This has raised many questions as to how prepared the Black Stars are in their quest to conquer Africa for the first time since 1982.
Ghana’s defeat to Namibia who are virtually not on the same level with the four times champions of Africa would create much panic and tension in camp.
However, there is a mantra that there are no minors in football and over the years, giants have one way or the other suffered a similar fate.
Italy was stunned by North Korea in 1966 FIFA World Cup, France who were the defending champions during the 2002 Mundial also suffered a defeat against debutants Senegal
The loss to Namibia reminds of when Ghana flew Sierra Leone to Accra in 1987 thinking they were going to mesmerise the Lone Stars. The war-torn country, however, succeeded in pulling up one of the greatest upsets in African football as they handed the Black Stars a 2-1 defeat and prevented them from qualifying for the 1988 Africa Cup of Nations.
Defeats in friendly games by a more fancied side against their opponents bring up certain questions that need answers.
Was the team complacent or they have lost their spark as a superpower in football? Are they yet to find their rhythm?
This current Black Stars team has been rated as the weakest Ghana has produced in over ten years. It is evident from the sort of clubs some of the reliable players are currently plying their trade for.
Players who used to ride the team on their shoulders like Andre Ayew and Asamoah Gyan are not on form.
Andre Ayew wasn’t handed a permanent deal after his loan spell with Fenebache came to an end, because the Turkish giants were not impressed.
And the dethroned skipper, Asamoah Gyan who is Ghana’s all-time top scorer, as well as their greatest poacher in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), is out of form due to age and injuries. He is likely not to be a starter in this AFCON.
With the captaincy issue that has rocked the team after Kwesi Appiah striped Asamoah Gyan of his duties and named Andre Ayew to succeed him, there is an indication that the Black Stars are sitting on a time bomb if the situation is not remedied.
One would argue that Ghana fielded a weakened side against Namibia in order for some of the players to justify their inclusion into Kwesi Appiah’s final 23-man-squad, the more reason why James Kwesi Appiah named his final squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations a day after the game.
However, anybody who is selected to be part of Ghana’s provisional 29-man squad should be up to the task and be able to deliver the goods against Namibia.
Ghana is the only country that has reached every single semi-final in the Africa Cup of Nations since 2008, so they are tipped to go far statistically.
They are, however, not in a devastating form as previously, so the other teams will come at the Black Stars and give the side no respect.
Teams will take a cue from what Namibia did on Sunday and match the Black Stars boot for boot. James Kwesi Appiah and his charges should expect a tough opposition from Guinea Bissau and Benin who appeared to be the underdogs in their group.
Ghana’s defeat should shake Kwesi Appiah’s team out of their complacency and up their game in the stride to end their long wait for a continental trophy.
Appiah needs to be a manager instead of a coach if he wants to be the first coach since the late Osam Duodu in 1982 to win the Africa Cup of Nations.
He ought to iron out all the differences in the Black Stars and command respect among his players.
Ghana is not bigger than Germany who were stunned by South Korea in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and ended up bowing out of the Mundial at the group stage, a pathetic way to end their reign as world champions.
Kwesi Appiah should be thankful that his team has suffered a setback during a preparatory game, so there is room to make amends heading into the competition proper.
This should start with Ghana’s last friendly game against South Africa because he now knows what his starting XI would be in the finals.
This will send a good signal and help restore team confidence and national pride.