Folks, I have decided to share something different from the usual Amadeus IT stories. I want to share my personal thoughts on Blackstar after the Netherlands friendly game and the announcement of the final squad. My belief and thoughts are that, barring any further injuries; this is the lineup that should be used against the USA:
Adam Kwarasey, Daniel Opare, Jonathan Mensah, John Boye, Harrison Afful, Rabiu Mohammed, Kwadwo Asamoah, Christian Atsu, Asamoah Gyan, Andre Ayew and Abdul Majeed Waris. I have to agree with Christopher Opoku, a renowned sports Journalist in Ghana, on his thoughts on the Blackstar team:
1. Unless Michael Essien is deployed as a central defender, he will not be of much help to us in midfield. His experience should bring authority to the back four, which should make up for Jerry Akaminko’s unfortunate injury. If Essien declines the defence position, we will have a real challenge.
2. The Netherlands match clearly illustrated that Kwadwo Asamoah performs at his best when playing a midfield position instead of a flank. In my opinion, they should start with either Rabiu Mohammed or Afriyie Acquah in central midfield.
3. I fail to understand why David Accam was called up in the first place. He was not given even a minute on the pitch and was subsequently dropped. Kwesi Appiah could have called up any of the local outfield players and given them the same chance he gave to Accam. Personally, I would have taken Accam to the World Cup to help with attacking down the left wing; unfortunately we never saw him on the pitch for the Black Stars, so we will never know.
4. The game with Netherlands showed me that the technical team perhaps made an error in not calling up Baba Abdul Rahman. We are seriously short of players at the left back slot. Even though Harrison Afful and Daniel Opare can do a good job, it is going to be a lengthy competition and suspensions or injuries could cost the team in the long run. As it is, there are three right backs in this squad and no specialised left backs at all.
5. The Netherlands game showed how important Asamoah Gyan is to the team as a whole. We sincerely hope that he stays fit because any injury to him would be catastrophic for Ghana.
In closing, I would suggest that Ghana apply the Juventus model, which is a fluid 3-5-2 formation, which can evolve into a 5-3-2 formation when the Black Stars do not have possession of the ball. Also, it can change into a 3-5-1-1 or 3-6-1 formation when closing out games. With a great amount of stamina, fitness and players at Appiah’s disposal, I believe that something can be done.
I am not a coach by any stretch of the imagination, but in my view, especially after watching our Europe based players, this formation should not only bring out the best in our players, but would also make Ghana hard to beat when coming up against the USA, Germany and Portugal.
In a nutshell, these are my own thoughts. As a Ghanaian though, despite my reservations, I sincerely hope the boys do us proud, but as an objective Ghanaian, wrong decisions could count against the Black Stars.