2014 World Cup: Michael Essien returns to banish ghosts of 2010

Published on: 04 June 2014
2014 World Cup: Michael Essien returns to banish ghosts of 2010
Michael Essien

By Simon Johnson

They were denied a fairy tale moment in 2010, but Ghana are hoping to bounce back with a bang.

EXPECTATIONS

Last time Luis Suarez’s arm stopped Ghana becoming the first African country to reach the semi-finals.

In Brazil, they have much more than any gamesmanship/cheating from an opponent to worry about after being drawn in a tough group.

With matches against Germany and Portugal to come, it is vital they win their opener against the USA. At least,  a number of high-profile players, such as Michael Essien, Kevin-Prince Boateng and the Ayew brothers, Andre and Jordan, are available having come back into the fold.

COACH

James Kwesi Appiah is guaranteed to be remembered in Ghana whatever happens because he is the first black African coach to lead the country to a World Cup.

He was appointed in 2012, having worked as an assistant for five years. He also took the Under-23 side to glory in the 2011 All-Africa Games.

STARS

Asamoah Gyan earned plenty of scorn after swapping Sunderland for a bigger pay cheque at UAE club Al?Ain in 2011 but his goal threat has not diminished. He scored six times in as many qualifiers and has already moved past the 100 mark for his club in three seasons.

Boateng and Essien’s experience will be useful while Christian Atsu, on loan from Chelsea at Vitesse Arnhem, will provide skill on the flank.

 TACTICS

Appiah has made Ghana more entertaining even though he uses the same 4-2-3-1 formation as his predecessor, Goran Stevanovic. They scored five more goals (25 to 20) in qualifying for this World Cup compared with the last one but there are concerns defensively.

Comments

  • d-rock
    says: 5 years ago
    I read this on Barclayspremier website, its okay to find it here...... that's what media has turned out to be now... Ghana for w/c semis campaign still going
  • African Consciousness
    says: 5 years ago
    Muntari, Muntari & Muntari! Why is the media overlooking Ghana's most potent veteran? Muntari has 80 caps for the Black Stars and scored 20 goals. Captain Asamoah Gyan has 78 caps and scored 39 goals. These two are the most senior players in the Black Stars next comes Michael Essien. Muntari must be restored to his rightful place in the Black Stars for the team to reach its fullest potential. He has won championships with the biggest Clubs in the World and is still scoring crucial goals for AC Milan. For Ghana to get a roaring start in the tournament Muntari, Essien, Kevin Prince Boateng, Asamoah Gyan, Kwadwo Asamoah, Andre Ayew must make up the starting line up. There are some exciting new talent being paraded by the media but these guys have been tested at the highest levels and have proved their mettle. Surround them with the new exciting talent and let's get this job done.
  • benito
    says: 5 years ago
    African consciousness,you got it all wrong,I think the media is ignoring muntari in any way.we all know muntari,s contributions to national cause can never be overlooked by anyone,he has scored very important goals for us,and always proves what he can do when you doubt,I for one love this guy regardless of what people think about him.African con.your comments rather will breed division in the team,it's about teamwork and individual glorification
  • benito
    says: 5 years ago
    I mean teamwork and not individual praise or glorification.