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Atsu brace helps Ghana into AFCoN semis

by | 01/02/2015  Comments (19)  jump
Christian Atsu scored twice, including a stunning strike from wide on the right, as Ghana beat Guinea 3-0 in the quarter finals of the Africa Cup of Nations.

The on-loan winger side-footed home the Black Stars' first goal from Andre Ayew's neat backheel, setting them on their way to a comfortable victory.

Kwesi Appiah ran through to make it 2-0 following an error by Baissama Sankoh before Atsu scored the pick of the lot with an audacious effort that flew into the far corner.  

Reader Comments (19)

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Colin Glassar
1 Posted 01/02/2015 at 18:52:18
Can't wait for him to get back. It'll be like having a new player who will kick start the second half of our season with some clearly unique and phenomenal performances.
Helen Mallon
2 Posted 01/02/2015 at 18:55:40
Colin... he-he!
Jim Bennings
3 Posted 01/02/2015 at 19:01:38
No disrespect but I managed to catch some of the African Cup matches last midweek and the quality is very poor, as sadly it always seems to be with the African Nations Cup.

Maybe the goals will give Atsu some confidence but finding time and space in which to make an impact in the Premier League is a completely different ball game.

For whatever reason, African football just never seems to take off like it's promised so many times over the years and it will take performances of far better quality in the Premier League only from Christian Atsu before I'm convinced we have anything like a decent winger on our hands.

Winston Williamson
4 Posted 01/02/2015 at 19:12:41
Colin... he will be in a good footballing moment for our football club.
Colin Glassar
5 Posted 01/02/2015 at 19:21:16
It promised so much, Jim, but corruption and poor organisation has stunted the growth of football in Africa. No wonder Blatter can count on all the African votes.
Raymond Fox
6 Posted 01/02/2015 at 19:11:24
In the time he's been at the club, Martinez, who sees a lot more of the players than we do, must have seen aspects of Atsu that don't please him. Whether it's lack of discipline, laziness, lack of control or whatever he's seen, there is likely something that fails to float his boat.

He's played okay for what little time he's been on the field without setting the world on fire, I don't have him down as a bad player... poor loan value up to now though!

Andy Meighan
7 Posted 01/02/2015 at 19:27:51
Micheal, my dear man, I'll take back what I said about Atsu the other day.

And while I'm on, offer you a full apology for my cynicism about him. It sounds like he's done really well. Let's hope he can replicate this sort of form for us.

I've got to say I've watched a lot of the highlights from the AFCON and the defending is atrocious at times. In fact, I wet myself laughing at it.

Steve Jones
8 Posted 01/02/2015 at 19:59:47
It's great that he has got some volume in his legs and the ANC experience is as good as it gets. Unfortunately he will return with a soft tissue injury but he's a quick healer so he will only be out a couple of months.
Andy Crooks
9 Posted 01/02/2015 at 20:13:42
Raymond, you're probably right but Martinez, like any coach, sometimes gets it wrong. I always imagined Roberto to be an arm round the shoulder sort of bloke but maybe not. With a run of games we might have a decent player but Roberto prefers McGeady as his luxury player.
Bob Heyward
10 Posted 01/02/2015 at 20:23:00
No doubt, the player showed us real character with a pheeenoominal performance. Seriously though, well done, Atsu! Now come back and do the same!!! God knows, we'll some fire power from somewhere!
Jimmy Salt
11 Posted 01/02/2015 at 20:35:06
Don't forget poverty, Colin.
Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 01/02/2015 at 20:30:34
None of us know how good he is; he hasn't had a proper run of games, whose fault that is, possibly Martinez's, or maybe he just wasn't ready for the Premier League, he hadn't played in England before.

Let's see how he does if he plays a few matches when he returns. However, it does seem a very strange loan deal, with just 15 or 16 games remaining in the league and some in Europe.

Chelsea seem to be in a no-lose situation: if he comes good they get him back, either to loan out again, keep him, or sell him on at a good profit.

Colin Glassar
13 Posted 01/02/2015 at 20:37:15
The way some young African players are transported to, and dumped in, eastern European countries is akin to modern day slavery, Jimmy.

They and their parents are lied to. They are promised shiny academies, board and keep, clothes and education etc... only to find if they don't make the grade they are dumped penniless and sometimes without their passports (they are held until their debts are paid off) without any chance to make it home.

Another Blatter legacy he can be proud of.

James Stewart
14 Posted 01/02/2015 at 21:00:44
Strange to watch Atsu for Ghana – he looks a totally different player. He has been atrocious for us but on return I think he deserves a run in the side. With Pienaar out with only have 1 winger, Mirallas. Naismith and Barkley are not wide players and shouldn't be played as such. Give Atsu a run in the side and let's judge him then.

And yes, I know I didn't include McGeady in our list of wingers. For the simple reason that he is an embarrassment and one of the worst players I have seen play for us. A passenger at best and utterly brainless.

Jonny Flynn
15 Posted 01/02/2015 at 21:24:31
We were all on Robles's back; now, after a run of games, we are singing his praises. Here's hoping Atsu could be similar.
Colin Glassar
16 Posted 01/02/2015 at 22:51:04
Atsu was great in the World Cup. Maybe he's just good playing for his country.
Ajay Timothy
17 Posted 02/02/2015 at 01:31:45
Who cares. He will be crap for us and Chelsea will dump him to some Greek team
Eric Myles
18 Posted 02/02/2015 at 04:49:31
The lad will do anything to delay his return to our bench!
Ian Jones
19 Posted 02/02/2015 at 06:17:09
Last year our loan signings generally enhanced our team. We were criticised in the media for using the system in such a way. I feel Gerard Deufoleu was an odd one in that he came with so much expectation. Lad from Barcelona etc.

In the early games he frustrated me so much and I gave him stick for it. But he was playing regularly, if only on as a sub, and seemed an exciting prospect. You never knew what he would do next. Might be a glorious cross or a dribble into touch but it was still great to watch. He had a good run of games before Christmas and then got injured.

I would like to be in the same position with Atsu . He arrived with less expectation than Gerard but with a good reputation. He simply has not been given the chance to play on a regular basis. He may not be good enough but it is harsh for us to criticise him on what we have seen of him so far.

Many including myself had a go at Naismith and Robles but they are not too the moment! I will reserve judgement on Lukaku.

Give Atsu a chance before being critical.
However, it would be good if Martinez just gave him a chance. Otherwise, waste of a loan this year.

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