After the Black Stars’ comfortable defeat of Kumasi Asante Kotoko by 3-0 in a friendly match played at the Baba Yara sports stadium on the 12th of October 2018, the magnificent display of debutant, Felix Annan was evident for all to see. Annan was remarkably impressive and he won the admiration of all as he performed to the very best of his ability.
To crown it all, the gaffer Kwesi Appiah, heaped praises on the Asante Kotoko shot-stopper. “I was aware of what Felix Annan could do and that is why I gave him a national team call-up. I’ve watched him several times with Kotoko in the Ghana Premier League and in his first competitive game for the Black Stars, he impressed everyone. I’m very happy for him” were the exact words of Kwesi Appiah.
Kwesi Appiah’s constructive criticism was that Felix Annan needed more confidence. That notwithstanding, the gaffer also asserted that per Annan’s display, he is sure that Annan is “ready to be up there”.
However, when Ghana’s squad to face Ethiopia was announced, Felix Annan was conspicuously missing. The irony is clear….. Is there any better way for a player to build confidence other than having more playing time?
Considering Felix Annan’s remarkable output during his debut, is there any justifiable reason why he was overlooked for selection?
It is no fault of Felix Annan that our local league is on hold. More so, wouldn’t we be deceiving ourselves if we hang the rope of “a lack of playing time” on Felix Annan’s neck?
At this particular point in our football, Felix Annan is, without doubt, one who has improved his lots incredibly. So impressive has he been to the extent that even supporters of his club's bitter arch-rivals, Accra Hearts of Oak testify to his quality.
It even becomes more disturbing when the comments of Richard Kingson are taken into perspective.
As reported by Ghanasoccernet.com, Richard Kingson said, “Felix Annan is one of the best goalkeepers in the country and I believe that he still has a chance with the Black Stars. The fact that we didn’t invite him doesn’t mean he’s totally out of the national team. Let’s encourage him because he has a bright future.”
Isn’t it ironical that a goalkeeper considered to be amongst the best in the country is overlooked for national team selection?
For a very long time, the underlying condition(s) for the selection of players into the Black Stars has been under intense scrutiny from various public circles and with regard to Kwesi Appiah’s recent selection, the doubts and questions still linger on.
The multimillion dollar question however remains……..What was the basis for the axing of Felix Annan from the Black Stars squad despite his impressive debut display as well the praises heaped upon him by coach Kwesi Appiah?
By: Gideon Baiden