OPINION – 2018 CHAN Qualifier – Too Many Offensive Players At Expense Of Defensive-Minded Midfielders Could Be Recipe For Disaster


The Local Black Stars of Ghana left Accra for Ouagadougou on Wednesday where Kwesi Appiah’s team will take on the Local Stallions of Burkina Faso in first leg of the 2018 CHAN qualifier slated for Saturday 12th August at the Stade de 4 Aout with the second league scheduled for August 19th /20th.

Whilst the selection is strong on paper there are still some legitimate concerns why Kwesi Appiah and his assistant who has spent time with the team the more went to Ouagadougou without a known holding midfielder and picking just two strikers.

There is no single specialist defensive midfielder on the team of 18 players. The only mid that can do that job is Waja but he’s more of central midfielder. Waja is not a natural defensive mid – loves to play the ball than to run. You need that player to screen the back four and I think Elvis should have been in there.

Isaac Twum should have been dropped to create space for a defensive midfielder Elvis Opoku or any other like Leonard Tawiah. For this game , the truth of the matter is that If you have Cobbinah, Farouk and Waja on your team , you don’t need Twum who is currently not on form. You don’t travel for a crucial away game like this without a known holding mid in a game the approach is conceivably going to be more defensive than offensive. This amazes me.

Another big name that could not make the cut is Ashgold attacker Shafiu Mumuni (who is a better player than Felix Addo any day). How even likes of Derrick Sasraku of Aduana Stars and Berekum Chelsea’s Stephen Sarfo have been overlooked is just beyond my understanding.

The two strikers – Sadick Adams the more prolific on 3 goals in 5 games (registered in the second round) and Felix on a paltry 1 goal in as many matches (who’s been available season long at Sharks) give us an unconvincing combined 4 goals this season. How on earth are in-form strikers  like Derick, Sarfo and even Aduana Stars’s Nathaniel Asamoah not considered good materials by Appiah and Konadu but Felix Addo received a selection? 

If you have Abbey, Zakaria and Razak you don’t need Gyamfi again. My reasoning is simple Razak and Gyamfi shouldn’t start ahead of Abbey and Zakaria based on form but Razak is a better sub than Gyamfi and for this reason if there’s anyone to even sacrifice to make room for another striker it should be Gyamfi.

On Paper the midfield is very offensive. The 6 midfielders – Abbey, Razak, Zakaria, Twum, creator supreme Cobbinah and Gyamfi have scored a combined 20 goals and 22 assists this season in the GPL. Too many offensive midfielders at the expense of at least a holding midfielder could be recipe for disaster.

The list in full

1.Felix Annan – Kotoko
2.Addo Joseph – Aduana Stars

1.Amos Frimpong – Kotoko
2.Daniel Darkwah – Aduana Stars
3.Mohammed Awal – Kotoko
4.Musah Nuhu – WAFA
5.Samuel Sarfo Maldini – Liberty Professionals
6.Moro Ibrahim – Bolga All Stars

1.Gideon Waja – WAFA
2.Isaac Twum – Inter Allies
3.Winful Cobbina – Hearts of Oak
4.Farouk Mohammed – Elmina Sharks
5.Patrick Razak – Hearts of Oak
6.Zakaria Mumuni – Aduana Stars
7.Thomas Abbey – Hearts of Oak
8.Emmanuel Gyamfi – Kotoko

1.Sadick Adams – Kotoko
2.Felix Addo – Elmina Sharks

Follow Gariba Raubil on twitter @GRAUBIL

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