[ 2010-09-14 ]
Asamoah Gyan mania hits Sunderland
Few can dispute that Asamoah Gyan always makes
headlines. He loves to do things his own special
way and has developed a knack for setting unusual
records. Some would say he over-elaborates. Some
would call it sheer flair. But none can dispute
his huge potential.
The striker has scored 22 goals in 44
international appearances for the Black Stars,
grabbed the quickest goal at the 2006 World Cup
finals in Germany, where he struck after just 68
seconds against the Czech Republic and then went
on to convert a penalty which was disallowed
before missing with his re-taken attempt.
Who could have predicted that this same player
would become the iconic symbol of tears of joy and
tears of pain that have become the lasting
memories of Africa's first ever World Cup? His
goal against USA to push Ghana to the
quarterfinals is ranked among the top 10 most
inspirational moments of SA 2010. Whilst his
penalty miss against Uruguay has been voted number
3 in the World Cup's Most Shocking Moments.
When Gyan headed for Rennes in an 8-million-Euros
move in July 2008, although his form was disrupted
by injury he still made 47 appearances and scored
14 goals. Yet you always felt that the player's
best was some way off and he showed glimpses of
that during the World Cup in South Africa.
The 24-year-old with a degree of musical notes in
his blood has always said that playing in the
English Premier League was a dream and now he is
living that dream. What a way to open your account
in the world's most exciting and in terms of
numbers, the most patronized football league.
Whoever wrote the script for Gyan on his
Sunderland debut did a near perfect job and the
athletic Ghanaian was not about to fluff his lines
with millions of curious viewers around the world
asking if the former Udinese and Rennes forward
was really worth $20 million.
His new coach Steve Bruce has had to answer
questions about the wisdom in bringing in the
talented but somewhat inconsistent forward.
Afterall $20 million is not peanuts even by
English Premier League standards. But whatever he
told Gyan before the player's second half
introduction, it worked.
With his five-man midfield holding on against
Wigan, Bruce gambled and threw on the Ghanaian.
Then in the 66th minute of the stalemate, Gyan
announced his presence in England. No wonder the
commentator screamed ''Now who else but the man
from Ghana Gyan.....he has only gone and scored a
clinical goal on his debut'' Not a bad way to get
noticed even if the final score was 1-1.
The week leading up to the resumption of the
league after international duty, football pundits
here in England were divided as to the impact or
otherwise that Gyan would make. The player himself
had been upbeat and very confident of making a
mark one way or the other. That resolve did not
shake. Not even when his side went down to playing
with 10 men away from home against Wigan
To fully appreciate what an instant and early
impact Gyan has made for his club, consider that
Saturday nights offer a variety of entertainment
and sports programmes on British television and
the ratings war is pretty fierce. A minute is
priceless especially when you are competing
against names like Rooney, Drogba and Torres.
So for Asamoah Gyan to get a few minutes devoted
to his first goal in the Premier league is a
blessing for a player who has had his fair share
of football turbulence and turmoil. Should we wait
and not get too excited? After all it is only one
Sunderland fans would disagree. There is nothing
wrong with basking in a great goal, a win or cup
triumph especially the potential pairing with
England striker Darren Bent and with another
Ghanaian potential Danny Welbeck in the pipeline.
There would certainly be bigger tests and stiffer
opposition to come but this could be the beginning
of good things to come for Gyan and Ghanaians
would be hoping that he can maintain this sort of
form and confidence for both club and country.
By the way it is Arsenal at home for the Black
Cats this weekend. Now that should be a true
contest with no less than 7 Africans set to play a
part from Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Ghana.
Source - Yaw Ampofo Ankra
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