January has been a wretched month for Markus Babbel, but there’s a significant consolation.
The German watched his Western Sydney Wanderers side implode in Friday night’s 2-2 draw with Brisbane Roar.
The Wanderers have now let late leads slip against Perth Glory, Melbourne City and now the Roar over an intensely frustrating January period.
And though shell-shocked and left licking their wounds once more, Kwame Yeboah – who signed on the last day of 2018 – glints faintly as one consolation they can cling to in what has been a dire start to 2019.
Yeboah arrived back in Australia with a statement to make, and he – like the Wanderers – has a point to prove in the short and long term.
Five years after trading Brisbane for Germany as a teenage prodigy, kept in check by the talismanic shadow of Besart Berisha, the 24-year-old from the Gold Coast returned to the place where he made his name.
Yeboah continued his excellent form back in the Hyundai A-League at Suncorp Stadium, where the galvanising influence he has had on his new team was abundantly clear.
The forward come along way from the sleek-moving, mohawk-sporting teenage dynamo who made his debut against the Wanderers back in 2012/13.
A bulldozing physical stature compliments the raw pace and ability he has always possessed. Now a more rounded forward player, he was deployed at the tip of the Wanderers midfield three in Brisbane – a sign of the maturity and compatibility he affords Babbel’s frontline.
A fine striker’s goal book-ended a dominant opening half from the Yeboah-led Wanderers, and it was perhaps telling that, withdrawn early in the second half sporting a hip complaint, things for the Red and Black ultimately went downhill.
Wanderers fans will be sweating over his immediate fitness, but they should also revel in the immensely talented prospect they have on their hands.
Yeboah has contributed two goals and two assists in just 351 minutes of action, and the partnership he’s struck with Roly Bonevacia offers genuine promise.
Indeed, seven of the Wanderers’ last eight Hyundai A-League goals have directly involved either Yeboah or Bonevacia.
It speaks of a player who has returned to Australia intent on achieving his potential, and chances are Yeboah will inspire the Wanderers to realise theirs too when the dust settles on another mind-boggling lapse.