Sunday, July 05, 2009

Agogo: "I'm on my way back!" and he aint fazed with his bench role

On his facebook status today he's written that he is "on his way back"

Is this the beginning of a turnaround? I wonder.

Just over a year and a half ago, no self-respecting football fan in Ghana would have dared mention the starting XI without Manuel Junior Agogo.

Kids, toddlers, adolescents were wowed at this Ghanaian with the cockney accent.

Adult males envied his toned muscles and ladies positively melted and cooed at the body. He could do no wrong.

Even specially made calendars were made for him.

Those were the good old days. The Nations Cup came to Ghana and Agogo scored 4 goals in 5 games. That earned him the prestige of being Ghana’s top scorer in the championship.

His stock increased and after the tournament, he moved from Nottingham Forest to Zamalek in Egypt, to the surprise of many.

And then his troubles began.

A new set of executives were elected at the White Knights and the new order meant that Agogo was no more a favourite. He was benched consistently and his repeated complaints - even to FIFA - worsened his plight.

In the meantime the Black Stars were not waiting for the striker to sort out his issues and others were chosen ahead of him. Since those issues, he has struggled to find a starting place in the national team.

“I am not at all disappointed for not starting.

“I will continue to support the coach.

“I will give off my 110% if I am called from the bench to start. I have assured the coach of my support.

“He did not use me in Mali but I am still available to give off my best 110%”

Agogo played in the second half of Ghana's 2-0 win away in Sudan. He had a few touches and he appears to be grateful for small mercies.

He knows more than most with the current feeling that ‘the team can survive without the big boys,’ he has to work extra hard to beat players like Opoku Agyemang and Kwadwo Asamoah to a starting place in Milo’s side.

“I’m happy to be part of the team. The spirit is good in camp.

“I’m training well and the other players are also doing very well.

“I only want to be ready for Ghana and to help my country to qualify for the World Cup.”

Agogo has no club at the moment but it looks like he is on the verge of a resign to Zamalek. Apparently the power vacuum that saw him in trouble is being restored.

He has not played a competitive game in the last six months yet, like Terminator, he vows to return:

“I will be back. I’m working hard and though I have issues that are unresolved expect me to be back”