Jordan Ayew emerged one of the major casualties in coach Kwasi Appiah’s provisional 26-man squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
The 20-year-old was shockingly left out of the team that hopes to end Ghana’s 31-year wait for an African title by the time the competition kicks off on January 19 in South Africa.
GHANAsoccernet.com analyses five plausible reasons for the Olympique Marseille striker’s exclusion from the squad that was announced on Thursday.
1. Below-par performance in recent games:
For his club, Jordan has been very good this season. Churning out impressive displays and scoring goals which resulted in him being named Marseille’s Player of the Month for November.
He has however failed to translate his good club form in a Black Stars shirt in recent games.
Jordan was a mere passenger in Ghana’s 1-0 defeat at Zambia in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers and again failed to make his presence felt in the first leg match of the final 2013 Nations Cup qualifier in Accra against Malawi.
In that particular game played at the Accra Sports Stadium, fans actually called for his immediate substitution when it became vaguely evident he had nothing to offer.
That stinking performance negated all his good works at the last Nations Cup where he came good particularly in the quarter final game against Tunisia and the last four match which Ghana lost against Zambia.
When the Goal King of an European league is unable to make Ghana’s provisional squad for a major tournament like the Nations Cup, then you really know there is just not enough places for too many quality materials.
Jordan at this point fell prey to the competition and dare I say the politics of player selection.
One is easily tempted pick a regular performer for Olympique Marseille into a squad of 26 players.
But just like I discussed above, Jordan comes up way to short on the score cards for the national team.
He was competing with Asamoah Gyan (who is always going to make the team), Richmond Boakye-Yiadom who scores regularly at club level and makes a more meaningful impact relative to games he's played for Ghana, an Emmanuel Clottey who shot up suddenly due to his exploits in the CAF Champions League and the fact that you needed some indigenous representation and then one who really epitomizes domestication, Yahaya Mohammed.
Coach Kwasi Appiah, faced with these facts, needed to make a decision and he opted against taking the youngest son of Abedi Pele to South Africa.
3. Destructive tendencies:
Despite no clear proof of Jordan being a nuisance in camp, it has always stuck on him as a striking perception. This perception according to sources close to the team are very much REAL.
And with the Nations Cup spans over a three-week period every coach would want to administer a happy camp thus the personalities they select to make the group.
Jordan Ayew is an acclaimed player with a very short fuse. He wouldn’t mind getting into a brawl for his teammate or exchange unkind words with an opposition on the field of play.
Sometimes that kind of fire and passion is needed in a player, but the suspicion is that coach Akwasi Appiah is not prepared to risk anything in South Africa.
5. Allegation of being individualistic:
“We realized also that some players played to secure individual fame and glory to the detriment of the team,” Ghana FA boss Kwasi Nyantakyi said as one of the reasons the Black Stars failed to deliver in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
And I try to make a list of people who fell into that category off the top of my head and you’ll find Jordan Ayew high on the list.
He is a delightful player to watch when he is on form, no two ways about that.
But in times where its just not coming together for him, the 20-year-old clearly lacks the maturity to alter his game and rather persists with his ambition to excite the crowd with needless skills and antics.