Asamoah Gyan: Here to help NorthEast, not achieve personal glory

NorthEast United FC’s acquisition of Ghanaian legend, Asamoah Gyan can easily be considered as the most sensational transfer coup ahead of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 season. The 33-year-old comes with decades of experience, wherein he has scored tons of goals at some of the biggest stages of world football.

Speaking at a recent media interaction, Gyan revealed his excitement on the upcoming challenge, although he did admit that he was working on becoming fitter. “I just arrived here about 10 days ago from holidays. I am training with the team for 10 days. I’m not 100% fit. I need to improve more with my fitness level to make sure I get to it before the first game of the season,” he said.

“The most important thing is that I’m here. It’s a new challenge for me. I’ve played in a lot of countries and finally, I’m in India. I think it’s a good challenge for me. I want to experience the league also. We’ll see what happens,” he added.

Identifying the club’s ambitions for the coming season, the former Sunderland striker said, “Everybody wants to do well this season. We’ve got young players, some good young players. Although, there are a lot of new players in the team who need to work together and know each other as soon as possible. Especially me and some of the players who arrived late.”

“We have to catch up, physically and practically in everything, to be able to work throughout the season. We’ll see what happens. Preparation is going well. We have a good coach. He is an experienced coach who understands the game. We’ll try our best to do well this season.”

However, Gyan distanced himself from any predictions for the coming season, both at a personal and collective level. “I’m here to do well. I’m not here to predict what I’m going to do. The most important thing is to start very well. I’m here to give my best for my team.”

“I don’t have to put personal glory on myself that I’m going to break some records. So, I don’t have to think about what people say. I have to just focus on what I have to do. I have been at the top level of football. So, we’ll see what happens. No prediction before that!” he exclaimed.

Joining the club as the biggest name ahead of the coming season, the 33-year-old is bound to find himself under the spotlight, with top-draw performances expected off him almost every week. Hardly fazed by that thought and confident in his abilities to cope with it, Gyan stated, “This (pressure) is what I’ve been through my whole career, right from the national team to wherever I’ve played because everybody expects more.”

“In life, nobody is satisfied with anything. If you score two, they say the next time you have to score three. So, it’s always a challenge. But it’s good pressure. When there’s pressure on you, it pushes you to do more and work more. So, it’s a good thing. You have to just go with it and then give your best.”

As part of their pre-season plans, the Highlanders recently played out a friendly against the Indian national football team. Left impressed with the way the Blue Tigers conducted themselves throughout the 90 minutes, Gyan commented, “They are very good. They know how to protect the ball. They have a very good coach. They did everything, but there is always room for improvement. They have some good players who I saw have quality. Some of them can even play outside India. I wish them luck.”

Lastly, the 33-year-old Ghanaian legend singled out the thing he needed most to succeed as a striker in the Hero ISL. He said, “We need to create more chances. We have to create opportunities because as a striker, I have to put the ball in the net. So, if you don’t get many opportunities, it’s going to be very difficult. That is my worry right now. So, I need to find my way.”

“But before that, I have to prepare physically to be able to find my way, because I have to really work hard. In the league, it’s very difficult to find more opportunities to score. So, with my experience, I need to adapt to the style as soon as possible.”

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