By the time the Top Four tournament, Sports Writers of Ghana (SWAG) Cup and the first round of the Otumfuor Invitational Tournament were over, the media had decided which players will be the next big thing in Ghana soccer. Come the first four games, some of these players have not just been a pale shadow of their pre-season performances, but have raised doubts of their ability to perform in the subsequent competitive games ahead of them.
I compiled a list of top 3 flops of the month of September.
[1.] Gilbert Fiamenyo (Heart of Lions)
Gilbert is my pick for flop of the month. The Heart of Lions forward rose to fame during the GHALCA organized Top Four Tournament. His energetic runs, exciting dribbles and efficient goal scoring rate made him an instant hit.
Volumes of radio and television air time as well as newspaper space were dedicated to the new ‘star’ from Kpando. But after one month of competitive premiership football, Gilbert has disappointingly not found the net yet. Questions are being raised whether the Hearts of Oak reject deserved all the attention he was given during friendly games. Now the pressure is on Gilbert to prove to us that he is just not another flash in the pan.
[2.] Daniel Adjei (Liberty Professionals)
In the run up to World Cup 2010, I questioned why Adjei, who was struggling to make first team at Liberty was better than other goal keepers. I was told that these other goalkeepers made a complete mess of themselves at pre-tournament camping.
It looks to me that Adjei is waking up from the U-20 World Cup winning dream to some of the harshest realities of adult football. Those 8 goals he conceded in the month of September should be a signal to him that he may have to work harder to get back to the national team. .
[3.] Edwin Osei Pele (Hearts of Oak)
Personally, I am convinced that Edwin is another pre-season wonder kid. After the departure of Mahatma Otoo, Eric Gawu and Edward Affum, many Hearts of Oak fans invested what was left of their already depleted hopes in Edwin. And yes, during the pre-season, he looked like a good player to hang the huge expectations of Hearts of Oak on. The teenager put up some stellar performances which won the hearts of even haters of his club.
But watching him play this season, one is left to wonder what the fans saw in him to have expected so much from him. He has been lethargic and posed no real threat to any defense. Edwin may not have realised that he has inherited a rich history of proven performers; of Shamo Quaye, Joe Fameye, Osumanu Amadu, Ishamel Addo, Emmanuel Osei Kufour, Charles Taylor and the many others before them. The earlier he stepped up his performance, the better for him and his relegation-threatened Hearts of Oak.
My season will be made if one of these three flops of September prove me wrong in the coming months.