Ayew: Fans must manage World Cup expectation

The captain of the senior national football team, the Black Stars, Andre Dede Ayew has cautioned Ghanaians to manage their expectations ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

According to him, the current squad has a lot of young players who would be playing at the World Cup for the first time and would find it tough in Qatar when the global showpiece takes off in November.

“Fans must be calm and conscious of their expectations because the team is very young and inexperienced when it comes to the World Cup,” he said in an interview on GTV’s Sports Highlights show on Monday.

He was, however, confident that with the necessary support from government and the fans, they would make a huge mark.

“Everything is possible; we need all hands on deck. It is the best tournament in the world and a big opportunity to raise the flag of Ghana by playing well at that stage and subsequently the African Cup of Nations (AFCON),” he stressed.

Just like the playoffs for the World Cup against Nigeria, he said, a lot of people underrated the team due to their performance in the last AFCON where Ghana failed to win any game and exited at the group stages.

On Ghana’s performance at the 2022 AFCON, he said, it was a big wake up call for the team and all stakeholders in football to step up their game if they wanted to succeed.

“It was a bad AFCON and personally opened my eyes to a lot of things that would not happen again. I had the first red card of my career and understood things differently and would do better as a team,” he said.

He said the team needed to go through those moments and take inspiration from other teams in the midst of the struggles to win one day. 

“We also had a lot of young players with about 16 of them debutants; that will need time to gel. But the talents are there and we have the chance and quality to win an AFCON. It’s all about preparations and definitely we would win the AFCON,” he stated.

He said, coach Otto Addo’s tenure was a start of a new era with great talents and amazing ideas that would help the team to achieve greatness.

On inviting new players including Chelsea’s Callum Hudson Odoi, Tariq Lamptey and others who did not play in the qualifiers to join the team for the World Cup, he said, the doors must be opened for every Ghanaian, only if they were genuine and dedicated to the national course.

“People should play with their heart and be genuine. They should come with the determination of wearing the national colours and follow the steps for collected growth and should be willing to play even after the World Cup,” he explained.

BY MICHAEL D.ABAYATEYE

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