Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Relaxation Is the Key to Success, Says Gyan; Ghanaian Star Can't Wait for England

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Relaxation Is the Key to Success, Says Gyan; Ghanaian Star Can't Wait for England

Article excerpt

ASAMOAH Gyan believes it is Ghana's relaxed attitude to the pressure of international football which has been behind their rapid improvement on the world stage, writes LUKE EDWARDS.

Ghana came within a penalty shoot-out - Gyan missed a spot-kick in injury time - of becoming the first African country to qualify for the semi-finals of a World Cup and were one of the few bright lights in an otherwise dingy tournament.

But the Sunderland striker does not dwell on that disappointment just as he does not worry about what might happen against England when the two countries meet in a friendly this week.

In stark contrast to the pressure on our national side, the Ghanaians do not fret about what the opposition can do to them, as Gyan claimed they are more interested in enjoying themselves.

"You need to see how we are in the camp," said Gyan, a pounds 13m summer signing for Rennes following a spotlight-seizing show in South Africa. "We forget about the football, we make sure everyone is free. We don't put pressure on ourselves and that is why we can play against any team in the world.

"We don't even watch videos of our opponents. We just go there and play our normal game. Maybe that is the problem with England. The pressure. The kind of players they have, the people will be expecting more from them, sometimes it bring pressure.

"Sometimes I felt disappointed (with England), they have quality players but I don't know why they struggled at the World Cup. I hope one day they will win it because they have the players.

"Maybe we will get there first, we proved that in South Africa. We showed we are capable of winning. It didn't happen this time, but we have young players who will be able to do it next time." A quick glance at the Sunderland squad list offers an insight into the huge progress that has been made in the last decade by the strongest African countries. There are three Ghana internationals on Wearside - Sulley Muntari and John Mensah - while the Premier League is cluttered with imports from the continent. …

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