the absence of the senior players – John Mensah and Olele – having been with the team since 2006.

The other players who could be classified as senior players are Andre Dede Ayew, Sulley Muntari, Michael Essien, Kwadwo Asamoah, Harrison Afful and Anthony Annan followed by Agyemang Badu, Jonathan Mensah.

However, in the absence of Micheal Essien, Sulley Muntari and injured Asamoah Gyan, Dede Ayew happens to be the only player to have been with the team for the longest period, comparatively.

However, per the criteria nosed by for the selection of a team captain, seniority and a player who posseses leadership qualities comes to the fore.

It is also obvious that a player through whom a coach can direct affairs, commands the respect of his colleagues, always seen as an arbiter and has high performance on the field of play is seemingly the obvious choice of a captain in the absence of substantive captain, Asamoah Gyan.

This noted, the issue of who wears the captain’s armband is purely the prerogative of the coach or manager of the

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