Tuesday, 31 December 2019 14:05

Hearts of Oak’s Team Of The Decade: 2009-2019 Featured

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For all the talk about Hearts’ trophyless decade since its existence, it’s hard to deny that it’s been one hell of a period for all associated with club. The Phobians have not any major silverware in the fast fleeting decade.

That’s not to say they haven’t had some phenomenal players within the said period, and trying to narrow down the avalanche of talent that has donned the famous rainbow colours to just 11 players is exceptionally difficult.
 
But we here at kickgh have had a go anyway, so enjoy as we take a look at Hearts of Oak’s team of the decade...
 
GK- Soulama Abdoulaye- Sammy Agyei, Laud Quartey, Philemon McCarthy, Soulama Abdoulaye, Tetteh Luggard and Ben Mensah are the notable names that found themselves between the sticks during aforementioned period but it is the Burkinabe goalkeeper that gets the nod here. He joined Hearts in 2014 after being released by Hearts’ rivals, Asante Kotoko. 
 
He became a key component during his stay with the Accra club with his stupendous saves; ability to control his backline, Soulama is certainly Hearts best goalkeeper in the last decade. Rest in peace champ!
 
RB- Hassan Mohammed- Hassan experienced his fair share of ups and downs with the club- coming through the ranks to captain the side. 
 
Intelligent, versatile, and understated, he was capable of playing a right-back, left-back  due to his supreme two-footed ability, and was occasionally deployed as defensive midfielder to minimise the beatings dole out to his teammates. 
 
CB- Robin Gnagne- The Ivorian joined Hearts from defunct Red Bull Academy in 2012. He was calm on the ball, aerially dominant and confident in his abilities- giving him qualities all worthy of a good defender.
 
 He was one of the finest ball playing centre halves the Ghanaian league has ever seen, confirming his spot in our team of the decade. He made everything tick. The one who would put his body one the time and time again for the Phobians.
 
CB-Inusah Musah- He joined Hearts of Oak from lowly Tudu Mighty Jets in the 2014/15 season but greatly announced his presence in the 2015/16 season in Hearts’ 2-1 loss to Kumasi Asante Kotoko at the Accra Sports Stadium.  He was the club’s best performer on the day and crowned it with a beautiful headed goal in between Dauda Mohammed’ s two goals that won the day for the Porcupine Warriors.
 
 Not only did the former Mighty Jets stalwart win over the hearts of Hearts technical team but also became a fan’s favourite thereafter. Undoubtedly, in terms of pure defensive talent, Musah is one of the best to play for Hearts in the last decade.
 
LB- Owusu Bempah- Another versatile player, Bempah was comfortable playing on either side of the flank. Equally comfortable playing in a back four or a back three, Bempah proved to be a bargain signing. 
 
His intense style of play, key passes and ability to help the team going forward ensured he became a firm favourite for both the fans and neutral football lovers alike.
 
CM- Esme Mends- Known for his tireless work rate and excellent passing, the former Tema Real Sportive midfielder established himself as one of the best in the business-not to mention the tendency to score some long-range stunners. 
 
In his pomp, he was an unassailable force in the midfield. His astute positioning and awreness on the pitch is still remembered by all who watched him play.
 
CM- Obed Ansah- Heading to the Accra Sports stadium to watch Obed Ansah do his thing was pure joy. A surprisingly hard worker, clinical playmaker and clutch goalscorer, the little magician was a vital part of the Hearts team until his departure in 2015. 
 
You really have to feel sorry for the Hearts midfielders who have to play after the high standards set by Obed Ansah. 
 
There was no purer sight in the sport than watching the diminutive midfielder connect with a long range volley, and then observing the swaz spiraling its way impossibly towards the back of the net.
 
AM- Winful Cobbina- What else is there to say about this man- all words fail you. Simply one of the best to wear the Number 10 shirt for the Phobians. 
 
He was known as the ‘livewire,’ on account of all the wizardry he had in his armoury, took the Ghanaian league by storm both in his first and second spells. 
 
Despite all the brilliance that was brought after him, there has not been a player able to lift a crowd quite like Cobbina- his first touch alone brought people to their feet.
 
RW- Patrick Razak- The pacey diminutive winger Razak joined the Phobians at the start of the 2015/16 season from Tamale Utrecht Academy and instantly became an integral member of the side with his fighting spirit, energy and ferocity on the flanks embodying his managers’ philosophy brilliantly. 
 
As ever the intelligent winger was always seen setting the tone beautifully for his side with his splendid displays, pressing relentlessly and tracking back doggedly, as his physicality and pace unsettled opponents. He was believed to be the best or one of the best in his position in the domestic league during until he left for Guinea. The tricky winger was mesmerizing to watch in the league.
 
ST- Mahatma Otoo- I mean, who else would it be? If he hadn’t made it, let’s be honest, it would have been a disgrace. He scored 56 goals in 117 appearances for the club and was the top scorer of the Ghanaian league in 2013 and was once named the League’s Best player of the season.
 
However, there was a time in blue when the striker wasn’t so deified. Indeed, you could say he was vilified for much of his first season in Hearts. But he didn’t let it get to him, bouncing back to score goals for the club. 
 
He never looked back. Naturally, he never looked back.
As for best moment, an honourable mention goes out to the goal he scored against Dwarfs in 2013 but you already know what it is. It is that bullet of a free kick he scored that left Kotoko’s goalkeeper helpless like a headless chicken stranded in the Arabian desert.
 
LW- Samuel Affum- The final spot in this team was a toss-up between Samuel Affum and Douglas Nkrumah, with the former edging it. The exciting forward terrorised defences with his balance and flair; he was a joint top scorer of the league in 2010 with Bismark Idan as the other. He illuminated match venues with his technique, guile and dazzling dribbling on innumerable occasions but fluffed his lines where it mattered most.
 
I can just see it on. You’re behind your computer, shaking your head vigorously, possibly whispering expletives about how we settled on this team …feel free to tell us we are wrong!
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