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2014 World Cup: Ghanaian striker Chris Dickson tips Black Stars to cause an upset in Brazil

Chris Dickson

Chris Dickson

For a third successive World Cup, Ghana have reached the finals, and although the odds are stacked against them, international Chris Dickson believes they are more than capable of causing an upset or two.

The Black Stars rose to prominence after their performances back in 2006 in South Africa, becoming the only African nation to qualify for the second round and ultimately bowing out to Brazil.

But their next World Cup was even better and but for Luis Suarez’s infamous hand ball for Uruguay in the quarter-final, and Asamoah Gyan’s subsequent penalty miss, they could have been celebrating a semi-final spot.

On both occasions they have been the underdogs to African rivals Ivory Coast in the finals, and they go into this tournament at odds of 200/1 to become the first African nation to win the World Cup.

First of all, though, they have to come through a very tough group including Germany, Portugal and the United States.

But although former Dagenham & Redbridge striker Dickson, capped twice for his country, feels his fellow countrymen are up against it, he believes their young squad could pull off a few surprises in Brazil.

“We were so close at the last World Cup with the Suarez handball and then Gyan missing a penalty,” said Dickson.

“Hopes are high definitely and the thing about Ghana is that they’ve got a lot of young players that people don’t know about yet.

“Hopefully they’ll go to the World Cup and shine. You never know, they say an African nation is going to win the World Cup sooner or later and hopefully it will be Ghana.

“They went into the last World Cup as dark horses and they will do so again. Everybody always looks at the Ivory Coast and Nigeria but we like to keep quiet and slide in through the back door. You never know. It’s a tough group but I am sure we can prevail.”

Dickson’s two appearances for Ghana came while he was with Championship side Charlton Athletic.

The 28-year-old looks back on those games against Zambia and Tanzania with a lot of pride and they represent his greatest achievement in the game, having come up all the way from non-league with Dulwich Hamlet in 2007.

“They were both whirlwind experiences,” said Dickson. “Against Tanzania we played in front of 90,000 people and Zambia was over here at Leyton Orient’s ground and it was a good experience as well.

“I was on the bench for a World Cup qualifier as well against Libya. I didn’t manage to get on, but it was still an amazing experience.

“It’s definitely the highlight of my career and I am still in touch with quite a lot of players who are in the national team now.

“It’s a massive highlight and it is an honour to play for your country in any capacity, whether it be at youth level or full international and I take great pride in it.”

READERS COMMENTS

  1. Soccer Pundit says:

    What did we learn from the game last night? Absolutely nothing! Actually, five things were confirmed to us–things we already knew.

    1) Appiah is clueless. Prior to this game, we had known that Appiah was clueless. But the game last night confirmed it. Not only does he lack significant knowledge about the abilities of the players in our team and how to field them in order to get the best out of them, but he also lacks an ability to read the game well. For example, the Koreans dominated midfield from the very start of the game to the end. This is very troubling because we boast one of the best midfields in the world. Also, the midfield is the strongest part of our game. Because the midfield was nonexistent, the defense was exposed all through the game. What is particularly troubling is that Appiah stood on the touchline for the full ninety minutes and was not able to make substitutions or suggestions to the players to reverse or stiffle the Koreans domination of the midfield. If we cannot dominate midfield against Korea, how can we dominte midfield against Germany who boasts some of the best midfield players? How about against the US and Portugal?

    2) The second point that was confirmed to us last night, a point that stems from the above, is that Ghana has little to no game plan. This was very obvious throughout the game last night. Not only did the players lack cohesiveness, but they could also hardly string passes around the midfield or build a play from the back. As a result, influential players such as Prince were left grasping for straws. This wouldn’t have happened if there was a proper game plan in place that allowed players such as Prince to thrive!

    3) Dauda’s lack of game time is showing. Dauda is a good keeper. But like every keeper, when you have not had a full season of game time, you begin to get rusty. And this is what has happened to Dauda. Because he’s been out of the game for some time, his decision making has dropped. Also, his confidence is shaken. The coach either needs to place faith in Kwarasey and play him or motivate Dauda to raise his game before the world cup or we will be in serious trouble.

    4) Jordan is not a decent striker. I know Jordan scored three goals last night, goals which I believe helped paper over the obvious cracks in our game. But Jordan is not a striker we can rely on. With the exception of his second goal, all the other goals he scored could have been scored by a ten-year-old. The coach should not even be dupped into thinkng that because Jordan scored those three goals, he has somehow played himself into the starting lineup. Sure, he is an exciting and promising talent, but right now, he is not at the level to be a starter in the team, let alone to be trusted with shouldering the responsibility of winning us games. I pray Warris gets well soon!

    5) What does Rabiu bring to Ghana’s midfield? I hardly think I’m the only one who thinks Rabiu is a useless, clueless player who runs around the field like a headless chicken. He has little to no ball skills, his passing rate is horrible, he is incapable of winning back balls from the opposition, and is also incapable of assisting the defense. But since this is the case, why does Appiah keep playing him when we have better midfielders in Acquah who cannot only pass well, but can also hustle and win back balls when the need arises?

    As a Ghanaian, I will be hoping and praying we do well in the world cup, but I refuse to get carried away. Because the truth of the matter is that, while we boast an array of stars, our coach’s ineptitude and inability to read games well or use the best and most efficient players in the game may well be the cause of our downfall.

    • Nii Christian says:

      You seem to have read the game well and sound rather convincing. The only question is “How do you know what preparational strategies the coach is using for the world cup?” You do believe he is clueless about the game, on what do you base that, definitely not on your lack of knowledge about his plans for the world cup. Obviously you can use what he has done so far as foundation to criticize and remain critical, do you really believe he has no knowledge of the game at all….clueless, as you say? Sometimes even when people have good points just because they fail to say one good thing about the other person makes their points look vindictive, would you agree? Well, you know what you are talking about because you said that, so we must all accept it, because you said it. Keep letting us know your thoughts and that is how we will get to know you know!

  2. texas says:

    With all of negative stuff you said about the BS, soccer pundit what solution or better ideas do you have for the team? What do you want them to do? Enough of these undue criticism and offer some support and encouragement…haba.

    • Nii Christian says:

      Easy my brother, the man is trying to make a point. He is entitled to his views, right? Someone said that “It is only when the fish opened its mouth that the hook had its way.” What happens to fish out of water? The man just have to wait like all of us till after the World Cup to know if he is wrong. Let’s keep everyone in prayers!