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Report on Ghana's failed bid at 2013 Nations Cup

Published on: 19 February 2013

By Ameenu Shardow

The team was by far not bad but for some reason the players aided by some ‘tactical mistakes’ failed to turn up.

The Black Stars never improved nor impressed in the six matches played at the 2013 Nations Cup.

Unlike in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea where the team came into their own in the semi-finals but lost to Zambia, this team actually got worse against a very manageable opponent in Burkina Faso.

Off the field

The team spirit and general aura in camp was very good. From afar, it was clear the players wanted to prove a point especially the 10 or so tournament debutants.

The coach was given absolutely no problems, none of the player meetings were dominated by heated exchanges, verbal attacks and reactions as in the case in the last AFCON.

There was respect for each other and player-to-player motivation and confidence reposed in each other was very high.

I dare say, it was the reason Ghana made it that far in the competition.

Report on Ghana's failed bid at 2013 Nations Cup

On the field

In a nut-shell, the Black Stars lacked quality and coach Akwasi Appiah appeared not totally honest about having absolute confidence in each and every player he took along to the tournament.

“You could see the coach really wanted to make a change but he looks at the bench and just couldn’t find anyone (worthy enough) to come on,” one player on the bench told me after the Cape Verde win.

Peharps it was one of the major mistakes Appiah himself admitted to at the post-tournament press conference last week – despite not giving specifics.

But the other truth of the matter was also that some of the players let the coach down BIG TIME!

Apart from his first game against Mali, Isaac Vorsah for instance got worse as the competition progressed.

His poor judgement and positioning meant his defensive partner John Boye had to carry excess baggage – thereby creating mistakes of his own in the process.

Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu was also one player who failed to live up to his own high standards. His energy levels had significantly dropped, he lacked the initiative and drive going forward and tracking back was just terrible.

Ghana Black Stars in goal celebration

It left our midfield badly exposed but for the selfless Rabiu Mohammed who was constantly tempted to foul opponents to save the situation.

Christian Atsu was a massive flop but he could be excused – afterall, he is a young chap playing at his first Nations Cup finals. The lesson however drawn here is that, we don’t raise our players high to the extent of setting them up for the big fall (myself inclusive).

Kwadwo Asamoah had a very prouctive tournament, he scored two goals but you always feel there is more he can do.

Albert Adomah’s direct approach appeared way too premature for the team that was determined to keep the ball on the ground, pass it around with skill and create lots of opportunities. The quality of his deliveries were also very suspect, should do better.

Unfortunately for Derek Boateng, his experience and touted leadership qualities were far inferior to the fact he has not been playing regularyly. Dwelled on the ball too much and ended up proving to everyone why he should not be considered in future assignments unless of course he improves his form.

The case of Asamoah Gyan is quite straightforward. He as the lead striker is always expected to score. He blew some very glaring chances not worthy enough to be our no.1 striker but on the flip side was very useful to the team. Created four assists and drew a lot of attention from opponents. He however failed to inspire confidence in the team as the captain per his performance in terms of chances per goal ratio at the tournament.

I hold the view that as a captain, it should show from your performance on the field of play aside all other things. Either his role as the lead striker per his current international form is redefined or he ups his game significantly to merit that tag.

John Paintsil did quite well, his contribution became apparent by his absence caused by the injury in the Burkina loss. But for a modern lateral defender, more is required. Was unable to contribute going forward. He however was one chap who showed a lot of leadership in the team. All the players looked up to him for inspiration.

Mubarak Wakaso, Harrison Afful, Solomon Asante and Fatawu Dauda obviously proved their worth especially the AshGold goalkeeper. Still some work to be done on the outfield players but they have done just enough to merit subsequent calls.

The little I saw of Jerry Akaminko and Emmanuel Clottey tells me they are just not up there yet.

As for Anthony Annan and Richmond Boakye-Yiadom, I really will want to take a closer look at them again when they recover from their injuries to make up my mind.

I am indefferent about Jonathan Mensah, Awal Mohammed and Richard Kissi-Boateng as not much was seen of them.


“Some of the players hid injuries only to make the squad for the tournament,” a top Ghana FA source told me during the tournament.

Identities of these players are not yet known though I have my suspicions but it leaves a lot to be concerned about if indeed true.

In defence of team doctor Baba Adamu, honesty on the side of patients about their injury record forms a crucial part of the recovery.

As we are being told now, some of the players lied about their physical status just so they make the final squad.


I get the feeling playing for the Black Stars nowadays is heavily dominated by the financial returns one stands to gain.

Though the team’s management are putting in financial reward regimes geared towards improved performance, I just get the feeling its still not enough.

Peharps we should put chunk of the qualification bonus towards qualifying for the grande finale rather than spread them across the early stages.

Because though the nation is still in grief over our disappointing finish, the players are smiling all the way to the bank. It’s about time they start feeling the pain also by hitting where it hurts the most, their pockets.


The big boys are badly needed during tournaments, aside giving you at least flashes of quality on the field of play, they neutralize the effect of the young and very troublesome players in camp.

The team’s management should look critically at the monetary issue and find imporved ways of rewarding players only when they achieve.

The team’s medical team should be better equipped to get all records of player injuries and treatemnt history to ensure deciet is limited to the bearest.

The coach is being maintained, which is a good thing, he is better placed to make all the corrections.

Vote of thanks

To the government who made enormous financial conrtibution to Ghana’s campaign in South Africa.

Apart from providing for the team, supporters and journalists were dignified in their stay during the tournament with the accomodation offered and other incentives.

It wasn’t perfect but far better than what was organised for the 2010 World Cup.

This report is a summary of observations made and interactions had during the tournament in South Africa.


This article has 9 comment(s), give your comment
  • maka says:
    February 19, 2013 04:48 pm
    “You could see the coach really wanted to make a change but he looks at the bench and just couldn’t find anyone (worthy enough) to come on,” one player on the bench told me after the Cape Verde win. Bullshit! Who selected the players for this coach? Thats what Sunday Oliseh asked! For a nigerian legend who knows the game to question if that was ghana black stars...its amazing! cos now they play "shitty"..."bullshit stars"! ...and who gave the captainship to gyan...after deceiving yourself and trying to retire john mensah...and even if you are trying to retire him, why not go for his absolute replacement ---jonathan mensah? look....its not even coach appiah who wrote this report----i guess saanie daara or someone else did. this report is just crap! is he blaming the players? can he tell us the exact formation he played? at least, under leroy, milo...and plavi...we knew the formation they played...and they played well under these managers...screw where they got to in the nations cup...cos we didnt struggle against minnows! the AFCON 2008 host and win team soundly beat CIV...but this current team struggled badly against cape verde...n the least said about the burkina faso game....the better! Under Plavi, we dominated zambia...though lost....but this akwasi team has not been able to even dominate any single team....except first timers...niger! ao ghana paa nie? now nobody fears us....yes....and herve renard of zambia has been given more vim after looking at how we played...and he prays akwasi remains in charge cos he only needs to come here to kumasi and get 1 point....just 1 point...why? cos he knows akwasi in tactically bankrupt! gfa and the technical team should all sit down and watch d games we played again...n bow their heads in shame..! but like abdul razak said....we are all watching now how the world cup qualifiers will go...cos now that gfa doesn't treat old players right...and everyone is pissed, we shall see! let the yenkyenni style and management continue! idiots...soon, we the fans will be coming after them at the FA! black stars is "shit" now....and fan patience and support are let these people at the FA continue to deceive themselves that we are still a powerhouse. we can't attract excellent players to play for us...but sticking to this idiocy of an idea that local players will do....lets sit there....we all saw it at the AFCON! LOOK...if a local player is good...they prove it if those who are here are still here....then it should tell you something. Even if the local player is so extrao...they dont remain long...and they that stupid idea of kwasi appiah that local players will do..he should simply shelve it! Why didnt he play kissi boateng thruout until d useless game....we saw clottey too....and do we dare compare the locals to the foreign players? please...GFA...for 32 years and counting...the same old problem of nepotism, cronyism....corruption...yenkyenni...etc has been going on...u go for tournaments and the same old stuff happen...and surprisingly....or shud i say foolishly, u keep repeating and still expect progress? thats madness! unless u let the status quo remain so that u keep milking money out of it...but soon, your luck will all run out....when u go seeking for sponsors and nobody will even mind u! saanie has disappointed me most...cos this guy was a journalist...and i thought he had ghana soccer at heart...but i realized that after he was given a position at the FA, he has become an idiot as well...keeping mute over glaring issues and covering corruption. saanie daara...u wont be there forever o.....soon, u might be back to square one. better help put ghana soccer on the map....cos u might not get this opportunity ever again. nyantakyi...better perform...or just resign. as for akwasi appiah...soon...after the qaulifirs...u have been retained but like razak said "nobody will ask u to leave, cos u will yaamutu urself"! I am beginning to just hate ghana now...or is it africa....or the black man! nonsense!
  • john says:
    February 19, 2013 05:09 pm
    thanks @ maka! so now, if this medical team/staff couldn't even tell when players were injured....then on what basis was andre ayew dropped! wasn't andre ayew right to stay back some few days to make sure he healed well with his trusted physicians? black man,..its either we are stupid, slow or both! me! This is gradually becoming evident the kind of stupidity and division going on at the FA and in the stars camp. Ghanaians are being fooled that all is well with the stars...but i bet you....trouble is brewing...and it is coming fast! Soon, fingers will be pointed and heads must roll! Are readers still surprised that for over 30 years we are still where we are----talking without any trophies to show? bragging without progress? Beats me! Its the same thing thats killing africa! Abor) ne Bayie! Soon, the real culprits behind all this will be exposed and crucified! God bless Ghana and Africa!
  • Sunnypa says:
    February 19, 2013 06:15 pm
    Banku is anoda reason y bed stars fail
  • cool says:
    February 19, 2013 06:28 pm
    We Ghanaian hate the truth. Till we develop the interest in telling the truth to ourselves and be forthcoming with one another, we shall never move forward, no matter what we do
  • BX, NYC says:
    February 19, 2013 07:02 pm
    Thanks @Maka .......Nicely written.... please SACK the coach.. Everyone around the world asked me if that was Ghana Black Stars at the recent tournament.. It's a shame.. coming to think about it,. why aren't people seeing or doing something about what's going on??? It beats me...
  • joohn Brown says:
    February 19, 2013 08:17 pm
    Maka it seems you dont know we paid CIV to allow us to take the bronze in the host and win fiasco in 2008!
  • Black Stars Fan says:
    February 19, 2013 10:31 pm
    "The coach is being maintained, which is a good thing, he is better placed to make all the corrections" How can someone without experience make proper correction? He could repeat his mistakes and plunge Ghana Black Stars into oblivion. Oh Nyantakyi, Ad3n !!!
  • Kay says:
    February 19, 2013 10:34 pm
    Akwasi Appiah lost to Liberia, Burkina Faso and Mali. Isn't that enough proof that this man cannot handle the Mighty Black Stars?
  • maka says:
    February 21, 2013 12:02 am
    @john brown: so why didnt we pay egypt in 2010, mali in 2012, and mali in 2013! that wud have been a better record, isnt it? so the record from 2008 wud have been: 3rd, 1st, 3rd, 3rd...right? why didnt we pay the other teams from 2010 too?