10
Jun
11

Shouldn’t Plavi be taking a second look at Ghana’s defense?


John Mensah and Isaac Vorsah (15)

John Mensah and Isaac Vorsah (15)

This far, Goran Stevanovic has delivered on his promise of getting the Black Stars to step out of their shell and play attacking football.

Goran’s plan seems to be working very well, at least, from the the kind of assertive football Ghana has played under his management. 12 goals in 5 games is almost beginning to look unlike the seemingly timid Ghana which appeared to be lucky to score more than once in a game a year ago.

Goran’s new attacking philosophy may be well intended, but is he paying attention to his defence? Idiosyncrasies aside, there must have been a reason why Goran’s predecessor, Milovan Rajevac, opted for a defensive strategy. Goran’s first five-game run have clearly exposed some of these reasons.

Goal Keeping

Richard Kingson has remarkably served Ghana and is abilities cannot be in doubt. Hence, in spite of his recent comical performances, it looks like Kingson will be in Ghana’s post for a few more years. It is needless to say however that the time has come to find and give exposure to a long term replacement. Kingson’s current understudy, Ernerst Sowah of Berekum Chelsea, has not had even one second of Black Stars action. Yet, it is expected that when Kingon’s steam runs out, Sowah will be well and ready for the job. This is where successive Black Stars coaches has gotten it wrong and Goran may suffer the consequences directly if he doest take steps to block this goalkeeping gap.

Ernest Sowah aside,  Daniel Adjei, Sammy Adjei, Joseph Halm, Adam Kwarasey, Foli Adade, Isaac Amoako, Fatau Dauda etc all provide plausible options to for a long term replacement of Kingson. What we are left with is the courage to take the first step and the nerve to accommodate the errors of this replacement as he grows to become better than Kingson.

Defense is important too

Many renowned coached have argued that a team must become good defensively first, then offensively. Under Goran, when Ghana concedes a goal (as was the case of England, Congo, Korea), one question has been asked by any average football lover…where was the defence? Obviously, Goran’s Black Stars is yet to come face to face with a highly organized attack-minded team. When they do, the results may leave tons of bile in everyone’s mouth with this sort of defending.

Ghana’s defense lacks depth, especially in central defense. Today, Isaac Vorsah and John Mensah are the only real central defenders to have confidence in. Lee Addy is still average at best and there is more room for Jonathan Mensah to improve. But that is where the list ends. No depth and no competition has meant that the players have now gotten so complacent they rather spent time raising their hands in protest of offsides than to cover up, mark or clear dangerous balls. What we need is depth and a smart defensive strategy which does not compromise our new found love for attacking football.

Is it not rather ironic that a year ago, many questioned why the Black Stars could not score more goals?

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