Veteran Ghana midfielder Michael Essien offers his countrymen an easier course to recovery after the Brazil 2014-indiced trauma
By Sammie Frimpong
Amid the dim of chaos, speculation, and vitriol that has characterized the fall-out from Ghana's botched adventures at the 2014 Fifa World Cup has been a touch of composure and poise which, even if only temporarily, has restored some sanity to the whole breaking-down and building-up process which is set to ensue.
Quite unsurprisingly, that tiny voice of reason has come from one of the current Black Stars squad's more experienced, most prominent figures: good old Michael Essien, otherwise reserved and hardly eager to utter a word.
In a release probably timed to co-incide with the press conference the Ghana Football Association organized last Wednesday [partly] to address the issues raised by disillusioned members of the team - the likes of Kevin-Prince Boateng, Sulley Muntari, and Adam Kwarasey - Essien observed "that destructive and vicious attacks and counter-attacks on individual members of the team as well as the technical and management team are not the solution to the Ghana Black Stars’ problems."
Instead, the 31-year-old called for 'calm' on the part of all involved - including aggrieved players, team officials, and fans - as well as advising these stakeholders to collaborate in breeding those core values he believes would be key to any resurgence the Stars could enjoy following the recent chastening setback: 'genuine co-operation', "promotion of trust, transparency, and good governance."
While urging decency, however, Essien - in his well-composed, decorous statement - doesn't even remotely suggest that the concerns he acknowledges himself should be swept under the carpet for the sake of 'peace'.
"...I hold the view that we can investigate and resolve these issues without further destroying the team," the former Chelsea man opines, although he does well to encourage all to be 'circumspect' in their critique.
Regarding his own issues - the accusations of insubordination before and during Ghana's game against Portugal (the details of which are a matter for another day) that, when narrated by coach Kwesi Appiah at the presser, appeared to cast 'Le Bison' in a negative light - Essien opted to refrain from commenting, in the hope that "in the fullness of time, all the facts surrounding the entire episode will become public for the good people of Ghana to judge my guilt or otherwise."
Unlike some of his colleagues who have seemingly chosen to go on a vengeful mission that might have prompted the FA to respond in kind, Essien, ever the essence of sobriety, has adopted a wait-and-see attitude, further moving Ghanaians not to depsair but, rather, to "continue to believe in the Black Stars."
He couldn't have put it better.
Every line in his letter oozed maturity and hope: the very qualities that would be essential for the country going forward.
Essien - in view of coach Appiah's declaration of renewed confidence in youth - would probably not earn too many call-ups to the national team in the future but, whether he does or not, he's possibly offered his country more with these crucial words of wisdom than he has throughout his stellar, 12-year-long career.
Would we appreciate and listen, though?