September 25, 2023


Discovering to Inform

I wasn’t just calling up players, I was building a squad for the future – Ex-Black Stars boss Kwesi Appiah

3 min read

Former Black Stars coach, Kwesi Appiah, has defended his use of a large number of players during his tenure as national team boss.

One major criticism levelled at Kwesi Appiah was his apparent failure to settle on a core team of players.

He was accused of experimenting with his squad even after having been in charge for over a year, constantly inviting lots of new players to the squad.

Kwesi Appiah used 49 different players in his first spell in charge from 2012 to 2014  and 60 different players from 2017 to December 2019.

However, Appiah argued that he has been forced to try out more new players due to a failure to institute an effective succession plan for the Black Stars.

He said that while he had inherited star players like Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari and Asamoah Gyan, these players were reaching the late stages of their career and not much effort had been put into finding players to take over from them.

We’ve made a lot of mistakes preparing a succession plan for the national team. Since I came, I’ve always been introducing a lot of players, giving other players opportunities so that all of us Ghanaians could choose the best amongst them to play for us.

“People didn’t understand me, they thought I was just calling a lot of players but the bottom line was that we didn’t have a standing team like in [Michael] Essien’s time. There was Essien, Sulley [Muntari], [Asamoah] Gyan and a number of others. The team was there so it was much easier for any coach that came in,” Kwesi Appiah told Godfred Akoto Boafo on Citi TV‘s Face To Face.

Kudus Mohammed [one of seven debutants] celebrating his goal against South Africa

According to Appiah, he wethered the criticisms that came and persisted with his decision to constantly introduce debutants to the squad, even with the threat of losing his job hanging over his head.

He added that he intended to create a “backup” team that could be called upon to replace the regulars when they were no longer available.

I took over when these players were getting old or going off the scene so what do you do at a time like that? We didn’t have a plan for other players to take over. I had to take a risk, put my job on the line to bring players in.

“If we had a succession plan the setup would have been there and then you’d only add one or two players. It’s important that we make sure that we have a backup team.”

More than a few eyebrows were raised when Appiah named seven debutants in his squad for the Black Stars’ two AFCON 2021 qualifiers against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe.

He, however, appeared to have been justified when one of the debutants, Kudus Mohammed scored Ghana’s second goal in the 2-0 win over South Africa.

Source: citisportsonline

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