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2014 World Cup: Ghana coach to try Michael Essien in defence against South Korea

Published on: 07 June 2014
Michael Essien

By Rahman Osman

Follow Rahman on Twitter: @iamrahmanosman

Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah will explore the option of playing Michael Essien in central defence in their final warm-up friendly South Korea on Monday.

Appiah named only three central backs in his six defenders penned in the final 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals.

Concerns have been raised on the lack of experience in the defensive unit and the lack of adequate back up in case of suspensions and injuries.

Essien has been mooted as a possible makeshift central defender if the need be.

“Essien has been training as a defender with the team for the past couple of days,” an insider told GHANASoccernet.com

“The coach has thought of giving him a run out as a central defender to see how he will respond in big game.

“The team will head back to training at 10:30 am U.S time to continue preparation where I am sure the coach will make up his mind on him but as at yesterdays training he was used as a defender.”

Ghana lost 1-0 to the Netherlands in their first test match and will aim for an improved performance against the Asians.

Comments

  • malenzy says:
    June 08, 2014 09:29 pm
    SMH.. Essen at da back would be a serious mistake...da Essen we hv known isn't da Essen now oo...dis Essen is weak n cannot even tackle.. Essen starting as a defender at da WC would only highlight da incompetence of KA.dis dat mean he has no confidence in da defenders he chose...asem s3b3
  • BBB says:
    June 08, 2014 07:47 pm
    It's loudable when a foreign coach uses Essien in defence but a taboo for AA to do same. All those ppl insulting AA are very stupid.Idiots. It's always good to 've utility players in ur team so where from all these stupid and childish comments from super, askantwi, assemblyman etc U guys shd cherish wat u 've. Can any of idiots mention at least a defender AA shd 've added to the squad.. EMPTY BARRELS THEY SAY MAKE THE MOST NOISE
  • Achemore says:
    June 08, 2014 05:48 am
    I agree with the coach.let's work with him. It is possible.By his grace.
  • Suker says:
    June 08, 2014 05:00 am
    Akwasi Appiah is a total failure. He is only experimenting while others are firm in their minds which players will start their first matches. Its not too late to call his boss to come and help him. Milovan, where are you?
  • Assemblyman says:
    June 08, 2014 04:04 am
    Askantwi say that one again.I wonder why they have not passed the mental health bill in Ghana yet..seems like someone who should chained to a tree by his waist..
  • Suker says:
    June 08, 2014 04:57 am
    Akwasi is the weakest coach in the world cup. He will make the Blackstars miserable
  • gogee says:
    June 08, 2014 04:03 am
    I meant Essen was fantastic in midfield against Egypt and was also fine against the dutch. Play Essen at the midfield and allow boye J mensah n rashid to Mann our central defense
  • gogee says:
    June 08, 2014 03:59 am
    This is the most sickening try an error I've ever heard or seen. Going to major tournament such as a world cup and a supposed serious minded coach is still trying an error or experimenting with players at different positions. Instead of polishing and working on tactics and smoothening the rough edges of the team. Black stars is a disaster in waiting though it hurts me to say. Did anyone select the team for AA? You carry players you have confidence in to the world cup. What is J boye, j mensah n rashid doing in the team. If they are not good enough, why waste taxpayer's money and carry them to the world cup? Did we watch Essien againSt Egypt in kumasi? Somebody should stop AA from carrying out this nonsense. Give confidence to the three central defenders and let them play. We can only deploy Essien when theres a red card or an injury situation.
  • wood@gh says:
    June 08, 2014 02:59 am
    oh ghanaians allow the coach to do his work.. this was the way yu critisize dramani and olele at 2006 and they both did well to shut yur layman coachin course.
  • Boro says:
    June 08, 2014 01:08 am
    @Prince: Assuming Schlupp excels in his current position as LB till getting to the prime end of his career then Ghana needed a striker in a major tournament then the Coach says oh let try Schlupp there as an option because he started as a striker MR EXCELLENT IN SOCCER? Cameroon won that match by only one goal. The scorer wasNkong. Sometimes is only one chance a team needs to win a match. The same Eto' created the chance. He moved Essien followed and created the space for Nkong to score because he kept his eye on the man instead of the ball. Eto' new he was not a natural central defender and new he will definitely get him and he indeed got him. He allowed him to do all he wanted and with just a split seconds an intelligent experienced attacker makes you pay. Yes i know nothing about football but i talk football so tell me what you know! Prince.
  • Ken says:
    June 08, 2014 01:14 am
    So many coaches on GSN. Essien started his career as a defender.
  • Kwadwo Boakye says:
    June 08, 2014 12:34 am
    *shut up
  • The truth says:
    June 08, 2014 12:41 am
    Very good move by the coach, Essen is probably better than 90% of our players as a defender. Training him at this crucial time and getting him ready to help our inexperienced back is the smartest move by the coach. Defense Afful, boye, Essien, opare is perfect in my eyes. If A.A manages to fix this defense, we will go very far
  • African Consciousness says:
    June 08, 2014 12:43 am
    Coach play Essien on central defense only if you absolutely trust him. Is he 100% fit? Is he willing to sacrifice his future and career for the team. Is he willing to put all on the line like Akaminko did? The Central defensive position is the heart and soul of the team, the underbelly, the Achilles heel and you must give that assignment to your most loyal and trusted players. If Essien fits this bill then by all means give it him.
  • Askantwi says:
    June 08, 2014 12:25 am
    Idiot.
  • Stephen Kumaga says:
    June 08, 2014 12:28 am
    That is the most smart move by the coach at his desperate time to fix his self made problem. Essien may not be able to cover all the distance needed at the middle. He will be more effective at the back which needs less movement.
  • Askantwi says:
    June 08, 2014 12:30 am
    You said it all. Thank you.
  • Kwadwo Boakye says:
    June 08, 2014 12:33 am
    Ghana mu kasa too much u all shout up
  • African Consciousness says:
    June 08, 2014 12:34 am
    USA 2 Nigeria 1. This game was set up to beat Nigeria and intimidate Ghana. What better way to intimidate Ghana than to say we beat the African champions and we can beat you too? Having said that the USA is no push over team. What they lack in skills they make up for in team work and physical fitness. The Black Stars will have to dominate in all areas to beat the USA in Brazil. Coach should come out with his line up against South Korea early to ease anxiety in his camp. The South Korea game is still just a warm up friendly and the result should not count at all. The Coach should use this game to fine tune his experiments before Brazil. Announce the starting line up and also the subs ahead of time. The subs need to be on the side lines warming up just as Messi, and some of the Argentina players were doing before they went on. The subs should not be sitting on the bench and debating if they should go on or not when called upon by the Coach. The Coach must treat the game against the USA as if it was the World Cup final game. Bring out the best line up that the 23 man squad can offer because winning this game will be pivotal to Ghana's opportunity of advancing to the knock out stage. I hope there is harmony and good chemistry between the players, coaching and technical staff. Ghana must go to Brazil with good unity and love to do well. The players must continue to believe, trust and support their Coach no matter what happens on Monday against South Korea. What matters is what happens in Brazil. I still vote for holding off on Gyan till the USA game. There is nothing friendly about some of the friendlies i have watched. Players are playing for pride and the referees are not protecting the players at all. Coach do not risk the best striker we have. Talk to Gyan ahead of time then bench him till you get to Brazil. In Brazil provide him with some intense one on one training to sharpen his instincts before the USA game.
  • Union Leader says:
    June 08, 2014 12:14 am
    The only way out of this mess is if for example in our next exhibition a player is hurt and is ruled out of the tournament , then FIFA rules stipulates that such a player can be replaced on the roster. Edusei is on stand-by and can be called in. However , I don't see this happening. So for now we are stuck with only 3 center backs. What a scary thought that is.
  • Union Leader says:
    June 08, 2014 12:07 am
    He certainly don't know what he's doing. It's obvious , who goes into a tournament of this huge magnitude with only 3 center backs ? A look at the roster of all the teams going into Brazil shows 4 or more center backs with the exception of Gh. What the fuck do we need all those midfielders for ? This is unbalance team, and we might be in for a disappointing World Cup . Indigenous Coach my foot !
  • OHENENANA says:
    June 08, 2014 12:10 am
    Our starting 11 at WC should be GK A Kwarasey RB D Opare CB J Boye CB J Mensah LB K Asamoah RM A Ayew DM S Muntari/M Rabiu DM M Essien/A Acquah LM H Afful RS K Boateng LS A Gyan Supersubs: M Waris C Atsu A Badu Essien should only play CB incase of injury or suspension Essien and Muntari should not start together we should have 2 partnerships Essien/Rabiu and Acquah/Muntari because we need one DM with expirience and leadership skills and another that is young and capble of runing for 90 minutes i put Afful as LM because he plays in midfields for his club and Asamoah plays LB for his club they are both fast players and can both defend and attack they can switch position any time during games this will be good to confuse the oposition Waris Atsu and Badu should be used as supersubs because they are players that bring speed to the game when they come in later in the game they have the energy to create chances that will lead to a goal if we play like this im sure we can beat The USA Germany and Portugal and go al the way to the Semi-Final or even Final we can do it they have been underestimanting Ghana we should make them regret it
  • Soccer Pundit says:
    June 08, 2014 12:13 am
    Very good decision. Essien's talent and ability to read the game well should bring some level-headedness and skills to our impulsive and tough-tackling defense. From that position, he would also be available to buttress the midfield should the need arise. Possible line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation: .......................Kwarasey.......... Opare.......Essien, Boye...............Afful ................Acquah, Muntari................ Dede...............Prince..........Kodjo .........................Gyan...................... The above formation can easily be switched to a 4-5-1 formation when we don't have the ball. Go Black Stars!
  • Benny says:
    June 07, 2014 11:56 pm
    I don't get this.how about Jonathan Mensah and John boye.l would rather experiment Rabiu in central defence than Essien.l hope this is not true.
  • A concerned citizen says:
    June 08, 2014 03:48 am
    Fellow Ghanaians Coach AA has committed so many mistakes of not inviting enough defenders for Brazil World cup. He is mow hot and this is time we must rally behind him to succeed. Believe you me Ghana will pull a surprise in this World cup. In fact U.S.A has improved tremendously, they have the speed to counter attack to cause havoc but we will slow them down and coach AA will map up a plan B to neutralize them. All that fans need to do is to pray for the team and not criticisms.
  • alexander says:
    June 08, 2014 12:34 pm
    using essien at the heart of midfield is irrational. coach AA be ready to bear responsibilities.
  • Maxwell Obuobi says:
    June 09, 2014 12:21 pm
    On any good day , Essien would be better defender than ...............
  • papa says:
    June 07, 2014 10:03 pm
    And you have competent defenders you could have called at the last minute.what a coach we got.
  • Assemblyman says:
    June 07, 2014 11:23 pm
    This is signs of end time oo..hahahaha ..
  • Soccer Pundit says:
    June 07, 2014 11:02 pm
    Very good decision. Essien's talent and ability to read the game well should bring some level-headedness and skills to our impulsive and tough-tackling defense. From that position, he would also be available to buttress the midfield should the need arise. Possible line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation: .......................Kwarasey.......... Opare.......Essien, Boye...............Afful ................Acquah, Muntari................ Dede...............Prince..........Kodjo .........................Gyan...................... The above formation can easily be switched to a 4-5-1 formation when we don't have the ball. Go, go Black Stars!
  • Boro says:
    June 07, 2014 11:15 pm
    This move appears to be a desperate one. You always aggrevate your injury when you become angry with the housefly. Failing to name the 30 man squad is now begining to bite you. For christ sake the central defence made up of Silley, Adusei and Ainooson was the best in the CHAN tournaments. If you had included them plus say Mahatma Otoo to play the Holland friendly you would have had a replacement for Jerry easily. You wanted to swerve people with the provisional list to mean you are in control and hastily gave only 26. You see you are now panicking because of your stubbornness. Essien at his top form with full of energy and power could not command the central defense. Do you remember our semi finals game against cameroon? and you think now that he has lost all this qualities he can be effective at that position? How can you leave three of some of the best natural central defenders at home and experiment with Essien? You now look like an idiot. Hahahahaha? You chose to listen to those dinosseaur people in football who said our local defenders are penalty prone and you ask yourself how many penalties were conceded by the trio. Shilla Illiasu was one of our best central defenders at the 2006 wc but he too was a local player. So what do those people mean. Osei Kuffour was not a local player but gave away the cheapest goal of the tournament. Anyway, as soon as we fail to qualify from the group stage and we realised it is as a results of lack of central defenders do not bother to come to Ghana but look for a team in Brazil ok?
  • real sabacious says:
    June 07, 2014 10:32 pm
    Desperation galore! That's what happened if you entrust the passion of over 24mil Ghanaians to a person who got no balls to take a bold and honest decision. It's hurt to say but I don't think we can manage 3 points from our group, looking at the way things are done. Among all the participation teams ,we're the team with the least matches played and while all the participation teams are using their probable line up for the tourny.Our coach is still experimenting. The signs are clear on the wall but Ghanaians always shy from the truth. It's still too late, this confused coach will see the wisdom in playing wakaso as left back, leave Essien to play his favourite position and pair Jonathan and Boye.we can put a strong change in our group.
  • Soccer Pundit says:
    June 07, 2014 10:48 pm
    Good decision. Essein's ability to read the game well should bring some level-headedness and skills to our impulsive and tough-tackling central defense. He could also be able to buttress the midfield from that position should the need arise. Possible lineup in a 4-2-3-1 formation: kwaresey, Opare, Afful, Essein, Boye, Acquah, Muntari, Kodjo, Prince, Dede, Gyan. The above formation can quickly be switched to a 4-5-1 formation when we don't have the ball. Go go Black Stars.
  • BRENTO says:
    June 07, 2014 10:51 pm
    HE CAN DO IT IN DEFENSE TO PROVIDE HIS EXPERIENCE TO JOHN BOYE. ESSIEN played right back in REAL MADRID K. I personally think it will be good idea cos de MIDFIELD battle will involve a lot of running and tackling and ESSIEN will find it harder to win balls in de midfield. GHANA STARTING LINE UP 1) ADAM KWARSEY 2) DANIEL OPARE ABOGE 3) KWADWO WAHALA ASAMOAH 4) MICHAEL ASSEMBLYMAN ESSIEN 5) JOHN BOYE BLOWMAN 6) SULLEY BABA MUNTARI 7) NANA ODENEHO AYEW 8) PRINCE TOO-KNONW BOY BOATENG 10) ASAMOAH BABY JET GYAN 11) CHRISTIAN ATSU NIKANIKA DIS MA STARTING LINE UP FOR GHANA AT DE WORLD CUP> WE GOING FAR
  • aconcagua says:
    June 07, 2014 10:06 pm
    lol he may succeed against korea but not the elites, Ghana could miss his great foresight and strength in the middle. He has not lost his class though he may be groping for his form...when he is in the middle the team could benefit from his defense splitting passes..Got to punch above ya weights to make the next stage
  • open minded says:
    June 07, 2014 11:55 pm
    Wow! It's either people cannot read or do not understand english. He has been tried as central defender does not mean he will be starter as central defender. We still have 3 others. The purpose of preparation is to find different possibilities and choose the one that is the best for a given situation. Please support your team and let the coach choose because he knows better than us!
  • Clarence Lee Chea says:
    June 07, 2014 11:37 pm
    I believe in coach Kwesi Appiah as a coach and once a very good defender.He is the right man at the moment and his technical adjustments must be respected. I also believe that both Essien and Asamoah are very familiar with the role coach Appiah is anticipating of using them. Should Ghana draw a starting team like this with a 4-4-2 formation?Adam Krawsey,Samuel Inkoom,Kwadwo Asamoah,Michael Essien,Jonathan Mensah,(The first 4),Agyeman Badu,Andre Ayew,Afriyie Acquah,Sulley Muntari(The second 4)and Asamoah Gyan and Abdul Majeed Waris(The last 2).
  • Clarence Lee Chea says:
    June 07, 2014 11:41 pm
    I believe in coach Kwesi Appiah as a coach and once a very good defender.He is the right man at the moment and his technical adjustments must be respected. I also believe that both Essien and Asamoah are very familiar with the role coach Appiah is anticipating of using them. Should Ghana draw a starting team like this with a 4-4-2 formation?Adam Krawsey,Samuel Inkoom,Kwadwo Asamoah,Michael Essien,Jonathan Mensah,(The first 4),Agyeman Badu,Andre Ayew,Afriyie Acquah,Sulley Muntari(The second 4)and Asamoah Gyan and Abdul Majeed Waris(The last 2).
  • a letter to kwesi appiah says:
    June 12, 2014 05:15 pm
    don't make any mistake play Essen in the middle period ... he is better than all the others .. those who saying he is playing well should tell us if the others are playing anything better than what he is doing .eg is badu ,rabiu and the other shown Amy extra skill ?
  • a letter to kwesi appiah says:
    June 12, 2014 05:17 pm
    don't make any mistake play Essen in the middle period ... he is better than all the others in the middle.. those who saying he is not playing well should tell us if the others are playing anything better than what he is doing .eg is badu ,rabiu and the other shown Amy extra skill ?
  • open mind says:
    June 08, 2014 01:55 am
    People can not understand what they read. It is unfortunate. Trying Essien as defender does not mean he plays as defender. But one of the purpose of preparation for a big event like this is to try different scenarios. Trying to find a fourth center back is one of those scenarios. We already have 3 defenders. In case, not one but 2 more are injured, we need to use another player. That is football! It is the way it is in any team! GSN coaches please let the one who has been chosen make the decisions, and just do what you can do the best: supporting your team!
  • Vinny says:
    June 08, 2014 10:51 pm
    If the guy can be effective in his normal position, it will take a lot of pressure from the centre backs, so I don't see the point in using him as a central defender, Jonathan and boye can do a good job likewise sumaila, all they need is encouragement and essien can take up that responsibility since he will be close to them at his position. We can make it work with motivation. GOD bless Ghana.
  • Master says:
    June 08, 2014 07:40 pm
    Starting line up (against medicore teams. this can also easily be cahnge in 4-4-2) …………………..Kwarasey………. Opare…….Jonathan, Boye……………Asamoah …………….Essien (defending midfielder), Muntari……………. Ayew……………Prince……….Atsu …………………….Gyan…………………. Starting line up (against elite teams) …………………..Kwarasey………. Essien..... Opare…….Jonathan, Boye……………Asamoah Ayew................Prince.............Afful Gyan………Atsu
  • Assemblyman says:
    June 07, 2014 10:18 pm
    Akwasi Appiah is clearly confused ..Essien in defense,reminds me of Chelsea days,,5 own goals in a season,.,a central defender should be stronger oo..unless they will use him as a transitional left back,.honestly he has lost his enormous strength which made him the bison years ago..he is not the Essien of the yesterday..clearly using him as a defender will cause us a lot in place of jerry Akaminko .he should be benched and allowed to play 5-10 mins in each match at his natural role in the middle ..
  • beautiful says:
    June 07, 2014 11:50 pm
    USA is serious oo. they are beating nigeria 2-1 as i write
  • Prince says:
    June 08, 2014 12:18 am
    Ghanafour kassa. @ boro. You bringing the Cameroon match makes me know you nothing about socer. I played with Rabiu in high school at konongo odumasi. He is the last person you will recommend for central defense. Is good that the coach is training essien as a central defender. Don't forget that essien is a natural central defender. Bet you u still remember his performance at junior levels when always played as a defender. World Cup is a great stage and we need players like him to organize our defense . Whether Ghanaians like it all not essien is celebrated by the world and it's hard time we pray for him for god to give him all the strength. Cos essien is a utility player and every team going to the world cup would like to have him in the squad even if he is injured. Boro get on you tube and watch the ghana Cameroon match again. Essien was ghana player of the match in that game. He took ecto out the whole game.
  • kakape says:
    June 08, 2014 06:19 am
    I'm,praying for rabiu to get injured in our friendly game so that coach AA can correct his mess by replacing him with adusei. This is what u get when u entrust a whole national teams into the hands of a man who knows nothing about his job. #nonsense#
  • Master says:
    June 08, 2014 07:14 pm
    Couldnt agree more. Jonathan and boye should be the rock our defense. But in case something happens maybe essien would be a good central defense sub. Jonathan always gets yellow cards. The kid is strong but a real liability. It's a real shame vorsah is injured. For the elite teams maybe we can consider to play 5-3-2 as holland will be doing, since their defense is also shit :P Our midfield is as strong as it gets and the pace of the offense is present. I hope the coach has some tactics under his belt ...