According to Goran Stevanovic (Plavi) and his backroom staff, these are the best 23 players to represent Ghana against Gabon and Sierra Leone on the 12th and 15th of November:
Midfielders: Samuel Inkoom (FC Dnipro), Kwadwo Asamoah, Emmanuel Agyeman-Badu (Udinese), Sulley Muntari (Inter Milan) Anthony Annan (Vitesse Arnhem), Charles Takyi (St Pauli), Abu Mohammed (Stromgodest), Derek Boateng (FC Dnipro) Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (Panathinaikos FC) Andre Ayew (Olympique Marseille)
These two friendlies are important because they might be the last opportunity for Plavi and his assistants to decide who is going to ANC 2012 in the absence of any forced majeure. Especially on fringe players will normally have the opportunity to contribute some of their club-level form to the Black Stars’ course.
Plavi’s list however raises too many questions which makes one wonder what exactly the Serbian coach is thinking.
In general the squad looks well shaped with all relevant starting places filled. For the sake of team building, the regular starters are all in the list with the notable exception of captain John Mensah who might be out for obvious health reasons.
The inclusion of Daniel Adjei has always baffled me. Daniel is a fine youth goalkeeper but time and over again, he has strangely made national teams without working for it at club level. There really must be something very special about Adjei which makes him preferred over other in-form local goalkeepers even if he does not play for his club. Hopefully this gamble will pay off in the long run.
First, are we to understand that Plavi has forgotten that Isaac Vorsah will miss a number of games at the 2012 ANC? Should Plavi not be looking for a stand in center back pair in the absence of Vorsah (suspension) and the Mensah’s (injuries)? Perhaps Plavi is planning on pairing Sumaila with Addy in one of the games and then with Vorsah in the other. A Vorsah-Addy pair will not add anything to the Black Stars.
The consistency in call ups need to be commended. I am not sure if Sulley Muntari is in any good shape this season, his experience may be all he will bring to the team. What happened to the promise of using only active players? We shall be welcoming debutant Charles Takyi, another German who is switching to play for Ghana. Hopefully, he is not another Kevin Prince-Boateng.
I am not convinced that Charles is the best attacking midfield option Ghana has though. But like everyone else, he deserves his chance to prove his worth. Many fans should by now be wondering what players like Nana Kusi Asare and Wakaso Mubarak will have to do to break into this midfield. The return of Andre Ayew and the recall of Quincy is heart warming. We can expect some magic on the wings.
The good news is that Dominic Adiyiah is out. The young man needs to sort his club career, score goals against adults. Hopefully he will improve. Prince Tagoe again? I hope this time he puts all our anxieties about his true striking abilities to bed with some improved performance otherwise I am not sure if he should be invited again.
Derek Asamoah’s recall is quite strange. Here is an inconsistent journey man (11 clubs in 10 years) plying his trade in Korea who is chosen ahead of everyone else? How Derek got a call up ahead of Jordan Ayew, Richmond Boakye, Ishmael Yartey, Dominic Oduro and co is hard to understand. At the age of 30 years Derek must really provide all of us clear reason why kids who will help Ghana’s 2013, 2014 and 2015 course should be dropped in his favour.