Posts Tagged ‘Herbert Addo


CHAN 2011: What now for Ghana after Amabinneplaas’ sucker-punch

My heart is saddened as I write this piece. South Africa’s inexperienced Amabinneplaas delivered Ghana a dazing upper cut; coming from behind to win 2-1 against Ghana.

The loss has been very difficult for Ghanaians to take in. Man-for-Man, the South Africans were supposed to be no match for the experienced and in-form Ghanaians. And Ghana jumped to the lead, with a Daniel Larbi Coomson opener, and appeared to the cruising to a deserved win. So, what went wrong for the hot favourites?

A full analysis of the game is impossible [in this article] as television feeds went off for almost half of the game. Of course, the buck stops with the coach. Simon Ngomane’s superior strategy which cancelled Ghana’s lead and subsequently won the game only points out lapses in Herbert Addo’s tactical awareness.

A lot has been said in the struggle against the culture of sidestepping local coaches for foreigners. At present, Addo is one of Ghana’s better local coaches. So, if he does not get his tactics right as we go forward in this tournament, the argument in favour of local coaches will suffer yet another blow. It is not encouraging to watch that the local Black Stars drop in performance since the final squad was named. One win in 4 games, 6 goals for and 7 against in all games (friendly and competitive) is nothing to be proud of, give the depth of talent in Ghana.

Hope cannot be completely lost though.

One group game loss is not enough to make a team drop out of the competition. With luck and 4 points, Ghana can still qualify. So, the 6 points left to claim in the group should be a source of hope. Niger may have worsened Ghana’s chances by beating Zimbabwe 1-0 but, both Niger and Zimbabwe play a completely unorganized game. It therefore should not be an insurmountable task beating them. Fortunately, in the game against South Africa, Herbert Addo’s Black Stars displayed physical robustness albeit the mental toughness was absent. They created chances and were obviously willing to try out shots.

The Onus now lies on Herbert Addo to get his strategy rightly executed with proper tactics.


CHAN 2011: Why Black Stars will beat Amabinneplaas of South Africa


Goalkeeper Stephen Adam (Left) and Striker Nuhu Fuseini (Right)

Goalkeeper Stephen Adam (Left) and Striker Nuhu Fuseini (Right)

As a group opener, this game is important for many reasons; chief of which is the confidence or lack of it the results can bring to either team going forward. Ghana should be able to easily overcome South Africa, and here are the reasons.


[1] Depth

The Ghanaian team is rich in depth with some 23 in-form players; a number of whom have seen it all in domestic, international club and national team competitions. Coach Herbert Addo will have on his hands, a nice little problem of player selection with so many good players in his squad. The Amabinneplaas on the other hand is made up of amateurs and inexperienced second-tier players from South Africa. If depth translates into performance, then the South Africans should be toast.

[2] On the wings with flying colours

One of Ghana’s weapons in Sudan is the number of players who can make flanking manoeuvres happen. Not a single match day passes in Ghana’s Glo Premier League without some headline news about exciting performances from Hans Cofie, Bernard Dong Bortey, Larbi Koomson, Obed Owusu and Bismark Idan. All these players provide Coach Herbert Addo with abundant wing forward options. Wing backs like Alfred Arthur and Godfred Saka also reinforce how wide the Ghana team can be.

[3] Attack Attack Attack

Here is how Herbert Addo surprised all Ghanaians. Hitherto, he has been known as the ‘One Goal Project’ man for his penchant to get his team to score one goal and shut up shop. One would have expected him to have more midfielders, but Mr. Addo has other plans for CHAN. He has taken 6 of the of the most dangerous goal scorers in Ghana. But these strikers are not just goal scorers, otherwise, some other strikers would have made it to Sudan. These strikers double as tormentors of defenders, holding the ball, dribbling, running and shooting at will.

With the kind of amateur squad coach Simon Ngomane has named, I can safely predict that Gilbert Fiamenyo, Stephen Manu, Nuhu Huseini Fuseini, Bismark Idan and Emmanuel Clottey will give the Amabinneplaas a torrid time.


Striker Emmanuel Clottey

Striker Emmanuel Clottey


But, it might not be all rosy

One pitfall for Ghana though, might be the spirit with which the young and inexperienced Amabinneplaas are bringing to Sudan. Knowing that they have been written off by South Africans, coach Simon Ngomane and his lads appear to have increased their resolve to do anything to silence their critics. Their recent 1-1 draw with Sweden is a clear indication of their resolve not to go down easily.

Forward Tiyani Mabunda is not to be left unmarked. Cheap free kicks are not to be allowed in Ghana’s defensive third. Otherwise, the hungry Amabinneplaas will give Ghana an embarrassing sucker punch.



CHAN 2011: What hope as Black Stars leave for Sudan?

Emmanuel Ansong, Aduana Stars and Local Black Stars defender

Emmanuel Ansong, Aduana Stars and Local Black Stars defender

Coach Herbert Addo must still be reeling from the 3-0 fire baptism he and his Aduana Club received from Moroccan giants Wydad Casablanca of Morrocco in their maiden African Champion’s league debut. As if that fire baptism was not enough, the CHAN Black Stars training tour in Kenya left much to be desired in terms of training match results.

Doubts have been raised bout the ability of the team to contend for honours and Assistant coach Nurudeen Amadu has a fair idea what Ghanaians might feel about his team:  “ We are even not sure what people will say back home should they know we lost to a Kenyan Premier League side.”

Herbert Addo’s team has declined in performance since they set up camp in Kenya. The Black Stars first beat former Kenya Premier League champions Tusker FC 3-2. Then, went on to draw with academy kids from Dream Team Academy in a 1-1 game. Gor Mahia exposed Ghana further with a 2-1 defeat. The excuse for this defeat is that Ghana’s team were without head coach Herbert Addo and five players who had joined Aduana Stars for their CAF Champions League tie against Wydad Casablanca. But one can also question the worth of the substitutes if the team can collapse because of 5 players, some of whom may not have starting positions.

It is really interesting to find out that the bench takes this tournament serious. Assistant coach Amadu believes that “It will be detrimental to the team as well as to the technical bench if Ghana misses the finals”. But these are mere aspirations if the team does not take steps to pluck the gaping holes in defence. My take is, Herbert Addo did not call up enough combative defensive midfielders and I will be very interested to see how and who he lines up in midfield on Saturday February 5th, 2011 when Ghana takes on South Africa

Hope is not completely lost though. It is quite a relief to know  that the team scores at least one goal per game. It is also heart-warming to have observed that the Black Stars has defenders who can take advantage of crosses and spot kicks. In Emmanuel Clottey, Ghanaians can find a dead ball specialist. Hopefully, if scoring from open play becomes a problem, dead ball situations might just work the magic.



CHAN 2011: Top Ghanaian Players to watch

Coach Herbert Addo and his CHAN Black Stars squad are in Kenya, preparing to face the rest of Africa this February in Sudan. A lot of Ghanaians will expect them to return home with the cup. So, which players are likely to impress in Sudan?

Awal Mohammed (Central Defender)

Awal is a tall athletic defender with an imposing physical presence. He was unknown until he was signed from Feyenoord Academy by Kotoko. Already, since his inclusion into the Kotoko squad, the 22-year old Awal has been described by many a fan as one of the best things to have happened to Kotoko’s season. Awal will be expected to showcase his rare anticipation, aerial command and general combative attitude at the tournament. It should not be surprising to have scouts all over him during and after the tournament. It should also not come as a surprise if after the tournament, Awal finds his name on Senior Blacks Stars coach Goran Stevanovic’s team sheet.

Godfred Saka (Lateral/Wing Back)

Godfred Saka

Godfred Saka

Godfred is Ghana’s own version of Douglas Maicon. Over the course of two seasons, Godfred has maintained consistent form in the right wing back role for Aduana Stars in the Glo Premier League. His defensive skills and speed down the right wing might end up as the revelation of the tournament. Defensive skills aside, Godfred’s work rate has never ceased to amaze observers.

Gilbert Fiamenyo (Striker)

It is unclear whether Gilbert will have a starting position. However, Gilbert does not need 90 minutes to show what stuff he is made of. Gilbert had struggled to find first team place in a number of premier league teams including Accra Hearst of Oak. His big break came during the 2010/1011 Glo (Ghana) Premier League pre-season Top 4 Tournament where he brought his dribbling and strike abilities to bear at Heart of Lions. A solid team player with aptitude for both striking and attacking midfield roles, Gilbert’s strengths lie in his sublime dribbling talent. One cannot expect a prolific goals rate from Gilbert, but when given the chance, he is sure to set Sudan ablaze with his nimble foot.

Bismark Idan (Striker)

Bismark Idan

Bismark Idan

Bismark was top scorer of the 2009/2010 Glo (Ghana) Premier League. His contribution to the game goes beyond scoring to providing crucial assists. Ghanaians owe their qualification into the finals of CHAN 2011 to the left foot of Bismark. On March 28, 2010 when Burkina Faso stood between Ghana and qualification, Bismark’s 38th minute strike was enough to seal Ghana’s qualification. It is this same big match temperament which will eventually save the blushes of Ghanaians at Madany, Sudan when the tournament begins.

Hans Cofie (Winger)

Two years ago, after watching an U-20 international qualifier, I thought Hans did not have what it took to represent Ghana at any level. But times change and 2 years can make a whole lot of difference in the life of a footballer. Hans has matured into a fine player this season with some stellar wing performances. Hans is one of the top scorers in Ghana’s Glo Premier League so far and one can expect him to translate his club-side goal scoring form to the national team

Bernard Dong Bortey (Striker, Winger)

Bernard Dong Bortey

Bernard Dong Bortey

There are only a few players in Ghana’s squad with the depth of international experience Bernard brings to the squad. Bernard is a utility forward who can function as a winger, striker or attacking midfielder. At club level, Bernard was joint goal king in the 2003/2003 Ghana Premier League season. He was also, one of the top three performers of Accra Hearts of Oak’s Africa-conquering team of 1999-2001 seasons. This season, Bernard has already scored 4 goals from wing position for title defenders Aduana.

At national level, Bernard has already featured 77 times for Ghana at all age levels, netting 38 goals. He has featured for the Senior Black Stars 27 times, scoring 11 goals. Sometimes, in tournament football, there comes a time when players who have been there and done that must step up and bring their experience to bear. This is where Bernard will be vital for Ghana.



From the moment the 5-man shortlist for the Black Stars coaching job was made public by the Ghana Football Association on Monday, a lot of discussions have been done on the issue as per the most suited person to succeed Milovan Rajevac as the Ghana coach. Rajevac was himself rumoured to be on the shortlist until the official announcement put that particular story to rest. So, for the next two weeks or so, until the interviews are done and the coach named, there will undoubtedly be a lot of analysis, debate and discussion on the best man for the job and yours truly is now joining the fray to give an opinionated view on the issue.

Herbert Addo

Herbert Addo

Let me start by saying that I probably would not have chosen any of the shortlisted coaches because I felt we could have done better. Personally, I was hoping that Milovan Rajevac could be brought back to handle the team, given his achievements during his two year stay here. I know some of you will take umbrage at my comments, but lets get real for once. The man’s contract run out on August 18th and he coached the Black Stars in the 2012 African Nations Cup qualifier against Swaziland in early September when he was out of contract. He may have given his word, but the naked truth is that the days when ‘your word is your bond’ are well and truly a long way behind us now. The authorities couldn’t arrive at an agreement with him and he decided to go after a double-your-money deal in Saudi Arabia. Had he been secured before the end of the World Cup, we will all be happily looking forward to the next qualifier in March without the headache of choosing a new coach. The fact is that he did not sign a new contract; his existing contract had expired and he saw an opportunity and grabbed it. He may not have done well so far in Saudi Arabia, but can anyone tell me that he would have snubbed an estimated $110,000 a month when in principle, he was due to get an estimated $66,000 a month and yet the government had yet to officially approve it? I think it is time we all stopped being hypocritical in the name of sentiment and faced facts. Having said all this, he did not make the shortlist and so we have to move on to the ones named. Continue reading ‘CHRISTOPHER OPOKU ASKS: WHO WINS THE RACE FOR GHANA’S HOTTEST FOOTBALL JOB?’


Top performers of the Glo Premier League 2009/2010

The Professional League Board (PLB), organizers of Ghana’s Glo Premier League has honoured outstanding players of the 2009/2010 season.

Most Valuable Player: Mahatma Otoo (Accra Hearts of Oak)

Otoo, who graduated from the national U-17 side last season and emerged as the most promising player that season has gone on to win the MVP award this season.  Otoo shook off strong competition from Black Stars defender, Lee Addy and CHAN striker Bismark Idan. The young man’s career is off to a flying start. We can only wish him well and hope he grows into an efficient goal machine.

Most promising player: Godfred Saka (Aduana Stars)

Saka has been the best full back in the Ghanaian league since Samuel Inkoom found a job in the Swiss League.  Many however felt the shear skill of King Faisal winger Frank Acheampong would be enough to win him this crown. This title is a tricky title. Very often, players show promise and then do not keep up with their promise. Last season, Obed Ansah was all over the place with some real promise. Today, he cannot even compete for place at Hearts of Oak. Hopefully, Saka will not disappoint.

Goal Keeper of the Year: Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars)

There was just no contest here. How a goal keeper can concede only 10 goals in 30 matches is a mystery worth Sherlock Holmes’ interest. The former Real Sportive goalie has displayed some of the best goal keeping Ghana has had a long while. You’ve got to give Stephen Ahorlu (Heart of Lions) a lot of credits though who produced some wonderful performances this season. Somewhere in the season, Daniel Adjei (Liberty Professionals) caught the attention of the world with his U-20 performances. But Adams just stood tall.

Defender of the year: Lee Addy (Bechem Chelsea)

Addy has done well to retain his 2008/2009 title. The Aduana Stars fullback was however too visible this season. Personally, I would have have given this award to Godfred Saka who was aided to make Aduana Stars the meanest defence of all time. Karim Alhassan of Hearts of Oak who also stood tall in central defence for Hearts of Oak.

FROM LEFT: Torric Jibril and Samuel Affum

FROM LEFT: Torric Jibril and Samuel Affum

Continue reading ‘Top performers of the Glo Premier League 2009/2010’


Glo Premier League: Round 17 results and some interviews

DORMAA: Aduana Stars 10 Eleven Wise

HERBERT ADDO (Coach of Aduana Stars)

“Eleven Wise had a bad defensive set-up. We broke them down easily. This led to complacency which almost cost us the win. I think some of my players are not serious so beginning from this weak I will bring some serious changes in he team.”

“I want to win one game after the other. Next week, we come up against Olympics in Accra. I am going to map up a good strategy to win that game.”

“Coaching is a crazy job. We have a 17 games unbeaten run, yet when I lose just one game, fans will call for my head. So I am focused, I want to win my next game.” Continue reading ‘Glo Premier League: Round 17 results and some interviews’

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