Ghana named its provisional 30-man squad for the World Cup over a week ago. By June 1, the squad will be pruned to 23. For those doing the math, seven players will be axed. And no, they do not die as a result.
At first glance, I merely dismissed the names as the usual suspects (save for Kevin Prince Boateng) and thought that there were no real surprises. A second look at the list and I thought, WHHOOAAAAAA!!!!! What a dilemma for the coach? If Milovan Rajevac does not have his vats of Panadol or Ibuprofen ready, he better put Bayer on speed dial for it is going to be one tough job to cut seven players. I think four out of those seven cuts will be downright excruciating. Why do I say that?
Take a look. One keeper will certainly not go. My bet is Stephen Adams will not be chosen. I think this is probably the easiest prediction. I believe two defenders will not make the 23. My sense is Rahim Ayew’s lack of regular playing time at his club costs him a place. Even though Rajevac has been fond of him, he is more able to overlook Ayew than some of the other defenders. That leaves the left back position a bit vulnerable in the event Hans-Adu Sarpei gets injured. That’s nothing a change in formation can’t fix though. We would probably change to a 3-5-1 formation if that happens. Also, while Eric Addo is listed as a midfielder, his presence in South Africa would be as a defender. Let’s not kid ourselves. Jonathan Mensah would be the other defender who would probably be on the bubble but my prediction is he squeaks in.
Rajevac has an embarrassment of riches in midfield. In fact, I think he has a much stronger midfield to choose from for this world cup than his predecessor Ratomir Djukovic had four years ago. Anthony Annan, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, Kwadwo Asamoah and Andre “Dede” Ayew have all emerged to give the regulars four years ago some competition. Add Kevin-Prince Boateng to that list. Assuming all five players go to South Africa, the others to join him would be an uninjured if not match-fit Michael Essien, Stephen Appiah and Sulley Muntari. That leaves Derek Boateng, Bernard Yao Kumordzi, Laryea Kingston, and Haminu Dramani out in the South African cold.
As for forwards, there are five listed. I consider Quincy Owusu-Abeyie a forward who could be an attacking midfielder or winger so he has some versatility. I say Rajevac takes four forwards with Prince Tagoe the odd man out.
So Tagoe it is.
So, to recap, the final cuts will be Bernard Yao Kumordzi, Haminu Dramani, Laryea Kingston, Derek Boateng, Prince Tagoe, Stephen Adams and Rahim Ayew. Take that to the bank.
And you didn’t even need an oracle on this one. Just Coach Blackstarsfan.
Now if only Rajevac can figure out who the starting 11 will be composed of. It never stops, does it?
Hmmm…The cuts are going to be tough and I think in the end fitness should play a big role. Can Kevin Prince play left back because I would say he should start there and Hans provides cover thus the Rahim loss will be muted. I just don’t see a scenario where Milo cuts Laryea Kingston; The guy loves to play for Ghana and you know he will kill himself during training camp so he is going to make the squad. Absolutely incredible the riches we have in midfield, Derek Boateng after the impressive season for Getafe is going miss the final cut.
I instead of Laryea missing out, the odd man out will be Jonathan Mensah. We do have a lot of midfield options but Laryea is a game changer and we have a dodgy injury/fitness record so Laryea provides cover.
Prince Tagoe should make the final cut given the fine form he has been in over the past several weeks over Dominic since Dominic has not really had any games.
Most importantly I will hate to be in Milo’s seat right now. SA here we come.
I just feel Laryea’s versatility and his ability to defend deep is in question. Also, when I look at a few of the other midfielders, I think Milo likes versatility and Laryea’s versatility is in going forward. Well, now we have Kevin Prince for that. But we will see. It should be a good one.
correction: on the official gfa list, eric addo is listed as a defender not a midfielder.
laryea kingston is gonna be in the squad. after the african cup, the coach mentioned that he would need some of his experienced players specifically mentioning laryea for the world cup.
again, on the f.a’s list, four were listed as forwards; asamoah gyan, prince tagoe, dominic adiyiah & mathew amoah. they will all make the final cut.
i did an earlier post on the black stars before the list of 30 came out. now, i can’t figure out whether agyemang-badu and derek boateng will make the squad. they might not make the final cut because of their injuries. haminu draman or quincy owusu-abeyie? hmm….. quincy was on top of his game last season but the coach is fond of haminu. he’s got the experience and got the speed too.
stephen adams, bernard yao kumordzi, rahim ayew and jonathan mensah will not make the final 23.
Kwabena, you may be right. I don’t know which list I was looking at. I went with what I thought was the FIFA list because I just assumed they were working with the official list that the coach and the GFA sent. I am interested in seeing who he picks given that it will not be on the basis of any trial matches. The only trial match before the list is submitted is against the Dutch on the day the list is out. They were apparently scheduled to play a couple of French teams but that fell through. Oh well, I will wait with baited breath.