Ghana vs. Montenegro: Four Things we Learned
In this Feature, Africa Football Shop’s Edmund Okai Gyimah makes some observations and expresses his concerns following the international friendly between Ghana and Montenegro.
Ghana gave an unconvincing performance in the recent international friendly with Montenegro, a game they lost 1-0.
The game was the first preparatory match for Black Stars’ coach Kwesi Appiah after the completion of the qualification series and it is clear that a lot has to be done if the country is to get to the knock-out stage of the World Cup in Brazil.
A Lack of Cover at left-back
Harrison Afful and Daniel Opare have been excellent in the left back role despite being right-footed players, however, it is abundantly clear that Ghana needs a natural left-back as cover for either of the two.
Coach Kwesi Appiah used David Addy, who is not in form, and the results was very clear, he rarely looked comfortable and gave a penalty in the first minute of the game.
Before the match, I posted that David Addy is a time bomb waiting to blast as he has lost form. I would have opted for youngster Baba Rahman, who is having a great season with German side Greuther Furth. People complained, but I was vindicated. We certainly need Baba Rahman as a left back cover up.
Influence of Muntari and Essien
Sulley Muntari was phenomenon when he came on; he stabilized the team and pushed the side forward. He showed experience and real maturity.
Before that, Michael Essien had also done a good job in the heart of midfield. The former Chelsea man was playing all the game in the first half.
A combination of Essien and Muntari in the heart of midfield should be what Kwesi Appiah should opt for.
Adam Kwarasey’s confidence
For the first time in so many games, I saw a very confident Adam Kwarasey in between the sticks. There was no pressure on him as he was his real self and dished out some great saves.
His ability to play as the last man in defence was so vital, as twice he came out to clear a ball when all his defenders had gone. Kwarasey should, without doubt, be between the posts in Brazil.
Players need to watch their Temperament
On any other day, Essien, Jordan Ayew and AFS Columnist Jerry Akaminko would have been shown the exit for the kicking and jabbing opponents. As professional players, our guys should, at times, exercise some restraints in such provocative instances.
On a bigger stage like the World Cup, some players always plan to provoke and frustrate, while others just to let themselves be sent off for retaliation.
The Black Stars need to control themselves this summer in order to ensure that indiscipline doesn’t undermine our trip to Brazil.