After signing a lucrative deal by Ghanaian standards with the Ghana Football Association, prior to his departure to the Simba land, many football pundits thought Mr. James Akwasi Appiah, manager of the Black Stars, would this time lead Ghana to the dream land, by reaching at least the Semi Finals of this year’s world soccer fiesta, but he seems to have faulted on the way.
The Former Asante Kotoko great defender allowed his American counterpart, Jürgen Klinsman to use his superior tactics both on and off the field to secure the revenge the Yankees have been yearning for a long time.
The mind game has become part and parcel of modern soccer, but as to why the ‘Silent Killer’, as his players would prefer to call him, sat down for his American counterpart to beat him to it, is still a Gordian Knot Ghanaians are struggling to untie.
Mr. Klinsman had used every available forum that came his way to drum home his determination to revenge against the Black Stars, who had twice sent the only World Super Power home, during the Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010 World Cups.
Surprisingly, Mr. Appiah could not read between the lines and instead fielded a team that played into the hands of the prowling Americans.
How he decided to deploy a player like Kwadwo Asamoah, arguably the most creative player in the team at the rear, and also maintained half fit Daniel Opare throughout the match, when the full back, who was being used as an auxiliary winger could not send any decent cross to the vital area for Asamoah Gyan and co to do justice to it, is also a big problem.
It, therefore, came as no surprise when some of his own players decided to criticize him for the selection. Kelvin Prince Boateng for instance told a German news outlet that he did not understand why the coach did not field him, and instead went for his junior colleague, Jordan Ayew.
Coach Appiah apparently admitted his mistake when he told a news conference that he benched Kelvin and Essien because he wanted to wear down the Americans, before introducing the duo into the game.
Whether that explanation sounds good in the ears of those who have a technical mind is another question begging for answer.
The refreshing news though, is that Mr. Appiah has been handed another opportunity to prove to Ghanaians that he is not technically bankrupt and that he has what it takes to lead Ghana to the promise land, by beating the highly fancied German team tomorrow.
The task may sound arduous on paper, but if Mr. Silent Killer would deploy the right arsenal on the pitch and put the players in their rightful positions, the Stars would surely overcome the Germans.
By divine intervention, this World Cup seems to have created room for those whose freedom had been trampled upon by the big soccer nations to seek revenge.
It started with the current world champions who were forced by the Dutch team to swallow a bitter pill, by picking as many as five goals from their net. The Americans also followed suit by redeeming their image against Ghana through a hard fought 2-1 victory.
It is now the turn of Ghana to revenge against Germany for the Bochum disaster and handing us that painful 1-0 defeat in South Africa.
As the adage goes, God helps those who help themselves. The much anticipated defeat of the Germans can only come about if the right strategy is adopted by the technical handlers.
Akwasi Appiah does not need further warning that he needs to play Kwadwo Asamoah in the middle of the field, with a free role to join the attack.
When the Juventus enforcer decided to defy his boss and moved forward during the American game, one of his forays resulted in the only goal we scored in the match.
Samuel Inkoom and Harrison Afful must also be deployed at the left and right of defence respectively. The two players have the temerity to always move forward to join the attack when Ghana is on the offensive and retreat quickly when the team is on defensive.
In modern football most coaches use the full backs as auxiliary wingers and this is what Ghanaians expect Appiah to do tomorrow.
Surely, the Germans are beatable but if the Black Stars fail to do that, then the worst result should be a draw, and then we pray to God for Portugal to either beat US or draw with them.
This will make qualification from the group open during the last group matches where Germany will be under pressure to beat US at all cost to secure their qualification.
Whatever be the situation, coach James Akwasi Appiah’s job would be on the line and he has the responsibility to protect it.