2014 World Cup: Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah defends dropping Kevin-Prince Boateng and Michael Essien

Kevin-Prince Boateng was a second half substitute.

Kevin-Prince Boateng was a second half substitute.

Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has explained why he did not start experienced duo Michael Essien and Kevin-Prince Boateng in their FIFA World Cup opener against USA on Monday.

Appiah preferred to name six rookies in his starting line-up in their 2-1 defeat to the Yanks in Natal.

The ex-Ghana captain shuffled his cards as they were chasing the equalizer after going down early on from a Clint Dempsey strike.

Boateng replaced Ayew just before the hour and the Schalke 04 playmaker brought some attacking verve to the team.

AC Milan’s Essien took the position of Rabiu on 71 minutes and that helped the Black Stars to push for the equalizer 13 minutes later through Andre Ayew.

But an 86th minute goal from substitute John Brooks gave USA the three points and lay their bogey to rest.

Appiah claims he has no regrets and praised the debutants for putting up a brave showcase despite the defeat.

“I belie that young guys who played did well and my intention was to bring them on when the US team get tired but these things happen,” Appiah said in a post match interview.

“Kevin is good player. We decide to start with the 4-4-2 and I thought that Jordan and Gyan paired very well during our training sessions and that is the reason why I decided to start them.

“The tactics was that bring Kevin on in the second half.”

READERS COMMENTS

  1. Samuel owusu says:

    Wc Bo dam Kwesi Appiah why would you play some who is not even a attacking player in 1st half . Be smart when we score goals then you substitute our attackers with defenders . Shame on you . We should’ve used the same tactics against South Korea. And how is this good u made us lose. We don’t even have a chance against Germany and Portugal . Good job coach Appiah (sarcastic)

  2. Papa Addo says:

    Good game but the central mid was a bit week and undynamic..badu and acquah for germany it will be hard but we can actually win if you watched the portugal game…. the US just got lucky bad day thats all

  3. luca says:

    u r a very unserious man…how do u go and play 4-4-2 in our first game..when we need to win and so must be careful not to concede…as a coach u should know better..training session is not the same as real game..no wonder u weren’t playing ur first eleven in real games…how do u play 4-4-2..against usa when u knw they always ve a playmaker in the person of Michael bradely…who is always in front of the opponents back four..y didn’t you play 4-2-3-1 to protect our weak defence…atsu kevin dede..and gyan upfront…bad bad tactics!!..u r defending the young lads…does that give us 3 pts?..wat kind of foolishness is that…this is a coach who doesn’t know even why he wins matches..if he did he wont make these mistakes..4-4-2?..who was the play maker…the play maker was also doing defensive duties?(muntari)..such nonsense.such absolute nonsense..u wer impressed in training session my foot..did u test it in a real game?…we conceded a goal in the first attack against Holland…wat did u do to correct that?..nothing..it happened again..exposed defence..if usa came out to play and they had talent like us..theyd ve scored a lot…but they didn’t come to play..they came to execute a tactics..score and pack the bus..thas exactly wat they did.we gave 3 points away for free today..and may all people knw..our coach was a dumb ass on the day.

    • Jojo says:

      No need to insult him. I don’t think you Luca needed a win more than the coach. You should look ahead with hope. That is why we have three matches at the group stages. You seem to have lost hope even before the end. Everyman makes mistakes. AA had a plan. Kinsman had a superior plan. Football is just a game.

    • David Amoah says:

      Remember we also conceded through a first minute penalty in the friendly against Montenegro. In fact, we have conceded a goal within the first five minutes in three of our last four games. Our coach was an excellent defender and captain of the Black Stars so what is he teaching the players to be conceding like that? The least said about Kwasi Appiah’s team selection the better. He really does not know what he is about. He has experimented throughout his reign as the coach of the Black Stars. The problem is with all of us as Ghanaians. We glorify mediocrity. That is why Dr. Kwasi Appiah is our coach and hence the results we are having.

    • Ramessu Superc says:

      No need for insults its ok to agree to disagree.He made a mistake because I was like where is KP ..Essien is really lost it for pace that excliusion I can see.He should forget about 2018 and live in the moment .Too mAny injuries dude!US do not have Ghanas class that is for sure without a doubt .I want to see they same set up Appiah used to murdah Egypts ass!BLACK STARS FOR LIFER!

  4. texas says:

    AA you thought? dude you don’t have to think….you supposed to go and do the damn thing right man…this is no experiment! you did not field the best players…we lost this game from the bench!

  5. texas says:

    you have Afful and Inkoom yet played one of the attacking mid fielders in the world in the defense….what was Opare doing there for whole time? you lost it not the players.

  6. texas says:

    AA be ready for fire from from Ghanains and country man songo….hahahahaha he will surely fire you!

  7. maka says:

    OMG! Did he really say that? That was Akwasi’s tactics? Really? Like seriously? The tactics was to bring them on when USA was tired? Why not kill of the game first and bring the rookies on when the USA was tired rather —-? Now where are all Akwasi Appiah’s boot lickers?
    Did this mumu forget that the USA also had the option of bringing in subsititutes too? But they were smart to start with their best!
    This coach should be relieved of his post as soon as the 3 games are over! We boast one of the best midfielders in the world, but did he realize that there was no midfield for Ghana today? Did he also realize that the long balls were not working? Oh, and how did he manage to start Opare who didnt even play in any of the friendlies? Did he see Opare’s play, and yet kept him thruout? Experimenting and playing players wrongly…!

    I have always said, together with other truthful forumites like SOCCER PUNDIT, REAL SABACIOUS, Keith@ Germany, and many others, that QAkwasi Appiah is clueless and useless! In Ghana, we don’t award positions on merit. The AFCON debacle also did not teach these fools a lesson….that the world cup is no place for experimenting! Fools die for lack of wisdom!

    Some of us said it, and got insulted! See how clueless akwasi appiah is…? haven’t we been saying it? how on earth….with all these talented players can you lose to the u.s.a?
    3 reasons:

    1. either you are incompetent or dumb by playing ur best player in defense. additionally, u can’t read games or make timely substitutions….and the dumb bench will all be sitting and looking sheepishly…cant even suggest anything to the coach at halftime, else, some foolish journalist will say “interference” instead of looking at it as “cooperation” and counsel seeking!

    2. keeping ur experienced players on the bench in such a big game as the opening of a group game where u have a high probability of beating the opposition (so capitalize on it); only for u to come and say it was a tactic…to wait till the usa players got tired…. haaba! akwasi, na wagyimi anaa?

    3. playing players out of position and failing to substitute early! not knowing how to best deploy all the weapons u got is the mark of a bad coach!

    It is 3 games and out; we might not even draw one single game in this group.

    How can we lose to usa? bcos our coach is clueless and useless! bcos he tried to show he has balls and it backfired! 3 games and out…yes, 3 and out —- the most abysmal performance and clueless coach ever! how cud he not sub opare and bring afful whose crosses are better? cos afful had a bad game against korea, u drop him for opare who never played in any of the friendlies?

    To sum up, we kept saying, do not keep KASA in defense; and the least said about daniel opare, the better! Long and short, we are out unless we beat germany and portugal……but lets be realistic…its not gona happen cos akwasi appiah is still gona experiment ….with no clues again and d next scoreline will be germany 5 ghana 1….then portugal 4, ghana 0

    Mumu coach! GFA, see ur faces now??

  8. luca says:

    I am so furious…our team cud ve simply been…gyan…dede kp kasa…muntari rabiu..opare boye Mensah aful….
    kp as play maker..dede and kasa on the wings….muntari and rabui breaking play and helping defence…thas alll the moron had to do…solid defence…plus competent attack.

  9. afrikaba1 says:

    to everybody criticizing the coach for benching kevin and essien, i think you got it wrong.AA has given his reason for doing so that but I believe the actual reason for doing that is because these two didnt contribute much during the qualifications and that he felt unfair to play them at the expense on the regular players. What shocked me was not inviting Ainooson of Kotoko, allowing Opare to play 90mins and shocking substituting Atsu for Adomah. I believe the agents of Adoma if he has any has coluded with the coah and Ghanasoccernet. We have all seen how Ghanasoccer has been putting up articles trying to give adomah a good image and prepare the mind of Ghanaian fans for his introduction in today’s game. The finl 10 mins was very important and to take the best Ghana player of the night was shocking.

    • Benny says:

      afrikaba1 ,the day l gave the reason why AA is bent on Adomah on this forum,some village people who were ruining insult all over.AA took Adomah for a reason and will explore every opportunity to give him playing time.Which plying part of Adomah is black star material?
      Even if AA wins the cup,he should be sacked.

  10. King of Kings says:

    But Why play opare ahead of Inkoom ?

  11. A concernedcitizen says:

    Coach AA’s darling Rabiu is not a good midfielder..Why do you underestimate Agyeman Badu, Essien and …Coach AA..you see you did not listen ..i told you so don’t start fresh “green” players but ezperienced over youth to blend them….you shot yourself in the foot…Experiments

  12. luca says:

    our first friendly match of the world cup was a gud test for us..now we wud try the next eleven..and if one of them slips and they score..we wud send him home..and put our most creative midfielder in defence…tha way adomah can replace atsu…and if Jordan pairs well with gyan in training..we will change our most potent formation of 4-2-3-1 to 4-4-2 and leave kevin on the bench cos u know wat..usa coach said they cant win the world cup.
    now give me my suit and tie…we have another friendly coming.

  13. tweaa appiah says:

    you are a fool dont come to ghana again are you smarter than all the other coaches that start with their best 11, and he is proud to expose his ignorance. well done gfa that is the fruit of your stupidity. hey dont come to gh stay in brazil.

  14. texas says:

    I blame Ghanaians….we said milo and doya were no coaches…..we now got what we wanted. What even annoys me is AA saying he thought……damn.

  15. GHANSON says:

    It shall be well….Spain lost their first game in 2010 WC to Switzerland but went ahead to win the cup… anything is possible

    • tweaa appiah says:

      spain had a competent coach but we will still have this clueless idiot at helm of affairs again shame on gfa for not listening to the good people of gh who saw this coming

  16. selfmade says:

    Atsu was useless in this game and am surprised people are praising him!! All the Ghanaian players were frustrated and annoyed by his selfish play esp Dede! Watch the replays again!

    He has no idea what to do when he has the ball!! Whether to cross, dribble or cut in!!! He sucks big time!!

  17. bostonman redsox says:

    Was it sooo difficult to choose your starting 11 players like 5months ago and play them till they jell? How on earth will u sit essien and kpb? Coach is trying to be cute and showed how clueless he really is. I’m done with the blackstar and watching the rest of this world cup. Waste of tax payers money. Now my family in ghana will call me for money becos the govt is wasting money on this useless team n coach. Too bad I wasted a vacation day today n starting drinking wine early to prep myseld only to be dissappointed. Now my american friends will laugh at me at work 2moro. Useless coach n team.

  18. tweaa appiah says:

    you are now a disgrace to African coaches rather than pride. CIV will go far because they made they ride decision to hire a competent coach paid less bonus . nyantakyi should resign. am sure he gets a percentage of AAs pay

  19. selfmade says:

    We lost to a very poor US team! They were very poor!

    • One Bullet! says:

      A poor team called Zambia beat you at Afcon 2012 another poor team Burkina Faso beat Ghana at afcon 2013 and Now you call the USA a poor team ? my foot! Think again USA was just far better tactically the Ghana.

  20. tweaa appiah says:

    gfa should b blamed for this mess, the guy did not have the pedigree to handle the team but because of their parochial interest they decided to keep him there. you are exposed like NDC SHAAAAAAAME

  21. ghanaliberiaboy in MN says:

    Another black clueless coach, another useless tactics that have given birth to another terrrible performance that have yielded such unwanted result. AA inability as a coach was shown before the game by naming a premature line up, during the game by making no change to his system or tactics and after the game by saying that
    he was keeping his good players till the US team gets tire.

    My question is, y did he introduce them when the US was nt tire at the time?

  22. payoko says:

    Ghana fans still with no humility. Don’t say you lost to weak US team. US missed many good chances, just like you. It was 50-50, but you scored on a lucky Gyan back heel. Our defence and game plan was solid. You can play physical with any team in the world, but USA don’t dive and will fight you every way, we don’t whine like others. We stand up and fight, and today it was TKO baby ? Hey Gyan, what happened to your dance plans hahaha
    Thanks you Jesus. 2-1 is the perfect revenge.

  23. andrew says:

    Ghana have too much world class midfielders to choose. The gift and the curse

  24. ghana@heart says:

    The match was lost from the bench. Instead of the coach to start with his formidable 11 he was experimenting players. Throughout our build up to the world cup Kwasi Appiah has continually experimented players. When Netherlands fielded its best 11 he continued experimenting. Which experienced coach does that? Just look at the man’s pedigree. He played 3 friendlies and lost two of them. Because Jordan scored a one-off goal you start him whilst Essien and Kevin with huge experience sit on the bench. You select players as if Ghana has no good defenders in the local league and later resort to using Kwadwo Asamoah as Defender. Not to talk of Opare who was so wasteful with crosses. It serves Ghana right. I have always maintained that Kwasi Appiah is not a good coach. Now you have all seen it. He is just taking dollars and producing mediocre performance. GHANA IS COMING HOME straight up

  25. lovely says:

    AA and all those who supported the introduction of inexperience players over experience players dumb headed fools. Can u imagine a coach telling u that he thought…Go ahead and keep experience players like KPB and Essien on bench against Germany and use headless men like Rabiu and Jordan. Also send ur creative player like Kasa in defends. Bloody asshole of a coach, fielding players because they performed in a single friendly. World cup is not for naked neck chickens. Ghanaians will celebrate over ur dismissal. U failed to learn from the Bukina Faso match as a result of poor formation and fielding naked necks like rabiu and adomah….When dey fire u, u will balance!!!!

  26. el says:

    The coach is very stupid and inexperienced.

  27. Kate says:

    Did the coach accept a bribe to let his best two players to sit on the bench. THAT is what it seems like to me.

    Cause no coach in the world will let his best players to sit on the bench for 70 minutes and bring them back in the game for only 15 minutes.

    Think about the country, GHANA, not yourself.

  28. PITO says:

    Did he say BrIng his experienced best on when the opposition get tired?
    Appaih you tried this under dog tactic in a friendly against Turkey and Turkey scored 2 goals in the first half. When you finally brought KWADWO ASAMOAH and Asamoah Gyan on, the game changed and we fought back to equalise and the game ended in draw. DO YOU LEARN AT ALL?
    I thought you had learned to cast awau your complex after that friendly.

    PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD!
    This is like going to sit and EXAM and answering the hard questions first. Heheheheee. Always a wrong move even if it works for you sometimes.

    It will fail you more than it will work for you.

  29. Ghanafan says:

    Coach AA talks like a kindergartner, “wait for the US team to get tired before putting the best players in”.

    Who seriously talks like that? Only a kindergartner, a beginner, who doesn’t listen would make that decision for his own selfishness and not think about the WHOLE nation of Ghana.

  30. papakwasi says:

    Under this manager Ghana will never win anything. His tactics – if you can them that – are totally bankrupt. How on earth do you start a World Cup opener with 6 rookies? Player for player Ghana was better but look at how Klinsmann has wielded the Americans together. Defensively the Yanks were a delight to watch. Tactically very disciplined, very fast and aggressive going forward. Klinsmann’s signature was there for everyone to see.
    Before Kevin and Essien came on, Ghana was slow, lethargic and bereft of any ideas and the manager just stood there, all his uninspiring self.
    No, we deserve a better manager. Pure and simple

  31. Liberian_Guy says:

    With respect to playing KPB and Essien later, I side with the Coach. I however thought that Asamoah, the Juventus guy, should have played on top to provide more creativity rather than playing left back. I can tell you that the US has been talking about Ghana for two years now, actuall 4. All the preparations were about how to revenge on Ghana, I don’t even know if they have any plans whatsoever for Portugal or Germany. I spent 5 years of my life living in Tema and I’m always with the Black Stars, even from the days of Pele and Yeboah..I will take me some time to get over this loss. The next two games have to be do or die!

  32. African Consciousness says:

    Coach Appiah all you had to do was start your 8 players with prior World Cup experience plus 3.
    Afful has done a good job for you all through the campaign and at the World Cup all of a sudden he is not good enough to play? How about Inkoom? This guy was in the U20 World Cup and also the 2010 World Cup but all of a sudden you don’t want to take a risk on him. Is Adomah better than Agyeman Badu, Afriyie Acquah and Wakaso? Adomah kept crossing the ball to the other team 3 times in a row, why couldn’t he get his crosses in the air so Gyan and the other forwards could convert it. You had some serious players languishing on your bench. Atsu was brilliant but his shots from distance was uncharacteristic and him and Muntari could not get a handle on the brazooka.

    In the next 2 games use your best line up of experienced players with prior World Cup experience KPB, Gyan, Dede, Inkoom, Jonathan Mensah, Essien, Muntari and Kwadwo Asamoah and then bring on the young guys as substitutes. Play Afful in his favored left back position and put Kwadwo Asamoah where he belongs. The second goal was scored after Mensah fouled the guy on the touch line. That would have been Afful’s assignment and he would have taken care of it.

    Kwadwo Asamoah is not a left full back, stop trying to fit a round peg in a square hole. You do your experiments and when you get the right formula you throw it out the window and make wrong decisions. How do you expect to win doing that? Because the players have been good enough to bail you out, well this is the World Cup so don’t experiment use the knowledge you gained from all these years. I love having a Ghanaian Coach please do the right thing so you don’t set us back again. I hate for Ghanaians with the Colonial mentality to start clamoring for foreign coaches. Your job is simple stop trying to make it complex. You should have given even Sumaila a shot, this is a game tailor made for him. He attacks and does not stand around watching like the other full backs, standing there and watching Clint Dempsey as if they were in a trance or coma. What kind of defending is that. Boye was beaten, Muntari was chasing so the 2 guys should have come out to challenge Dempsey but yet the just stood around.

    Finally Dede do not show negative emotion towards your team mate. It is bad form. When you score for the Black Starts follow your Captains lead, go to the flag and do the Azonto, celebrate with your mates because you did not do it all by yourself. The time it takes to do the Azonto cools down the opposition. When you pound your chest like a silver back then you incite the opposition and they come back all full of adrenaline and they counter the kick your ass and you lose the game. When you score with a few minutes left go back and help defend you goal. Where was the defense during that corner kick? John Brooks had no defender on him when he headed the ball.

    Coach work on defending set pieces, especially corner kicks because the German team is the tallest in the tournament. If the USA loses the next 2 games you still stand a chance. Go Black Stars. We still believe, don’t pack your bags yet OK KPB, You will make a fine Coach for the Black Stars someday but until then just do what Coach Dr Appiah commands.

  33. King says:

    Akwesi Appiah is technically and tactically bankrupt. Tweaa, Opare never played any of the friendly matches but u ffeatured him instead Harrison Afful.

  34. Adwene says:

    Its simple….
    We should play 4-2-3-1 .Four defenders and 2 defensive midfielders infront as an extra block. These two should be Kwadwo asamoah and Agyemang Badu (or Aquah). Then 3 attacking midfielders from left to right…Dede..KP and Waris (or Atsu or Accam if selected) and Gyan striker.

    Period!!!!

    AA…..no balls!!!!

  35. amoah frEeman says:

    See stupid man shut ur dirty mouth I thougt I thougt u dnt even know what u are doing I thougt God punish u

  36. plance says:

    Hard luck! At least we can be pleased with our performance. With a little polishing at the back couple with a sharp attack backed by a very strong midfield, Ghana is sure to progress. Am not a fun of comparison of history with current affairs, but taking some motivation from Germany 2006, and USA getting their much awaited revenge against us, and Spain’s World Cup performance in 2010, I think we are in for a tournament worth enjoying and full of intrigue and passion. Yes! Down we are, back certainly not out. Yes, we can. Taking into consideration tonights performance, we are there amongst the stars. Sometimes, stars needs an awakening to realise what sort of challenge lies ahead. If anything is worth noting, though an early stage yet, this tournament is full of surprises. Lets enjoy it!! To the doubters and pandits who predicted an early exit for whatever reason, let me congratulate you for being on point now, but be warned not to be deceived into concluding that you have the last laugh, because this is just the beginning. All said and done, I give an overwhelming thank you to the Almighty God for seeing us through the first much. In all things, let us give thanks to God, for HIS divine ways are never our ways. God be PRAISED, Respect!!!

  37. evra says:

    kwasi appiah jst gumbled at e wrong time

  38. Nana Poku Junior says:

    Coach Kwasi Appiah hope u ve seen the mistakes right.There are some players who luck World cup experience and they are Daniel Opare,why did u drop Afful Harrison to use Kwadwo Asamoah as 3.I think u don’t know what u are doing.How can a good coach drop 3 key players with experience.Better back up or u know what Ghanaians can do.Good luck coach prove ur best.

  39. Fiifi, Berlin says:

    I’m sorry about the result, but its only a game and we should all learn our lessons from the game and afterwards, tommorrow is another day!We have all at least realized that the wc is not a tournament at which we experiment! We have experts at work! We also don’t win matches with the mouth, but rather with the head! For now the team has to concentrate on the remaining matches and stop crying over spillt milk! Like Kwadwo Asamoah said, a lot of mistakes were made, and all these mistakes must be corrected and move on! Very wise words from Kwadwo Asamoah, i hope the coach is listening! The coach should humble himself and listen to good advice! It is not enough to qualify a team for the wc, but rather to live up to expectation! Most of the Black Stars players ply their trade outside Ghana and are used to more professional training with highly qualified trainers, to have such a squad, a coach needs to be at par with the those excellent conditions and methology. Patroitism with pragmatism and humility are the keywords!

  40. isaac mensah owusu says:

    I can’t cry over spoilt milk. whatever your thoughts were it wasn’t right Akwasi. I have watched Sumaila played in the most intense game for Ghana during our qualify against Zambia and Egypt. He isn’t experienced but he tackles better than both Jonathan Mensah and John Boye. Musing on what they all did in the local league, I think Sumaila supersedes them all regardless where they all apply their trade. He tackled Arjen Roben on three occasions in our friendly against the Dutch and Roben took a second look at him upon the last challenge. Van persie never passed him and this was a team that trashed the defending champions by a whole lot. We conceded just one against them and do you think our defense was awful. I need warris and KP and Gyan as top three. Three central defenders will be appropriate plus Kwadwo Asamoah and Afful. Rabiu and Muntari. This is the dream eleven. Essien can still be used as substitute

  41. DEE says:

    THIS COACH HAS A PROBLEM. IF HE CONCEDES A GOAL FIRST, IT MEANS GHANA HAS LOST THE MATCH

  42. DEE says:

    THIS COACH HAS A PROBLEM. IF HE CONCEDES A GOAL FIRST, IT MEANS GHANA HAS LOST THE MATCH
    … ZAMBIA ( IN ZAMBIA ) , EGYPT ( IN EGYPT ), HOLLAND , MONTENEGRO , USA

  43. Ghanaians did very well but am asking can we qualified to the nest stage? oh Ghana de3 aduru yi de3 PAAPA gyes3 wobamu

  44. George says:

    When I saw the starting 11, I was shocked and was not confident as a Ghana fan. I am a Ghanaian living in the USA and the US were really hungry to beat Ghana. I just don’t understand why the coach didn’t start Prince and move Essien to defense to help out with the defense due to the Akaminko injury. You cannot start young players in a big stage like that. Experience beats talent all of the time. Boye and Opare played awful. The formation was awful due to USAs striker ability. USA has good strikers but poor midfield and defensive play. We should play to our strengths and stack the midfield. Should’ve played a 3-4-3 or a 4-2-3-1. The best and experienced players should play period!

  45. shak osei says:

    I WAS SO UPSET WITH APPIAH LINE UP VS USA BUT BUT COME 21st SATURDAY PRINCE NEEDS TO START THE GAME HE IS DETERMINED TO STRIKE EARLY FOR GHANA….GHANA TEAM WILL GO FAR THIS WORLD CUP KEEP YOUR HEAD UP BLAKKSTARS WE GOT IT…SALUTE GHANA FOR LIFE !!!!!!!!!!!

  46. Kumasi says:

    Coach Akwasi Appiah you know whats going on now, YOU BETTER put those good experienced players in first eg: Prince Boateng, Essien, A. Gyan etc., to start the ball.

    Don’t let them sit on the bench for the other team to get tired before you put them in as you said.

    Don’t listen to any bad ideas no more or if your idea don’t ever think like that no more. The World is changing so you have to change. GO GHANA GO GHANA GO GHANA YOU ARE THE BEST!!!! We need that for the nation.