Ex-Black Stars international, Abubakari Damba has expressed worry over the performances of Black Stars and Kotoko goalkeeper, Razak Abalora.
The goalkeeper was in post for Ghana’s international friendly with the Atlas of Morocco, and became the highlight of the fixture when his miscalculated attempted of a save, gifted Morocco the only goal to win the game.
Abalora over the last months has been tagged by the general public as an error-prone goalkeeper, and his latest howler has rebirthed the label.
Due to the susceptibility of the goalkeeper to commit blunders, Damba is unimpressed with the 24-year-old, and is worried about the future of the Black Stars.
“I know he’s in a very difficult situation now, he has seen it, he has been through it, but what is it that he has learnt as an individual? What is that the powers that be have done to help him because this is not the first time – He’s done it once, twice, three times and it’s becoming a little bit too much – we have to do something about it – Abalora as an individual, but more importantly Black Stars as a team. It is very, very important.
“Abalora is in a very difficult situation as an individual and we need Black Stars to progress, we need a reliable and a consistent goalkeeper to get Black Stars to wherever it was,” the former Ghanaian international told Joy Sports.
The 24-year-old has come under lots of criticism from the general public, with many venting their frustration with the Kotoko goalkeeper on social media.
Fans and sympathizers of the national team can be very brutal and harsh with their criticisms, and as they turn on the shot stopper, Damba acknowledges that criticisms is a hazard of the position.
“I will not blame the fans, media or any other person for picking up on Abalora because these are the hazards of the game. These are some of the things that come with the position, goalkeeping. Because goalkeeping position, our saves and errors are very prominent, whether we like it or not, and this is what we have chosen to do, and we have got to deal with the highs and the low,” Damba explained.
As already indicated, Abalora has become synonymous with consistent mistakes anytime he features in a game, and this is a feature of the keeper the ex-international is not taking lightly.
“Razak Abalora is a national goalkeeper, and he needs to understand that he is not any ordinary goalkeeper. Everybody is prone to making mistakes but as professionals, we are suppose to minimize or make less mistakes as much as possible – especially with the goalkeeping department where our mistake is final.
“Making mistakes as I indicated earlier on is not wrong, but repeating mistakes is what the challenge is all about. Razak Abalora as much as I sympathize with him, we need to agree that we are professionals and it is not about sympathizing, it’s about what is at stake.”
After his name has continuously popped up in the media due to his mistakes, Damba opined that the goalkeeper might be battling mental fatigue and as a result, opportunities should be given to other goalkeepers to prove a point.
“If not for that individual error, I think Black Stars will have picked a point, thankfully it was a friendly game but that notwithstanding, we are judged by all these things. So I am saying that Abalora now has demonstrated to us that he needs a break. We need to give him a break to recover, make conscious and deliberate effort to help him to recover.
“We are not here to crucify him, we are here to help him but in doing so, we need to remember that there is a bigger picture. So for now I think that we need to look at this issue critically and give the opportunity to other goalkeepers to see whether they can make themselves count.” Damba suggested to Joy Sports.’
Ghana will play another friendly against Ivory Coast at the Cape Coast stadium on Saturday, June 12.