Jordan Ayew 22 Midfielder Marseille Ghana
2013 has been…
All a bit ‘meh’. Last year we gave Jordan Ayew a C- and in summary said he’d been a D until a late run of form dragged him up a mark. The very last sentence of his report was “keep at it”, so has he?
In a word, no.
It all feels a bit familiar; the lack of consistency, the poor form leading to a place on the sub’s bench, the frustrated body language, the stupid fouls and silly yellow cards, the lack of a natural football intelligence leading to constant poor choices on the ball and then the snatching at an easy chance. Worse than all of that is the other thing you often get from him, a flash of inspiration or skill that reminds you that he is special and he should be better than this, he should be a C+ or more, he should be lighting up games whether starting or cameoing from the bench and he should have scored double figures last year and be well on the way this.
Could be, should be, can if he wants, in there somewhere – all words you find yourself using as when you see the little flashes you naturally want to defend a young player and keep believing. It’s getting harder though and if ever an incident summed him up it would be the ridiculous performance against Evian in February. With the score at 1-1 Marseille were down to ten men and hanging on to what would be an important point away from home. Having watched from the sub’s bench for 73 minutes he was given a chance to come on and help his team over the line. Exactly 111 seconds later he was sent off for picking up 2 yellow cards in just under two minutes.
Something needs to change, mentally, physically and fundamentally. He believes he’s a player and self-confidence has never been a problem. His issue is that somewhere along the line he needs to start answering the obvious questions about form and consistency - it’s not enough to assume it’ll come, sometimes you have to make it happen.
There are no suggestions that his work rate is lacking in training or there are any rifts with team-mates in the press, but the body language on the pitch often makes you feel like this is a player who just doesn’t care enough about being a footballer. Is he really putting in the hard yards needed to take things to the next level? Does he even believe there are issues in his game? Is anyone telling him that this just isn’t enough at the moment?
Lots of questions and no obvious answers. For our money he needs a change and something to bring him back down to earth. The red tops have linked him with moves to Stoke and Everton but we would be really surprised if he fared any better in the rough, tumble, cut and thrust of the Premier League. Maybe he needs to drop down a level on loan to reignite his spark, maybe he needs a spell out of the match day squad all together to rediscover some hunger, maybe he just needs a massive bollocking rather than handling with kid gloves. We will keep hoping for more, whether we get it remains to be seen.
“Has all the ability to make it at Marseille, but doesn't seem to have the mentality to be a professional football. Indecision about what his best position is seems to be hampering his progression” – Andrew Gibney, French Football Weekly
"Since the start of last season, Jordan Ayew has scored with 15.7% of his shots; a better conversion rate than Andre-Pierre Gignac and his brother Andre." - Opta
D Frustrating as there’s definitely a player in there but there’s just no progress, where does he go from here? Up to him