2014 World Cup: Veteran coach E.K Afranie kicks against drafting Michael Essien into Ghana's defence

Michael Essien could be drafted into Ghana’s defence at the 2014 World Cup

Michael Essien could be drafted into Ghana’s defence at the 2014 World Cup

By Ameenu Shardow

Follow on Twitter @alooameenu

Ghanaian coach E.K Afranie has kicked against suggestions to have Michael Essien drafted into the defensive set up of the Black Stars for the 2014 World Cup.

Concerns have been raised over the limited number of defenders in the Ghana team for the world showpiece in Brazil.

Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah named only six natural defenders as against ten midfielders in his final squad for the World Cup.

Only two of the six defenders called up by Appiah – Jonathan Mensah and Samuel Inkoom – have had prior World Cup experience with the four others making their tournament debut.

This has led to suggestions to have some of the experienced versatile midfielders like Michael Essien shifted to augment the limited numbers in the Ghana defence.

Coach Appiah himself have always harboured the thoughts of making such shifts especially in tournament situations.

But former Black Stars coach E.K Afranie believes the inexperienced folks at the back be given the confidence to play rather than bringing in re-enforcements from the midfield.

“We have other central defenders around, we should rather give them confidence to play,” Afranie told Power FM.

“They [inexperienced defenders] are jittery because it takes them a longer time to take decisions – whether to go in for a tackle or not.

“The thought of playing Essien in defence should only arise in an emergency situation for instance during the game, a player gets injured and there are no more substitutions left.

“But not at the start of the game because we have other players as well who can play.”

READERS COMMENTS

  1. Rasheed says:

    Let us Play Essien in the Defence in today’s match against Guatemala and let us see how he performs. WE ARE PLAYING GUATEMALA TODAY AT 2.PM EASTERN TIME

  2. wilson says:

    kwadwo asamoah drafted into defence is ok.

    the first time we saw essien play in defence was at the under 17 level where he was a tower and overshadowed his own collegues and the opposition under the guise of sir cecil. when he launched an attack from defence trying to spot donbortey or ishmael addo it was soo destructive. when afranie took over the next under 17 he shifted essien into midfield to create space for a certain villas in defence. some of us kicked against it bitterly but afranie had his way. however over the years eesien has settled down as a midfielder and if kwesi appiah is able to deploy kwadwo in defence that will be enough. essien should be in midfield to give kpb a backing to maneuver in attack.

  3. Emma says:

    In modern soccer every player defends when your team is under attack. No fears because Ghana will sail through at all cost.

  4. banger says:

    RASHEED ARE U JOCKIN OR WAT.GHANA IS NOT PLAYIN TODAY.I CHECKED ALL THE SITES AND NOTHIN

  5. sslfmade says:

    Banger… Ghana is playing Guatemala today! U can watch it online!

  6. Union Leader says:

    Who does that ? Who goes into a tournament as huge as the World Cup with only 3 central defenders? Well, I think I know the answer;only a Coach who doesn’t see a path for his team will do that. God forbid, but if all 3 central defenders are ruled out in the course of the tournament then what ? Y’all campaigned for an indigenous Coach well, there you have it !

  7. Clifford says:

    Rasheed please since you insist. Give me a site to watch I beg

  8. Maxwell Obuobi says:

    Thank you Coach Hene!

  9. Kwame Adu-Gyamfi says:

    We should never put a player like Kwadwo Asamoah in defense. He is our best player, and is too creative to be left at the back. Besides he plays a different system at Juventus. Essien on the other hand isn’t the midfielder he used to be but could in fact be a great asset to our defense. When he was at Real Madrid he played as a defender and was superb. He even nullified Messi. I’m all for playing him alongside Boye in central defense and giving his position to someone like Afriyie Acquah.

  10. CD says:

    guys chech it on ESPN

  11. CD says:

    @clifford check friendly matches to be play today on soccernet.com ghana vs guatemala but i know is not ture

  12. Troy says:

    How is Ghana playing Guatemala without the FA telling everyone about it? Even closed doors scrimmages they make it public.

  13. selfmade says:

    Troy… Mate, maybe the fa want to prevent spies from watching the match bro

  14. Quophy Dadzie says:

    What does coach Afranie know? Essien has been a natural defender until he went to France and was made a libro like Armah Senegal and Joe Addo. Is it even the first time we are hearing a non-defender being drafted to defence? Lauther Mathias, a forward was used in the German defence; we saw Dwight York, one of the best strikers in the world then, play in defence for Trinidad and Tobago in the world cup; so many other examples. If these can do it how come Essien who was born a defender can’t? If Afranie doesn’t like him he should come straight and stop beating about the bush. Afterall he doesnot matter here. This world cup is for Essien. He has played cautiously in his team so that he doesn’t get another scary injury so that he can exert all his energy on this WC. We should allow the coach to vary his own options without these negative advice

  15. Union Leader says:

    If this is true then it’s just a scrimmage (a practice match btn 2 teams usually played closed doors). No spectators, and reporters are handpicked to watch such practice. The USMNT is schedule to have a scrimmage with Belgium 2 days before they face Gh. in Brazil. We need such a practice match in Brazil to get acclamatize with the hot weather in Brazil.

  16. 21guns says:

    Ghana is not playing any friendly match.it a chiken lie

  17. Troy says:

    @21 guns I know we’re not playing any match. The FA would have revealed it but will make it known that its a close doors game. This is a big lie.

  18. EMMANUEL AIDOO says:

    I WAS SUGGESTING THAT WE SHOULD MAINTAIN ESSIEN IN THE MIDFIELD AND PREPARE AFRIYIE ACQUAH TO PLAY IN THE DEFENCE SINCE WE NEED STRONG GAME AGAINST USA AND ALSO TO WIN OUR FIRST GAME TO RAISE THE MORAL.LOOSING OUR BEST DEFENDERS LIKE JOHN MENSAH,VORSAH AND ALSO AKAMINKO. AFRIYIE IS GOOD,STRONG,SKILLFUL AND ALSO WITH GOOD HEIGHT TO MATCH UP WITH AMERICANS.PLEASE IN FOOTBALL THERE ARE THREE MAJOR FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO GOOD GAME AND THESE ARE SKILLS OR TECHNIQUES ,HEIGHT AND STRENGHT BUT HERE IS THE CASE WE HAVE LOST VORSAH, MENSAH AND AKAMINKO.SO FORGET ABOUT USING AFRIYIE AS A SUB AND PUT HIM IN DEFENCE TO STILL INCREASE OR MAINTAIN THE STRENGHT IN THE TEAM AND I PROMISE THE GHANAIANS THEY WILL FORGET TO MISS THOSE BEST AND USUAL DEFENDERS MISSING .THANK YOU COACH.APPIAH.THIS FROM YOUR BEST FRIEND WHO ALWAYS PRAYS FOR YOUR SUCCESS.