By Patrick Akoto
Ghana winger Andre Ayew has hailed the leadership qualities of John Mensah and dismissed reports of his persistent desire to wear the armband.
Reports of the Black Stars captaincy re-ignited after Rahim Ayew started a campaign to have his junior brother named as the skipper of the side even though there are several senior players ahead of him.
The SK Lierse enforcer claimed Andre was the ideal leader the West African heavyweights needed to end a 30-year drought for an African title.
But speaking on his arrival for the crucial first leg of the 2013 African Nations Cup qualifier against Malawi on Tuesday night, the Marseille winger poured cold water on the reports and insists it’s just part of the media gimmick .
“I am here to play football, play for the team, play for Ghana. To be a captain is not important,” Ayew said
“I believe in life everything comes in God’s time. When something is for you nobody can take it away,”
“What is important is we have to stay collective, we have to play as a team and fight together. It is not who is going to be captain and who is not going to be captain. What is the coach’s decision,”
“It’s part of the media game. You know the media game. I try to take it in a good way. I don’t look at it only in the bad side,”
“I am player who has been in the national team since 2007. I got into the national team when I was 17 so I know how it goes now. United we have one goal,”
“When I hear stuff like that it’s funny for me because I have never suggested that or never said anything.”
He added: ” When I was the captain for the Under-20 it came by itself. The coach came and said this is it. Today we have captain which is John Mensah,”
“We respect him a lot. He has proved a lot to the country and we’re going to support him as a captain.”
Andre and his junior brother Jordan are expected to join their colleagues for Wednesday’s training session ahead of the qualifier on Saturday September 8 at the Accra Sports stadium.
Striker Asamoah Gyan is likely to captain the team following the absence skipper John Mensah, deputy Michael Essien, John Pantsil and crocked Sulley Muntari.
Coach Kwesi Appiah’s men must record a resounding victory against The Flames to make the second leg a mere paperwork.