AFCON Qualifier Observations from Ghana-Rwanda game

This is what we learnt from Ghana's 1-1 drawn game with Rwanda

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In many ways the observations from this final Nations Cup qualifier for Ghana were not exactly based on the 90 minutes of action. And that says a lot about the status of the game.

With the Nations Cup place wrapped up long ago and very lttle riding on the results plus the most chaotic build up to a Ghana game in several years, there wasn’t much to look out for.

Instead we could pick on what Grant’s selection says about his general approach and long term plans, which players he does not fancy and  the increasingly apathetiic attitude towards the Black Stars.

1. Sports Minister wasn’t the only one disinterested in this game

play Sports Minister wasn’t the only one disinterested in this game

 

Apparantly the sports minister was at the Accra Sports Stadium to watch this game but we all know the build up. He didn’t think it was important enough to merit any huge expenses. And on matchday, the attendance at the Accra Sports Stadium seemed to suggst many fans thought so too even though this may have deeper underlinings.

The crowd was one of the lowest ever at the Accra Sports Stadium for a Ghana game and certainly since theh Black Stars became this huge brand after the remarkable success of the mid 2000s.

There was vast stretches of yellow and other colour seats that in the past would been filled by people waving the national flag, singing dancing and proudly taking selfies and reminding friends on social media that they are watching the Black Stars. The love has really waned off.

2. Kwarasey not just Grant’s guy

play Kwarasey not just Grant’s guy

 

With a Nations Cup wrapped up, nothing to play for and with the game ripe for a few changes, you would expect one of the definitte areas where Avram Grant would have shuffled would have been in the area of goalkeeping. It is afterall the one position where you hardly touch which means friendlyy games and dead rubbers provide your best bet to give others game time.

It must be even more pressing when in the case of Ghana, the regular goalkeeper in this case Razak Braimah is prone to errors and not a regular at club level.

The case is even more compelling when you consider that among those on the bench is Adam Kwarasey, first choice at club level, one time number one and a player whose treatment at some point has become a reference point to many about not bothering about the Black Stars. Kwarasey had a watching brief once again.

It means since his return from a self imposed exile, he has yet to get a game and those games have been against Comoros plus a dead rubber against Rwanda. Braimah must either be that good or Grant for all he says doesn’t just fancy Adam.

3. Maybe depth of talent not as deep

play Maybe depth of talent not as deep

 

We like to say we have a lot of options as Ghana. We normally boost how good our midfeidl is, roll out the name of players and say in the absence of more established names, we are sortted. It didn’t look like that. We started with a team with a defender who can’t games in Russia (Jonathan Mensah) and goalkeeper who is not regular and a strike force that rarely troubled Rwanda for all the possesion. Samuel Tetteh was a refreshing difference in all this with his ball control, running and general play .

Alfred Duncan looked solid in midfield and should give the more established players a proper run for their money. Beyond that the likes of Asamoah Gyan, Christian Atsu and others who had a watching brief would not have been bothered about their position one bit. And that is not a good thing Then there were some of Grant’s in-game calls. With Ghana 1-0 up, he pulls of a striker ?(David Accam) and brings in a midfielder (Partey).

The Atletico Madrid player may be an offensive minded one and Samuel Tetteh may have been pushed upfront in attach from the wins but is it any wonder Rwanda gained a lot more in terms of possesion and found their equaliser afterwards.

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