Take a Bow: ‘Local Coach’ James Kwesi Appiah to Debut on the World Stage-World Cup 2014 | ‘The Black Man is Capable Of Managing His Own Affairs’

James Kwesi Appiah
James Kwesi Appiah

When the Black Stars line up late tonight to take on the might of the United States of America, a little bit of history which is being threatened to be overshadowed by all the brouhaha of a world cup is going to take place. For the first time in the history of Ghana, the Black Stars are going to be led by a black man on the world stage, at the senior level.

Admittedly ours is a short romance with the world cup, this just being our 3rd tournament overall, but this does not in any way diminish the significance of the occurrence. Ghana’s first president Dr Nkrumah is amongst other things, famous for his utterance that “the black man is capable of managing his own affairs”. And after trusting in the white man to take us to our first two world cups, Kwesi Appiah was given the chance and has, rather spectacularly, led the team to the world cup in a manner more flamboyant than either of his predecessors could manage.

We have a rather unfortunate tendency in this country to dismiss the value of our own products, and this pertained to our choice of a national team coach for a long time. Which is why the exploits of Kwesi Appiah should not be glossed over, as in being successful he makes a case not only for himself, but for all local coaches and for our ability to perform just as well as the foreigner given the right conditions.

READ ALSO: Ghana Vrs USA: How Ghana Can Beat USA-World Cup 2014

Kwesi Appiah’s initial appointment was met with incredulity and indifference by a large section of the Ghanaian public. There were those who believed a local coach was the way to go, but Kwesi Appiah himself was largely untested as a manager at the top level. Admittedly, he had been assistant coach of the Black Stars for several years prior; this did not however diminish the calls of his critics who felt he was entirely out of his depth.

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Ghana Vrs USA: How Ghana Can Beat USA-World Cup 2014

Ghana Vrs USA Match Preview
Ghana Vrs USA Match Preview

“When I get older… I will be stronger … They will call me freedom … just like a waving flag …and then it goes back… oh oo o ” … Four years ago, Somalia’s K’naan rose to prominence with this theme song for the World Cup in South Africa, and while Shakira’s Waka Waka had a groove about it, Waving Flag just tugged at your heart strings in a special way…

Four years ago, Nana Borro’s “Aha y3d3” became another unofficial theme song, especially after Ghana games; Four years ago, Octopus Paul was your go to guy for match predictions; Four years ago, the Cedi was 1.4 to the Dollar…. Oh how the times have changed since the last World Cup!

But those moments are back; those moments when you, including your boss, steal office hours; dash from the office to the pub or rush home, if your wife is the “house master” type, to catch the action live on TV, or simply tune in to radio commentary from your car. For one long month from June 12 – July 13, our daily routines will be rearranged because the 2014 FIFA World Cup is here; live from the home of football, Brazil! and you know what that means; a football party!

For us this side of the Atlantic, we are concerned with how our beloved Black Stars would kick start the campaign against perennial World Cup foes, United States of America (USA), on Monday June 16, 2200 GMT in Natal. In keeping with the World Cup fever, I have got a couple of tips for Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah on how to beat the USA from a purely scientific angle, nothing Kwaku Bonsam-ish. And oh, while I am at it, I will attempt an ideal line up too.

Arrest Michael Bradley

US Coach Jurgen Klinsmann, a former German international, recently stated that formations do not matter as much as tactics. In the lead up to the tournament, Klinsmann has departed from his favoured 4-2-3-1 in favour of a diamond 4-4-2 and tried several combinations with different players, although one has been ever present; Michael Bradley, son of former US and Egypt Coach Bob Bradley.

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