Final Whistle:Black Stars leadership void, Irving’s Celtics streaking

Fading Generals

The Russia 2018 World Cup Qualifiers have officially ended,which means that the timing could not be better for Kwesi Appiah to embark on the rebuilding process he promised when he accepted the job.Indeed the process has already been set in motion with a number of promising youngsters including the likes of Thomas Agyepong and Ebenezer Ofori having been giving the opportunity to showcase their talent.

However,the final match against Egypt in Cape-Coast exposed the team’s most glaring deficiency of all,leadership.

This goes beyond wearing an elastic band around the bicep or persistently clapping hands during the course of a match.The twin towers: Asamoah Gyan and Andre Ayew have had their moments leading the Black Stars but unfortunately more than half that time has been spent tussling for power and claiming turf while the real substance has been ignored.

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The Black Stars seek positive change heading into the future but for that to happen the reigns of power must first be handed over. Gyan despite his ability to lead by performance has never been the exemplary captain figure who younger ones could look to model while Andre has succeeded in showing everyone how incapable he is of suppressing his appetite for power.

Together they both have radiated the energy that has kept this team from making the required jump to the next level.

The form of Andre has been sketchy in the last two years when he has suited up for Ghana while Gyan has been delivered in a cast and sling whenever he has been called upon since the 2015 Afcon in Gabon.

Tactics might be impeccable,remuneration issues might be thoroughly sorted out and even the goodwill of Ghanaians might be restored but an army cannot go to war with two generals that are suspicious of each other because there will be movement but no direction.

Thomas Partey and Daniel Amartey have emerged as strong eligible candidates in recent matches but one who could also be an unsuspecting leader is goalkeeper Richard Ofori who has been vocal in a role where others have fallen short in the past.

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Partey’s temperament,recent surge in form,ability to take responsibility in tough situations on the pitch and his unchained potential puts him a head above his peers.It remains to be seen how he himself will handle all the extra attention brought on by his improved form.

He recently missed out on CAF’s best XI, but it is only a matter of time before he puts the whole continent and the world on red alert.

Just as the team required inevitable change after the situation with Avram Grant, the time has come for that same type of change with the playing body.

Green Revolution

Sometimes turmoil and disaster are good,Kyrie Irving and the Celtics would have found this out in the most bizarre manner possible but I doubt even they believed a 12 win streak this early was feasible.

First requesting the trade to be his own man that instantly triggered backlash and then losing fellow star Gordon Hayward to a broken tibia and dislocated ankle.

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These pivotal events have combined in some weird manner to motivate the Boston Celtics to play the best basketball while owning the best record of  the young 2017/2018 NBA season.

What makes the streak even more impressive is the fact that the Celtics have been without Irving in their last two games after suffering a facial injury that has put him in line to wear a mask indefinitely .

It almost looked like his team mates were eager to prove to him their hunger and ability to perform in his absence which bodes well for the franchise going forward.

They own the best defense in the league on surface value,holding opponents to an average of 94.0 points for the season.

The best part about the Celtics form is the huge strides in development made by key guys in the team like Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown and Stevens will be the first to admit that Tatum has barely looked like a rookie.

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I knew the Celtics would be a good regular season team but did not pen them down as one of the teams to take seriously come the post season.

The little I have seen is enough to have me recalibrate my expectations.

By: Benjamin Nketsia/citifmonline.com/Ghana