Sunday, February 14, 2010

Should Quincy Abeyie be recalled to the Black Stars?

Not seeing him play at Spartak Moskow, I really did not know how to react to the shouts from some pals that Quincy Owusu-Abeyie should by all means be added to the team that played in Angola.

However, his performance yesterday for Pompey vs Southampton after he came on as a sub was enough to tweak my radar a bit. I am not joining the calls for his hasty inclusion just yet, but if he continues to play like this, ignoring him could be heretical.

This was a derby game and we know how those go around the world: loud, wild, passionate affairs. Pompey were on the back foot as they badly needed the win against Southampon. Sometime in the second half, Quincy was introduced by Avram Grant. Then, he does this:

So, it's 1-0 but it does not last as the goal is equalised. Suddenly, in the 75th minute, Quincy gets the ball in his part of the field, speeds (which is his trademark, mind you) into the opposition area, gives an unbelievable pass that beats two Southampton defenders, the ball falls to Aruna Dindane who finishes off nicely. 2-1. Here it is:

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Ten minutes later, he delivers the icing on the cake by setting up the final goal by Jamie O'Hara 85th minute. Portsmouth have thus advanced to the quarter-finals after the thrilling clash on Saturday. Here's the last assist:

 But where would he play?

If the current Black Stars squad is fully fit, I would automatically say Quincy should play in place of Haminu Draman, who has been given a lot of chances but has not grabbed with both hands. Quincy's speed alone may rival Draman's but more importantly his finishing has definitely improved while Draman's, as at the end of Angola 2010, was a freaking disaster that drove people up the walls.

Dropped for attitude issues, like Muntari?

So, should Quincy be considered or not? Some point to attitude problems. Unfortunately, it appears the talented guy may yet still have that fiery streak in him.

He was transferred to Russian club Spartak Moscow for an undisclosed fee in 2006 but he joined Spanish side Celta de Vigo on loan for the 2007–08 season and in the last window he joined Birmingham City on loan. However his attitude problems continued to persist.

In September 2008, he got on the wrong end of his Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish after his bad reaction to his substitution in a league game against Doncaster. The Black Stars man, who had won praise from McLeish in the past for his early performances went straight to the dressing room after he was substituted 39 minutes into the game.

McLeish said later: "I explained to him that you don't go to the dressing room, you support the team from the dug-out when you come off. I don't want to take a gifted player and say he has to defend for us but Wayne Rooney does it and the top players in the England team did it in the week. It is part of the modern game at the top level. We certainly give the players the fitness to do it, it is just the understanding he needs."

Although Quincy was apologetic to McLeish and his team mates his attitude problems emerged again when he was (later that year) called up to play for Ghana. The national coach, Milovan Rajevac, warned Quincy that he faced a long spell on the sidelines if he did not improve his attitude towards the national team.

Milo then excluded Quincy from the 22-man squad for the crucial World Cup qualifier against Lesotho in Sekondi. Why? Then 21-years at the time, Quincy was released by Birmingham well ahead of the previous month's qualifier against Libya, failed to join his colleagues in the national team until the last minute.

He claimed that he missed two scheduled flights to Tripoli for the game!

Rajevac said: "Quincy has not been dropped from the Black Stars forever but he must think about why he has been dropped as guidance for the future. Players must show that they are ready to die for the national team and his attitude before the Libya game was not good enough. He plays in United Kingdom along with Essien, Laryea Kingston and John Paintsil and they all managed to arrive in time but he opted to tell stories.”

So, I ask again, should he or shouldn't he be brought back into the fold, or is it past and we should forget it?

PS: He was released from Ajax (where he had been for nine years) at 16 years, because guessed it..."attitude problems."  Or maybe, just maybe, we're jumping the gun and overreacting.

Should Quincy Abeyie be recalled to the Black Stars?(online surveys)