2014 World Cup: Kwesi Appiah facing tough decisions ahead of naming final squad
By Patrick Akoto
Over the next couple of weeks each display by Ghana’s 2014 World Cup hopefuls will be heavily scrutinized by the country’s powerful media.
Marks out of 10 will be given along with updated World Cup chances (on the plane, in contention etc).
Television will heighten the highlight of individual performances with studio pundits analyzing and dissecting the pluses and minuses. Radio phone-ins will be a platform for the fans’ views.
There will be World Cup overkill as everybody has an opinion about the 23 players Kwesi Appiah should select for Brazil.
The upcoming international friendly matches against Honduras and the Netherlands will afford the chance to the Ghanaian trainer to select his final men for the biggest football fiesta on earth.
He has up to May 13 to reveal his provisional 30-man squad and will use the few days to assess his troops before announcing his final squad later that month.
It will be anything but nice for Appiah when he tells the unlucky seven players they are returning to Ghana and not flying to Brazil as he submits his final 23-man squad to FIFA.
The next couple of days will prove crucial for the indigenous man as he has the biggest task of naming players who should be largely embraced by local fans.
There are bound to be surprises and criticism over the decision to include certain players in the squad and that perhaps makes the work of a coach extremely difficult.
There have been massive campaigns in the local media to have preferred players included in the set-up as the race for a place in Kwesi Appiah’s squad intensify.
The ex-Kotoko great has insisted he has close to 20 ‘untouchables’ in his squad, meaning only three new faces could be drafted into the team if the injury situation improves.
Both foreign-based and local stars are all determined to catch the eye of Appiah well aware appearing at the global stage will prove the catalyst for a massive breakthrough.
Injuries and a sudden loss of form apart, Appiah probably has 18 of the 23 players inked in as the boys for Brazil.
Goalkeepers: Adam Kwarasey, Fatau Dauda
Defenders: Samuel Inkoom, Daniel Opare, Harrison Afful, John Boye, Jerry Akaminko
Midfielders: Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, Kwadwo Asamoah, Kevin-Prince Boateng,Mubarak Wakaso, Christian Atsu, Andre Ayew, Rabiu Mohammed
Forwards: Asamoah Gyan, Abdul Majeed Waris
But a number of players considered as key could miss out of the party with growing competition for places becoming fierce.
The place of Sochaxu striker Jordan Ayew is not cast in stone with growing talents like David Accam and Richmond-Boakye Yiadom hoping to gazump him for a place in the final squad.
South Africa-based Rashid Sumaila, Awal Mohammed, Daniel Agyei are all in with a chance with a chance.
Cordoba goalkeeper Razak Brimah as well as veteran Richard Kingson cannot be glossed over with CHAN hero Stephen Adams waiting patiently for his chance.
In-form Parma Afriyie Acquah could gatecrash the squad while former Ghana Under-20 striker Ebenezer Assifuah is being considered, according to media reports.
However, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that Isaac Vorsah will likely miss the tournament with his return date unclear.
Greuther Furth defender Baba Abdul Rahman is another promising player who could make the final cut but uncertainty hangs over Portugal-based David Addy.
Winger Albert Adomah is highly regarded as Kwesi Appiah’s favourite ‘home boy’ due to perceived family ties and could be on board the plane to the South American country.
Powerful defender John Mensah, pocket-size midfielder Anthony Annan as well as Derek Boateng have slim chances of making the squad.
But with places for 18 players firmly grabbed, which five other players do you think should add up to the number for Brazil?
Please make your views known in the box below.