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Five major talking points from Coach Milo’s squad for Ethiopia, South Africa matches

Black Stars coach Milovan Rajevac

Fri, 5 Nov 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The second call-up of Milo Rajevac’s second coming was announced on Thursday, November 4, 2021, drawing some interesting reactions from Ghanaians on social media.

The Black Stars face Ethiopia and South Africa with their work succinctly cut out for them. Win both games and breathe life into the Qatar 2022 journey or falter in any of the games and see the chance of making a fourth World Cup slip away.

The stakes are definitely high which forms the basis of the interest this particular callup has generated on both traditional and new media platforms.

GhanaWeb highlights five major issues that have been birthed from the announcement of the squad for the games.

Philemon Baffour is the Edwin Gyimah of the Okraku era

When Edwin Gyimah was dropped from the Black Stars, there was a headline that read “Perpetual bench-warmer Edwin Gyimah finally dropped from Black Stars.”

Such is the relief or excitement that welcomed the move which was made by coach Kwesi Appiah in the first team selection of his second stint with the Black Stars.

Edwin Gyimah had secured a permanent place in the Black Stars but his presence was only felt on the bench as he hardly played any minutes for the team.

Philemon Baffour of Dreams FC is fast cutting an Edwin Gyimah-like figure in the Black Stars.

The Dreams FC right-back has played zero minutes despite having six call-ups. In Ghana’s game against South Africa where the squad was depleted owing to the COVID-19 restriction, Baffour was not trusted by then-coach Akonnor to start in the right-back position.

Instead, Hearts of Oak skipper Fatawu Mohammed was handed a late call-up to start the match.

Milova Rajevac has meanwhile defended his decision to call him.

Afena Gyan's 'rushed' call-up

The 18-year-old has been a revelation for AS Roma this season after making his professional debut barely a week ago.

The general feeling is that his call-up might have been rushed and could distort the developmental plans AS Roma coach Jose Mourinho has in store for him. Amid reports that he will not be released for the game, his agent Oliver Arthur has offered a subtle dig at the FA over the youngster’s callup.

“Congratulations @ohenegyanfelix9 @edmundAddo, two outstanding young men from the @ArthurLegacy Family who have earned call ups by @ghanafaofficial for World Cup qualifiers.

“Player development is a partnership that cannot be rushed. Let’s stay focused on the long term win," he tweeted.

Emmanuel Lomotey dropped

The continuous invitation of the France-based midfielder by former coach CK Akonnor is one that left many people puzzled.

Lomotey enjoyed minutes in some games and in the most underwhelming Black Stars performance in recent years, he managed to come to tops as a player who is not cut for the senior national team.

His exclusion is seen as a good move by Rajevac as it will promote competition in the Black Stars.

Wakaso returns

The veteran midfielder has been given a place in the team after missing out on the last two call-ups.

Injuries kept him out of the doubleheader against Zimbabwe but he has now returned after regaining fitness.

Question about relevance however remains. In the era of Baba Iddrisu, Thomas Partey, Edmund Addo and Kudus Mohammed, do the Black Stars really need Wakaso?

The local contingent

Richard Attah from Accra Hearts of Oak, Philemon Baffour from Dreams FC, Abdul Ganiu from Asante Kotoko and Fatau Issahaku from Dreams FC make up the local component of the selection.

Attah’s selection is welcomed as he is regarded as the most active goalie in the league, Issahaku is a golden boy who needs no introduction, Ganiu is feeding off his performance for Asante Kotoko last season but Philemon Baffour is getting sticks for being handed an undeserving call-up. Issahaku’s output in his last outing puts him in the running for a start but same cannot be said for the three others.

Ghana will play Ethiopia on November 11 in Johannesburg before hosting South Africa at the Cape Coast Stadium to wrap up the qualifiers.


Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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