World Cup 2022: Ghana preview
Want to endear yourself to Ghana fans? Beat Nigeria in a two-legged World Cup play off. Otto Addo did just that.
Parachuted into the hotseat after the sacking of Milovan Rajevac in the post-mortem of AFCON, Oddo, switching to a back three in the second half, showed tactical shrewdness to overcome Nigeria in their own backyard.
The 5-1 at the hands of Brazil in September was humbling, but it has given Ghana plenty of food for thought as to the state of their team. On the positive side, sealing their tournament preparations with a win over Switzerland will be the boost that this team, which is still in its formative phase, needs.
Mohammed Salisu finally agreeing to play for his country has been a boost at the heart of the defence. And then there are the declarations of Tariq Lamptey and Inaki Williams, both of whom add depth into positions where options are lacking.
Ghana have the framework to do something at this tournament, and there is evidence that the coaching staff are learning and tweaking as they go in a positive, evolving sense. There are murmurs, too, that individually this is the best team Ghana have hade for a while.
The fear is that, through no fault of their own, they may have started preparing this team too late for the bumpy rollercoaster of a major tournament.
Mohammed Kudus – The Right to Dream academy graduate is The Future if not, with the abilities of Andre Ayew waning, The Now. His progressive ball-carrying through the centre provides a link to the attackers, softening the blow of an ageing Ayew.
Otto Oddo – Part of the 2006 playing squad, Oddo returns to the World Cup 16 years late as a coach. He doubles his coaching duties at Borussia Dortmund’s academy and Ghana national team. With George Boateng and Chris Hughton part of the technical bench, Oddo is not all alone in the loneliest and most pressurised of jobs.
Ghana have the underlying quality, and it might all come together in this tournament, but a lot will need to click. Our verdict is that this will be a group stage exit for the Black Stars.
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