World Cup 2010: Ghana injury crisis 'a dire situation', says coach Milovan Rajevac

Published on: 20 May 2010

Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac has described the injury crisis that threatens to hamper his team's prospects at the World Cup finals as a "disaster".

Rajevac came through a similar dilemma with flying colours at the African Nations Cup in January but is less confident of pulling off the same feat again against much more formidable opposition at the World Cup.

Injuries could deprive Ghana of their three acknowledged leaders, including the inspirational Michael Essien who has been battling with knee and ankle complaints over the last nine months.

Also in jeopardy are captain Stephen Appiah, who has played a limited number of games over the last two years because of a serious knee complaint, and John Mensah, the towering defender known as 'the Rock', whose long-standing back problems have led to a seemingly endless run of niggling muscle complaints.

"It's a dire situation because the three have been our captains," said the Serbian-born coach. "I want to put together a powerful mix of young and experienced players."

The trio were among eight regulars out of action at the Nations Cup in Angola.

Ghana unexpectedly overcame that adversity to finish runners-up, with Rajevac successfully drawing from the pool of talented U20 players who had been crowned world champions three months earlier.

The youngsters who filled the problem positions were quick to prove their competitiveness and by the end of the Nations Cup Rajevac was beaming and talking about having a pleasant selection headache for the World Cup.

The injury crisis has not abated, however, and things look much more difficult this time, with Ghana in Group D alongside Germany, Australia and Serbia.

"The group is hard but the World Cup is not a request programme," said Rajevac.

Comments

  • Daavi
    says: 9 years ago
    I believe in the coach.Who ever he selects must not dissappoint him. All the best Milo.
  • Kenneth County
    says: 9 years ago
    I wish him all the best as well. But he and his technical team should make sure only fit players are included in the final 23. This means, those players still recovering from injuries should be thoroughly examined to make sure they are fully recovered and fit. We don't want the CAN 2008 scenario when half fit players managed to deceive the medics; were passed fit and included in the squad to the detriment of Ghana.
  • Papa
    says: 9 years ago
    Look, my dear people of Ghana.The coach should not throw dust into our eyes by making excuses for himself. Ghana abounds in football talent and the absence of 3 of our players should not bring the team down. We are fielding 11 players as are all the other teams so whats our problem. TO THE COACH(if he can read) Milo, you we believe in you and we've supported you till date. I think it's time you also believed in our boys. You are the coach and you have the sole prerogative to select the entire squad. If a player isn't fit, you have abt 22 million other Ghanaians to pick from so better do a good job by delivering results. That's what we are paying you to do.
  • RICH
    says: 9 years ago
    I hope the coach is not lowering the bar but reather, playing mind games with our opponents.While telling our players, go and get them. Because you are better than them
  • basic
    says: 9 years ago
    THIS MILO IS THE MOST LAZIEST & OPPORTUNIST COACH I'V EVER SEEN.HE HAVE BEEN IN THE COUNTRY FOR ALMOST 2YRS BUT NEVER TRIED TO DISCOVER NEW TALENTED PLAYERS, APART FROM THOSE WHO WERE BUILT BY TETEH & LE ROY.SO HE WANT TO TELL GHANA PEOPLE THAT,WITHOUT THESE 3 GUYS GHANA DON'T HAVE TEAM? THIS'S SAD STORY.GHANAIANS MUST BE SMART.
  • A concerned citizen [ U.S.A]
    says: 9 years ago
    Coach Milo, you wish for your own headache and now you have it..Ghanaian fans told you to give other Ghanaian talents abroad the opportunity to come and justify their inclusion and you refused. Basically, you were relying on half fit and inactive players who have experience based on their passed records rather than present. I think you are also trying to throw dust into publics eye because Michael Essien will be ready but may be you want to keep it till last minute. In case of Stephen Appiah if he is not ready please drop him because we have so many good midfielders. If John Mensah is not fit please make a bold decision on him and drop him for others will take up the mantle. Coach, the best form of defense is to attack and not to defend as you use to do. Coach Tetteh used attacking machinery and he won the U-20 world cup but Ghana Black Stars came second in the African cup of Nations because of the defensive tactics. Please, Milo don't go and use defensive tactics in the World Cup but rather adopt our multi-system tactics.
  • KING KOBBY
    says: 9 years ago
    As for Basic or whatever u call urself, We've grown weary of your antagonistic stand as far as Milo os concerned. I'm sure even winning the world cup will not make you like him so may the FA should let Basic or his father take over the Blackstars.
  • access
    says: 9 years ago
    KWASI APPIAH DONT SIT THERE AND WATCH.MILO NEED HELP AND YOU AND TETTEH SHOULD HELP HIM.IS NOT TOO LATE TO DROP ALL THE INJURED PLAYERS AND REPLACE THEM WIT YOUNG TALENTED ACTIVE PLAYERS FROM GHANA.TIME IS ON YOUR SIDE
  • geee man
    says: 9 years ago
    ya'll shut up and let the coach do his job! he was hired to coach, so people let him coach........
  • concerned citizen
    says: 9 years ago
    i think rahim ayew, eric addo and matthew amoah coach even alex ferguson gives yougsters a chance so who are u not to give others the chance to show what they arre made of : if u want a gud left back nana akwasi asare is the best man, and if u want a gud passer give prince boabeng the chance, if u need a top scorer then i hope u call richmond biadom boakye this guy is strong and can score goals look at this boy who is also 17 years playing for BELGIUM: ROMELU LUKAKU TO ME THATS RICHMOND BOAKYE HE CAN SCORE GOALS AND THATS WHAT GHANA WANT NOT PPL WHO ARE NOW USELESS
  • Maxwelll Johnson
    says: 9 years ago
    Folks,i honestly don't believe in this coach at all.
  • Ceefas
    says: 9 years ago
    The coach is preparing our minds for failure, so that he does not get blamed if failure happens. Mr. Milo you have had so much time to come up with a solid and formidable 23 man squad. But since you took up this job you have only concentrated on a few Big-Name players, you are too scared to look beyound the few big names.
  • access
    says: 9 years ago
    MILO HERE IS FORMIDALE SQUAD FOR YOU TO LOOK AT WITOUT THE ROCK: =======================OLELE======================= JP============LEE ADDY======VORASH=======SARPIH==== K.P.BOATENG============ESSIEN============MUNTARI=== =======================KOJO ASAMOAH================ ==================GYAN=============QUINCY==========
  • Kenneth County
    says: 9 years ago
    With so many Living Room Coaches telling the Black Stars Coach what to do and whom to pick, I wonder what will happen when the 23-man squad is announced and the favourite players of these "de-facto" coaches are not called. A word of advice to these SELF-PROCLAIMED coaches: please endeavour to go and monitor the team train in France, so that they will be in a better postion to attack the coach when their man is not picked. Otherwise, I think it will be foolhardy to suggest who deserves to be picked from the comfort of Living Rooms.
  • Kenneth County
    says: 9 years ago
    Brother Access, Hi. You are right. At this moment, any help which will ensure the Black Stars defend the Ghana Flag all the way in South Africa is most welcome. But I don't think help can come in the form of constant criticisms. That I think is destructive and counter productive. I respect you my brother but don't you think it is best in this respect to pick players who are fit and in fine form to represent our nation? And that we can only find out who is fit and ready at the team's training grounds. I don't think criticising without factual basis is constructive. That's my point.
  • Michael
    says: 9 years ago
    Yeah I know what happens when people dont believe in a coach...The country fails. A team is never built last minute by young talented players. Teams have to stay together for years to have the team work necessary to win a world cup thats why Appiah and Essien are still in there. They have run that midfield a lot and at the African Cup the coach also saw more players he could add to the squad. Look at the Brazilian squad and the Spanish squad. Tell me how many times new players ever come into it. There are many talented spanish strikers but Torres and Villa have been there since 2006. There is a reason why he is the coach and I believe in him. This is the reason Ghana never goes anywhere. Any coach we have=doubts. Everyone thinks he can do a better job. Im here to say I put my faith in him. Nothing can change now so go in with believe. Does it make anyone ever wonder why Ronaldinho or Zanetti didnt make their teams? think about it and come back with an answer....
  • Michael
    says: 9 years ago
    Also this is the world cup people, not a chance to give youngsters chances...thats for club soccer not international soccer. If you are good, then be good enough to play for Chelsea before you ask the coach to replace Essien.
  • access
    says: 9 years ago
    I'M WONDERING HOW SABB,D-ROCK AND KEITH FROM GERMANY ARE GOIN TO RESPOND TO THIS ATICLE.ASEM-BEBA-DABI.
  • Michael
    says: 9 years ago
    hahahhaha really Ill tell u why Ronaldinho or Zanetti didnt make it even though they are playing amazingly well...Ronaldinho has not played for Brazil for the past 1-2 years sooo he wont fit into the system which the coach has built for those years. By the way the coach changed the system b/c Brazil didnt win last cup. Zanetti is the same. How can you have an Italian champion, Italian cup champ, and soon to be CHampion league champion, not to mention captain of Inter Milan not play in the world cup because he is too old. If he is a champion it means that his team and him beat all the other teams(with younglings) to the cup which means he can compete at the highest level. Germany are complaining b/c they lost Ballack and he isnt even that good, but we we have players who are extraordinary like Essien who isnt that old and people are talking abt dropping him. Look at Ronaldinho who is about 32, the guy is beating 23 year old players through the legs and if its young players Ghana needs weve got them. And the good thing; they have proven themselves and fit like missing pieces into the team Dede Ayew, Badu, Adiyiah are examples.
  • Michael
    says: 9 years ago
    Also fans arent managers thats why they are called fans. What has our coach not delivered except the cup of nations which he almost took with an average age of 22 or soo? Its like our last coach we lost. How can u fire a coach who has taken the country for the first time to the world cup and to the round of sixteen. Ghanaians please just support your coaches!
  • Philip Agboh
    says: 9 years ago
    Those mafia crooks in GFA(Aandy Abbey,Nyantakyie,Fred Papooe and Abedi Pele the "shortee")will surely break our hearts.How can a serious country invite players like Rahim Ayew.Richard Kingston,Eric Addo,Adiyiah and Dramani.players who are virtually been non existent as far soccer is concerned Then players whoa re nursing injuries and haven't played active soccer for sometime(Essien,Appiah,Vorsah,and John Mensah) are preferred to active players like William Tierro,Yusif Chibsah,Nana Asare and Eric Bekoe.How many of our so called reglar players are inform?Muntari?John Painstil?Sarpei?Asamoah Gyan?and Prince Tagoe?and Laryea Kingston?. Andre Ayew and Agyemang Badu are colts players.I am sure if Ronladinho were a Ghanaian he would have been the first player to be selected. Yet in Brazil he is not in the squad.Yes,becuse Dunga is using current form and not Names and favouritism.I can Ghanaians that we will lose all our matches.
  • Michael
    says: 9 years ago
    access I definetely agree with u on that, same with Cambiasso. Well at least Nigeria seems to have an easier group...Argentina will go out for sure and Mara is not made for coaching at all...
  • Michael
    says: 9 years ago
    Philip Agboh if Dunga was using current form then all the more reason for Ronaldinho to go. Have you been watching his latest games, you can see the man had a mission to make the world cup but he didnt make it b/c he doesnt fit into the squad Dunga has made. But I do understand ur point on current form. Let me say this at least. Most of those players who are of form, they made the round of sixteen in 2006 and led the country to qualify. Let me ask you that whiles they were doing that where was William Tierro or Yusif Chibsah? If you wont support Ghana your own country then go watch Paraguay, Im sure most Ghanaians regardless of the coach or the players will watch and support their country. And it will be good too because I know that Ghanaians will realize the blood running through thier veins is the same in Asamoah Gyan, Painstil and Muntari. Ghana will go through to the next round, I have faith in it. Also Muntari is not a club player all his goals come from his country regardless of form. Asamoah Gyan gets energy from ghanaians not France. He will come of the bench and dribble uselessly just to hear ghanaians go YEAHHHH! Enjoy the cup from the other side and watch ghana take it. GO GHANA!
  • Aleksandar Kijanovic
    says: 9 years ago
    Dear Ghana people, We Serbs wish you victory against USA and later Uruguay!!! We wanted Ghana and Serbia in 1/16 finals, but we did not have luck… Our-your coach MILOVAN RAJEVAC is very good! Go, Ghana! Go, go, go!!! GOOD LUCK, friends! NICE GREETINGS FROM SERBIA!