‘He’s not the coach’ – Kwesi Nyantakyi defends Andre Ayew over ‘senior players’ comment

Former GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi has leapt to the defence of Andre Ayew after the Black Stars captain suggested senior players in the national team may have an advantage of being selected for the 2022 World Cup.

‘He’s not the coach’ – Kwesi Nyantakyi defends Andre Ayew over ‘senior players’ comment

According to Nyantakyi, Ayew only shared his personal opinion and it doesn’t mean the coach would toe the same line.

In September, Ayew came under criticism when he commented on the competition for places in the Black Stars ahead of the World Cup.

The Al Sadd forward said no one’s place is guaranteed but also suggested that the senior players in the squad may have an advantage.

“The newcomers are talented, but we already have a strong team that qualified for the World Cup, so every position is competitive,” he told Aljazeera.

“Apart from senior players who may have an advantage, I believe no one is guaranteed a place in the squad just yet. Everyone must prove their quality on the field and everyone has a chance, giving the coach more options and solutions, formations, and I believe it is beneficial to have new players with the right mentality.”

Reacting to this in an interview with Kings TV, Nyantakyi defended Ayew, saying he wasn’t definitive in his statement.

"The coach has the final decision. What Dede Ayew said was just his opinion and it doesn't mean that is what the coach will do. Because he [Dede] is not a coach. Even with what he said, he used 'may'," the former GFA boss said.

"He [Dede] said the senior players 'may' be able to earn the coach's selection. But it doesn't mean it is automatic because there have been instances where senior players were dropped for younger players, while younger players have also been dropped for senior players.

“So, it all depends on the strategy of the coach. We don't select players based on age or experience only, but the player's performance in totality, that is what the coach will consider.”

The Black Stars are paired in the same group with Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea for the World Cup in Qatar.

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