Otto Addo on Jordan Ayew: He works hard and people don't see this often

Published on: 11 June 2024

Black Stars coach Otto Addo has come to the defence of Jordan Ayew, emphasising that the striker's hard work often goes unrecognised by fans who primarily judge him based on goals.

Ayew has recently made headlines with standout performances in Ghana's last two World Cup qualifying games against Mali and the Central African Republic (CAR). Coming off the bench on Thursday, Ayew scored the decisive goal in a 2-1 comeback victory over Mali. His contribution also included a clever through ball to captain Thomas Partey, who missed a one-on-one opportunity with the Mali goalkeeper.

Ayew’s impact earned him a starting role in the subsequent match against CAR, where he delivered an impressive hat-trick, leading Ghana to a thrilling 4-3 victory at the Baba Yara Stadium. This win marked Ghana's third in the World Cup qualifiers and propelled them to the top of Group I, pending the results of other matches in the group.

After the game, Otto Addo praised Ayew's often overlooked qualities.

"I know that strikers are always judged by goals, but he is a striker who can work defensively and is tactically very intelligent," Addo said. "That's why sometimes you can use him as a winger because he closes everything down, he works hard, and people don't see this often."

Before kick-off, Ayew was honoured for making 100 appearances for the Black Stars. His hat-trick in the match brought his tally to 27 goals for the national team. Under Otto Addo, Ayew has already scored six goals in four matches, demonstrating his critical role in the team’s success.

The Black Stars are aiming for their fifth World Cup qualification, having previously appeared in the 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2022 tournaments. With Ayew’s recent performances, Ghana's hopes for the 2026 World Cup look promising as they continue to lead Group I.

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