GORAN ‘PLAVI’ STEVANOVIC will be in charge of the Senior Black Stars for the first time when Ghana plays its first game of the year 2011 against Togo on February 8th 2011 in Belgium. Time was, when one could predict an easy win for Ghana against Togo. But apart from the fact that there are no minnows in football anymore, the dynamics of Black Stars football does not allow for such complacent predictions.
A generation of stars is fading out. New would-be stars are eager to make lasting impressions on the team, officials and fans. There is a new coach; he has called up a squad made up often regular known faces and some inactive players who will have to justify this and subsequent call ups.
Everyone is now looking to see how Plavi steers the Black Stars in the midst of all these changing scenarios. Whatever the outcome of this friendly is, expectations about Plavi’s ability to deliver his promises to Ghanaians will be formed.
And what did he promise Ghanaians? First, he promised a strategy of attacking football executed with a 4-1-4-1 tactical formation. He also promised to be the first coach to win Ghana a senior level international cup since 1982.
Well, it will be interesting to see whether Plavi will find switching the team from a two defensive midfield line up (4-2-3-1) to a 4-1-4-1. Of course, essentially, Plavi’s plan does not intend to overhaul the 5-man midfield and 1-top structure of the team, which is good for consistency. He perhaps believes that the one player is enough to cover up the hole between the defence and the midfield and that extra players are needed forward. And how far forward is he willing to push up this extra player? What extra benefit will such a move bring to Ghana?
What roles they will be assigned is also of keen interest. We wait with bated breath to see whether or not Plavi will stick to his promise and if he does, whether these proposed twitches will be of any use to the team in Ghana’s quest to win cups with attacking football.
Speaking of attacking football, even though Ghana is not under pressure to win this game, one can already imagine the impressions Ghanaians will form of Plavi’s future with Ghana should Ghana’s performance not live up to expectations. They will question why Plavi will call up inactive players. They will ask what the likes of John Boye are doing in the team when no one has any record of their participation in any competitive game.
So, bring the game on, lets see what Plavi has in store for Ghana.
Goalkeepers: Richard Kingson (Blackpool, England), Ernest Sowah (Berekum Chelsea, Ghana)
Defenders: John Paintsil (Fulham, England) Samuel Inkoom (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) Nana Kwesi Asare (FC Utrecht, Holland) David Addy (Academica Coimbra, Portugal) Jonathan Mensah (Granada, Spain) Isaac Vorsah (Hoffenheim, Germany) John Mensah (Sunderland, England) John Boye (Rennes, France)
Midfielders: Anthony Annan (Schalke 04, Germany), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese, Italy), Andre Ayew (Marseille, France) Derek Boateng (Getafe, Spain) Sulley Muntari (Sunderland, England) Bernard Kumordzi (Panionios, Greece)
Attackers: Prince Tagoe (Partizan Belgrade, Serbia), Dominic Adiyiah (Partizan Belgrade, Serbia) Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese, Italy)