When does losing make people feel good?

Black Stars lined up for a game (courtesy GFA.ORG)

Black Stars lined up for a game (courtesy GFA.ORG)

I have been hearing some amazing justifications why it feels good for Ghana’s Black Stars to lose to Les Écureuils (The Squirrels) of Benin since Ghana’s 0-1 loss to Benin on Sunday October 11, 2009 at de l’Amité, Cotonou in the World Cup 2010 qualifier. Why would anyone feel good when his team loses a game? If I did not know the Ghanaian mindset better, I would have been surprised to read or hear such comments. Losing is bad. Period!

 Unless one is putting up a defensive attitude to offset the demoralizing effect of a loss or one is trying to make a point with the loss, losing cannot feel good. Besides the sense of accomplishment one feels after winning anything, a scientific connection has been drawn between  winning any sport game and the production of neurotransmitters (endorphins) that diminish feelings of pain. Endorphins are believed to block pain from reaching the brain. It is therefore a beautiful lie when people claim it is good that Ghana (on a 100% run this year) has lost to lowly Benin.

But whether one is happy or not, the (Benin 1:0 Ghana) game may have exposed a certain hoax world Ghana may be living in. I am of the opinion that Ghana’s recent successes does not have any back-up plan. It only has to take a minor disturbance for our beautiful castle to crumble and the history-making  Black Stars story to be cut short. Yes indeed Ghana may have qualified to Angola 2010 and South Africa 2010 in record time, sometimes one wonders if these two competitions may not end up in massive disappointments.

Why do I say this? It is clear to any follower of the game that since Milovan Rajevac took over, when the Black Stars is mentioned, one can easily come up with the first team and probably two or three extras and that will be it! Any alteration of the first team will lead to instant disaster. Could this be the reason why Milovan Rajevac seems to be afraid to tinker with the team for the long term benefit? There appears to be no competition for places in the team. One can thus be without a club, be inactive at his club, be out of fitness and off form and yet make it into The Black Stars.

How is Ghana supposed to build a formidable team this way? How is Stephen Appiah who has been without a club for over a year supposed to be part of Ghana’s best midfield setup? How is Harrison Afful supposed to be better than Hans Adu-Sarpei? Are there no other strikers to try? what happens when there is no Richard Kingson? I thought Milovan promised to use only the best? Why is he fininding it so difficult to call the best up or use them once he finds the courage to hand them call-ups? 

With less than 100 days to Angola 2010, I think it is rather unimpressive that Milovan Rajevac does not seem to be interested in strengthening the bench of the Black Stars. If we continue to play the same players all the time, when, where and how do we expect to find players who fit?

I could go on and talk about the slowing dying passion of the team, tactical redundancy of Milovan Rajevac’s set up and many more issues, but I trust losing twice on a row will be enough to ring a bell in someone’s ears. I will also buy into the argument that the U-20 World Cup had restricted the pool of players  Milovan Rajevac could have invited for the (Benin 0:1 Ghana) match. But no one should give me the cock-and-bull story about losing feeling good!!

 The way I see it, Ghana is on her way to World Cup history, but we cannot make this history with the current state of affairs.


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