Michael Essien

Ghana captain and Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has been ruled out of the World Cup due to an injury  he picked up in Decemeber. Most people believe that is a dampening blow to the Black Stars’ hopes of the tournament in South Africa. However, I don’t see it that way. 

Essien hasn’t been fit since his injury in December but was still in the squad in hopes he would recover in time for the World Cup.

Unfortunately, the midfielder has not been able to spring back into form according to the  Ghana Football Association.

“An evaluation by a combined team of medical experts from the Ghana Football Association and Chelsea Football Club revealed that Essien will not make full recovery until the end of July,”   

Even though Ghana has lost a great player, I still believe  Ghana has the quality to do well in the World Cup at least.

Ghana has Inter Milan midfielder and UEFA Champions League winner Sulley Muntari. The 26-year-old is a quality player and impressed in the 2006 World Cup after he fired home a powerful strike against Czech Republic. With a total number of 16 caps. He’s been Ghana’s best player with numerous assists and a goal against Bosnia in a match friendly in March 2010.

Newcomer and former German forward  Kevin-Prince Boateng, who currently plays for Portsmouth, was named by the Serbian coach after deciding to switch nationality. He has great potential and will from a great striking partnership with Asamoah Gyan.

The Portsmouth player was born in Germany, who he has represented at under-21 level, but has a Ghanaian father and his uncle has played for the Black Stars.

Ghana Coach Milovan Rajevac also named John Mensah in his preliminary squad. Mensah is a top defender and a rock in the heart of the Ghanaian defence.

 “You just see Mensah and you look and think, ‘That’s a bit of quality’. He has got that arrogance that top players have got, he is quick, powerful, he jumps, heads the ball well, he’s tough. That’s why he is captain of his country.” Sunderland manager Steve Bruce said.

However, Mensah is heavily and inconveniently injury-prone and has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career at Lyon and Sunderland. He has been haunted by a calf injury arising from a physical complication which has plagued him in recent years.  Ghana is just lucky he is currently fit for this year’s World Cup. For now.

But that’s the least of Ghana’s troubles. Injuries aside, the main problem is that well, Ghana sucks right now.

With a  loss to Bosnia in March 2010 and a demoralising lost of 4-1 to Netherlands, Ghana is not looking good for the World Cup. The last two games were only friendlies but I believe they are still reflective of the performance Ghana will show at the tournament. There’s only a couple days left and the coach and the rest of the squad have to step up.

“Whatever happens, we cannot drop our heads, we have to continue with our preparations.  We have a tough group, a very tough group. But we have to do well and play our football. The most important thing is for this group of players to be healthy and ready,” Rajevac said.

Better be ready soon.

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