Former Black Stars coach Sam Arday believes that midfield sensation Christian Atsu is not Ghana’s messiah despite his meteoric rise to fame.
Atsu, 20, has become a fans favourite in the national team after his impressive performances in the national team with many touting him as the next big thing for Ghana football.
The FC Porto player scored on his debut with a shot that left the goalkeeper of Lesotho bemused in a 2014 World Cup qualifier, and capping it off with the opening goal in Ghana’s 2:0 victory over Malawi in a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier earlier this month.
In an interview with the Ghana Football newspaper after the game, Sam Arday sought to down play any talk about the impact of the player saying Atsu has not arrived yet.
“I’m not saying he shouldn’t be praised but such praises should not be blown out of proportion. The praises shouldn’t sound like he is our new messiah: he is not yet a messiah,” he said.
Sam Arday, who trained Atsu during his formative years at Gomoa Fetteh Feynoord, added “At this stage of his career he needs encouragement and his teething mistakes have to be pointed out to him to make him a better player. It will be a huge mistake to sign praises and blow it out of proportion.”
“If such praises get into the head of such a promising youngster, it can affect them and stall their development.”
“Atsu shouldn’t lose focus, thinking he has arrived. He should never be swollen headed by what he hears and reads. If he does that, it won’t augur well for him."
In a separate interview with www.liquidsportsghana.com, Coach Sam Arday said he stands by the statements he made in the interview because he is genuinely concerned about the youngster future since players usually lose focus after much praise-singing.
The left footed player has won a lot of plaudits for his amazing runs on the wings where he has been a thorn in the flesh for defenders at club level and on the international scene.
But he has only made five appearances for Ghana, scoring two goals. He has also featured in all of FC Porto’s league matches this season: three starts and one substitute appearance.
However, Atsu is yet to win any major trophy or complete a full season in the top flight in his career.
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