I grew up watching the conquest of the Ghana Black Stars from the black and white television of a man who volunteered his set for public patronage. It was in those days when women did not drive cars in Bolgatanga ( town in northern Ghana). It tells that, televisions were equally rare - perhaps less than 10 in the entire town.
In those days, the resounding name was Abedi Ayew Pele. I took pride in him first as a Ghanaian and particularly as a northerner for we came from same region (very common orientation amongst Africans). Another name that caught attention within the team was Anthony Yeboah. I am unsure if Abedi considered him a rival or friend.
Subsequently, another Ayew was introduced to the team. Kwame Ayew was his name. He had unimaginable levels of energy on the field and proudly so, caught the admiration of Ghanaians. His presence in the team commenced what will now be considered the Ayew legacy in the Black Stars. Solar Ayew did not get the spotlight for his career was marred by injuries. Then came the first son of Abedi Pele who also showed prominence in a flash and faded off. In all, the Ayews’ had shown family commitment to the sport.
As time passed, we saw the original Ayew, nurture his sons to enviable national laurels amidst protests, envy and successes. It was his second son, Dede who would rise slowly from the junior national teams to the Black stars. We would later see Jordan, his younger brother having good and bad days with the national team. This would attract ample criticisms, but the young man would keep his composure and will rise to the occasion when least expected.
In todays match with Uruguay, a penalty which would have taken us ahead, was clearly wasted by Dede. I would think that, there is no fast rule about who takes a penalty but some statistics will suffice. In a competition like this, beyond winning the game, there is always the targeting of major laurels at the end of the tournanment including the best scorer ( goal king). In the current black starts team, Kudus leads with 2 goals and seem to be the star of the team. Common sense dictates that, he would take the penalty kick to increase his tally to three for a continual chance of winning the best scorer in due time, And after all, he got the penalty for Ghana and should benefit from it. It would have been a less crime if Kudus missed that penalty than Dede.
Dede scored anyway in the match with Korea. But in all, I think he is loosing his steam in the team. The energy, charisma and enthusiasm that characterized his presence in the field is gone. He does not inspire any longer. It is time to let him go, yes go and return no more. For every thing there is a season and his season is gone.
This opinion of mine does not change even if per chance we are able to equalize or beat Uruguay and move to the next stage. As a nation, soccer is our heartbeat and we cannot afford to gamble with it on the basis of names and legacies.
God Bless Our Home Land Ghana, and Make Our Nation Great and Strong.