Don't Get Carried Away - Appiah Cautions Atsu
6/20/2012 10:30:16 PM -
Ex-Black Stars skipper, Stephen Appiah, has cautioned new sensation, Christian Atsu, to avoid being carried away by the hype that has followed the youngster’s impressive showing in his first two international games for Ghana.
Instead, the experienced Appiah wants Atsu to remain grounded and focus on developing his game, and avoid the slippery path sometimes taken by some unsuspecting footballers who believe the hype and get carried away early in their career.
The experienced Appiah, who captained Ghana at two World Cups before announcing a surprise retirement from the national team two years ago, said the Portugal-based attacker would serve himself and the nation better if he did not play to the gallery of praise singers.
Appiah told graphic.com.gh that Atsu would have to remain committed to the national course and expect criticism at certain times of his international career despite the current hype from the Ghanaian football society.
“Everybody is talking about him now but I can bet you that if he performs badly in one game people are going to criticise him,” Appiah said.
He described the FC Porto midfielder as a great player with so much potential, and advised him not to allow himself to be overwhelmed by the praises.
Appiah who completed a four-month stint with Serbian side, Vojvodina, during which spell his goal against Red Star Belgrade was voted the best of the season, said he had watched Atsu a few of times on Youtube and did not doubt the potential of the young player.
He, however, said Atsu’s development into a big star on the world stage would depend on himself and how he managed the hype he currently enjoys.
He also commended the quality of players in the national team, but advised the Black Stars players to exhibit a high sense of commitment on the field to the course of the team as that was the surest means of attaining good results.
The ex-captain urged the country not despair about the Black Stars poor showing against the Chipolopolo of Zambia who beat Ghana 1-0 in a 2014 World Cup qualifier two weeks ago since there was still a chance for he team to qualify.
He recalled how the Stars lost their 2006 World Cup qualifying opening game against Burkina Faso in 2005 only to bounce back to pick the sole ticket from the group.
Appiah also disclosed that he missed his playing days with the Black Stars, but ruled out the possibility of returning to the team despite calls from respectable persons, stating that it a younger generation deserved the opportunity.
On what he was doing to see Michael Essien and Asamoah Gyan’s return to the national team, ex-national captain said he had been speaking to them, and expressed the hope that the duo would be convinced to make a quick return to help the team qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.