GHANA’S SQUAD v MOZAMBIQUE: THE TALKING POINTS

What’s to — and not to — like about Ghana head coach Avram
Grant’s bunch of invitees for the national team’s dates against
Mozambique?

Ahead of the Black Stars’ duels home and away to Mozambique in the
quest for qualification to next year’s Africa Cup of Nations, its
technical head, Avram Grant, has named a squad that, as usual, fuels
debate and, here at KickerGH, we have an opinion or two to share as
well.
Join us!

THE ‘PRODIGAL’ RETURNS

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Adam Kwarasey returns

It’s been nearly two years in coming but, just when many had begun to
lose faith in it ever occurring, the grand reunion between Ghana and
its one-time No.1 goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey is suddenly being
celebrated. The split, since Kwarasey declared a self-imposed
sabbatical after losing his place under controversial circumstances at
the 2014 Fifa World Cup, has been muddied by subtle digs from — and
at — individuals involved, wild and not-so-wild speculation, etc. But
with playing for the Black Stars growing ever so attractive with a
high-profile head coach at the helm and an Afcon runners-up finish
recorded since Kwarasey’s exit, while the Norway-born glovesman
himself sparkled in helping American side Portland Timbers to the MLS
Cup last year (forget, if you will, the dip in form that’s plagued his
early-season outings in 2016), the inevitable just had to happen —
and not many seem unhappy about it.

THE LEICESTER EFFECT

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Daniel Amartey and Jeffrey Schlupp from Leicester City FC have been handed call-ups

It may — or may not — be testament to Leicester City’s brilliance
this season that no club has more players in the latest Ghana squad
than they do. The Premier League’s unlikely table-toppers at this
advanced stage of the season, five points better than the best of the
championship’s remaining 19 clubs, have defenders Daniel Amartey and
Jeffrey Schlupp representing, and although both men are still not
exactly undisputed options for their respective positions at
international level, they could eventually ride on the wave of their
club’s good run to break through.

FINALLY. . . DAUDA AXED

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Fatau Dauda wasn't given a look-in for the Mozambique assignment

The Black Stars’ goalkeeping department has been fraught with
controversies over the last couple of years and remains the one
area which has experienced a lot of troubles in the
team’s recent past. Many have auditioned for the starting role, though none has
been able to lock down
the position in the manner veteran Richard Kingson did before being
‘prematurely’ booted out. One
individual who has, for sometime now, enjoyed a
great deal of goodwill from the technical handlers of the Stars has
been Ashantigold’s Fatau Dauda, despite the fact that his form
has hit a rather inexorable slide.
Recall the goals he conceded against MO
Bejaia in this season’s Caf Champions League and the manner in which he did?
You’d no doubt agree with Grant on this one, then. Spot on!

SAMUEL TETTEH BACK BIGGER AND BETTER

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Samuel Tetteh earns a second Black Stars call-up

So, then, when was the last time a Ghanaian player scored a hat-trick in a
competitive game?
Clueless?
Not even when the search is filtered down to the Ghana
Premier League?
Well, no prizes for picking WAFA’s Samuel Tetteh, whose three goals
helped sink Sekondi Hasaacas on Gameweek 3 of the ongoing league
season, as the obvious answer. Tetteh’s quick,
direct play, combined with an eagerness to run at defenders and
make them earn their
bread the hard way has made him an easy target
for Grant in a bid to escape the tongue-lashing he figured he would receive
had he not included any
local player in his 23-man squad for this week’s
Mozambique assignments. Not that Tetteh didn’t get there on merit,
though — far from it. He’s been a totem of contiguous brilliance and
very few can
argue against his
inclusion. It goes without saying that Grant
could surely do better with consideration of home-based players but,
in Tetteh, he’s
definitely made a good start.

SUPER FRANK LANDS THE GIG

image
Super Franky Acheampong

Perhaps for the first time since becoming a full Ghana international,
winger Frank Acheampong’s mien in the Black Stars’ camp wouldn’t be
that of a lad seeking opportunities he barely deserves any more than
his teammates do. Ahead of the double-header versus Mozambique, the
Anderlecht man’s glittering club form — seven goals from his last ten
games, including three in the Europa League — stands him in good
stead for a starting berth in both matches, especially with Andre
Ayew, ideally assigned to man the left flank, out injured. Attaboy!

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