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Final Whistle: Lessons from WAFU 2017, Alvaro Magnificent, Melo decisions

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A glimmer of hope

A tournament that nobody cared about had once again presented the opportunity for a nation to put in place the necessary structures to ensure that the scenes of joy could be replicated down the years.

There was doubt and uncertainty,pessimism and indifference but nothing soothes the thirst of a Ghanaian better than a comfortable victory over Nigeria in a game of football.

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A 4-1 win was great and the likes of Stephen Sarfo,Vincent Atingah and Patrick Razak should see their stock rise after this competition,courtesy of the number and quality of lenses provided to make this showpiece as global as possible.

It made a difference to have a central tournament website that made the accessibility of information less of an adventure.Team sheets were provided via social media along with other necessary updates.

My conversations reveal that the accreditation and media procedures such as post match pressers were also fairly professionally handled,saving all involved the stress.

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This was all made possible by the media sponsors of the competition Fox Sports Africa.

The individuals that hatched the idea that birthed this deal have provided a blue print that can be modeled.

Cape-Coast proved that all corners of Ghana are almost equally receptive to the game of football, the quality of the game itself was appreciable but most of all the WAFU tournament has been reborn from the ashes.

The Spanish Assassin

On a regular day dressed in a regular person’s clothes he could pass for a stockbroker or perhaps an attorney, but Alvaro Morata has quickly made the turfs of the Premier League his natural habitat.

A stark opposite in style and approach to the game from Diego Costa whose boots he has the task of filling.

Whatever Chelsea’s ambitions are,they are firmly hitched to the consistent ability of Morata to find the back of the net.

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Costa’s goals led to Championships even though he chose to play the devil half the time.

Slate the man all you want but he knew how to get the job done especially in critical games.

Morata however,has swooped on the league almost in angelic style with his gracious glide across the pitch and his assured finishing.

Often accused of lacking the killer instinct and character to be the lead striker for a team his opening six matches will have dispelled any doubt.

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For Premier League defenders it has quickly become a case of pick your poison as far as the Spaniard is concerned,as Stoke City would find out.

He makes the art of running the channels a joy to behold and the finesse was on full display for his first,he put the nitros on to leave his marker in the dust and capped it off with the most sublime of finishes for his second.

Positioning and hunger brought the hat-trick and again let it sink in that it only took six premier league matches.

At this rate putting a limit to the number of goals he is capable of scoring in his first season will be foolhardy because he could open the flood gates a little wider than any of us could project.

In the event that he hits a prolonged barren patch,the class that he has displayed in the early phase of his journey should be enough to put the minds of all at ease.

Yes,he has been that spectacular and he is only getting started.

Carmelo Anthony:Phase Three

The Denver Nugget days solidified him as a great scorer,the New York Knicks journey revealed his stubborn side and the different legs of his game as a ball player but Oklahoma City promises the unimaginable.

It is prudent that the savvy role of Sam Presti,general manager of the OKC Thunder is properly acknowledged when Carmelo Anthony’s trade is spoken of.

My jaw literally dropped to be quickly replaced by a smirk that had me thinking,”wow I love the NBA”.

I cannot better describe my reaction to when I first saw the tweet from ace ESPN journalist Adrian Wojnarowski.

 

One of the greatest small forwards to ever play the game was for the first time going to be afforded a real chance to win a ring after a career that had already boasted a scoring title and ten all star representations.

Questions of how he fits into the Thunder line up immediately emerged,along with the debate on who takes crunch time shots now that the Thunder have three all star players.

It is practical to think that Billy Donovan will keep Paul George in his natural wing spot and move Anthony to the four spot where his speed and skill mean that he will be a handful for most power forwards he will face on a nightly basis.

He will benefit from the double teams that his other two superstar team mates will attract, leaving him space to take high percentage looks.

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The firepower that the Thunder now posses will mean that fewer games will go down to the wire reducing the occurrence of the crunch time shot.

We are yet to see the Thunder on the hardwood but the addition of Anthony gives them the look of a team that is ready to battle the Golden State Warriors for the Western Conference Crown if they can create the synergy to play together as a group.

The San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets will beg to differ but Melo is as lethal a scorer as any other in the association and his new home in OKC presents him with a chance to dust off the ridicule he has had to endure in recent times.

Finally he has a chance to solidify his legacy.

By:Benjamin Nketsia/citifmonline.com/Ghana