Ghana coach Otto Addo has asserted his side will be delightful to watch at the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.
The Black Stars head to their fourth World Cup in hopes of improving their quarterfinal finish in South Africa 2010.
“First of all we want to play our style of play and I think Ghanaian teams in the past always play good football.
“And this is what we want and we had previous tournaments that showed that Ghana has good footballers,” the gaffer told Countdown Qatar.
“This comes surely with victories and that’s our desire. If we can survive the group stage which I said is going to be very tough, then anything is possible.”
These were the words of the Ghanaian gaffer and most Ghanaian football fans will expect the friendlies ahead of the World Cup to match the statement above.
For that to be done, I assert that these areas of the team’s plan must be fixed.
- Our attack: Inaki Williams? 2-man attack? Kudus?
Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams joined the Black Stars in August and featured in the September friendlies against Brazil and Nicaragua.
Now the discussion on Ghana’s attack has been centered on whether to go for a two-man frontline with Mohammed Kudus or play Inaki as a lone striker upfront.
Kudus has enjoyed success in the Eredivisie with Ajax Amsterdam as a false nine, netting 8 goals from 16 matches in all competitions.
Ajax Champions League stats this season:
4 games 0 goals
🇬🇭 Mohammed Kudus
4 games 3 goals
Who should start in front against Liverpool tonight? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/uq6CMcXoJP
— Stats24 (@_Stats24) October 26, 2022
Another option is if Otto Addo pairs Crystal Palace attacker Jordan Ayew with Inaki.
And in all this, Ghana captain Andre Ayew must also be thought in attack or in attacking midfield positions.
Whatever the lineup, the Black Stars must have Kudus plus another player in attack.
Otto’s decision to make.
- Get Partey fit and find a replacement.
The Arsenal midfielder has battled fitness for both club and country in the last three years.
Thomas Partey has displayed exceptional quality and look no further if you want evidence. Arsenal lead the English Premier League and their midfield game is top-notch.
Thomas Partey needs to stay fit throughout this season for Arsenal. That Ghanaian is one of the brains behind this team with his defensive ability and passing angles.
Meanwhile, what exactly is Lokonga learning from Partey?
— Fatteh Hamid, MON (@OgbeniAyoola) October 20, 2022
But what if Partey battles fitness during(not before I hope) the tournament?
Jeffrey Schlupp for Crystal Palace this season has been used as a central midfielder alongside Mali’s Cheick Doucoure.
In his 12 games for the Eagles, Schlupp has played the left-back role only in the 2-1 win over Leeds United.
And to complement a more defensive approach against free-flowing attacking sides like Portugal and South Korea, the Palace number 15 is an asset.
But there are man-management issues that need to be fixed and the technical team are already in touch with Schlupp.
Staying on the Partey bit, there is another jewel in France. RC Lens midfielder Abdul Samed Salis.
Well before you make an argument on the level of Lens this season, they are second in Ligue 1 now behind Paris Saint Germain.
And Salis has played a huge part in their start to the 2022/23 campaign.
The 22-year-old has started all 12 games for Lens in Ligue 1, playing alongside Ivorian midfielder Seko Fofana.
The two just interchange roles on the central and defensive positions just as Partey does at Arsenal with Granit Xhaka of Switzerland.
Ghana has a friendly date with the Swiss before the World Cup though.
So still on the Partey effect, Otto has two good options in Schlupp, Salis and Real Mallorca’s Baba Iddrisu who has been Partey’s shield in recent times.
SC Freiburg man Daniel Kofi Kyere is also available.
Options, Otto. Options!
- Central defence: Back 3? 4-man defence?
Alexander Djiku as the sweeper, Daniel Amartey on the right, Mohammed Salisu on the left.
That was the most known defence partnership on the lips of Ghanaians after the Brazil defeat in September.
Will Otto stick to that? What about the lateral spots? Tariq Lamptey has not seen much minutes for Brighton and Hove Albion this season.
On the other hand, Dennis Odoi has been tremendous for Belgian side Club Brugge and played a key role in their Uefa Champions League round of 16 qualification.
Tariq has speed, Odoi gives you solidity in defence. Otto’s headache again.
And on the left side, one of Baba Rahman and Gideon Mensah must start.
Mensah has been second choice to Quentin Bernard at AJ Auxerre and has made only four appearances in Ligue 1.
For Baba, it’s five games for Reading in the Championship so far.
The Black Stars must improve
Portugal are 2016 European Champions and 2020 Euro Nations Cup winners.
Uruguay are usual quarterfinalist of the World Cup in recent years and their squad has experienced players from the Copa America triumph in 2011.
Ghana in the last ten years? We have won nothing. Zilch! What else? We are really yet to blend as a unit.
Otto Addo has a headache and we are over 30 million coaches in Ghana, eager to see the Black Stars win.
When they fail, we roar. When they win, we congratulate.
We like the latter but we must not forget the bus stops at the Otto station and we are all awaiting passengers to an already-filled vehicle of players and technical brains.