Superstar striker Asamoah Gyan has bitten back at the Al Ahli supporters when quizzed about his troubled loan spell, provocatively stating: “I think a lot of people do not understand the game”.
Gyan, 31, has continued to struggle for form and fitness during a season-long secondment from China’s Shanghai SIPG. He broke his duck at the fifth time of asking in the 2017 AFC Champions League with a chip during Tuesday’s 4-0 thrashing of Uzbekistan’s Lokomotiv Tashkent which saw the Red Knights cruise into the round of 16, but this was just a ninth effort in 22 run-outs.
This stark decline from a legendary spell at Al Ain from 2011-15, which included 95 goals in 83 Arabian Gulf League games, has led to plentiful and biting criticism.
“I think a lot of people do not understand the game,” said the Ghana skipper when quizzed about his strained relationship with the fans at Rashid Stadium. “That is what I feel, they don’t understand the game.
“People don’t feel my situation, they feel about what they see. They feel about themselves, they don’t feel for me – the player.
“All the season, because I’ve not been consistent. You cannot expect a player to be 100 per cent when he goes on and off, on and off.
“They know what I can do when I was playing consistently. I am here to prove to everybody I am still who I am, the right moment will come.
“All I need is consistency. But for me, the people here have not treated me fairly – that is what I can say.”
When asked specifically about who had treated him unfairly, Gyan replied: “The fans, the people here – that is what I can say.
“Sometimes I feel disappointed. But I always say that you can judge me when I am playing every game.
“You cannot judge me when I have injury. They expect me to perform like I used to, that is what I can say.”
These comments could see Gyan gain a heated reception on Saturday when the dethroned champions wind up their AGL commitments at home to relegated Bani Yas.
From their previous 25 top-flight dates, the ex-Sunderland and Udinese centre forward has only started eight and been substituted on five times. He has scored on five occasions and completed the full match twice.
Repeat injuries have curbed his involvement, as well as the predatory form of UAE forward Ahmed Khalil and January buy Makhete Diop. Gyan is likely to be a free agent this summer, with SIPG loathe to exorcise an option on his two-year deal signed in July 2015.
“Now I have a lot of options,” he said.
“I do not want to mention names, but there is a lot on the table. I will decide at the end of the season.”