Richard Ofori vs Jojo Wollacott: Who should start against Nigeria?

Richard Ofori Wollacott Richard Ofori and Jojo Wollacott

Thu, 24 Mar 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

GhanaWeb Feature

When coach Otto Addo sits down after training on Thursday to decide his first eleven players for the game against Nigeria, Friday, one position he would spend a lot of time deciding is the goalkeeping role.

There are four goalkeepers in the Black Stars camp but it is without a doubt that the competition is between Ofori and Wollacott.

Otto Addo and his technical team will be faced with the headache of picking between the experienced Richard Ofori and the more-active Jojo Wollacott for the game.

Richard Kingson, the goalkeepers’ trainer for the Black Stars is on record to have made glowing remarks about Wollacott but the return of Ofori introduce a new headache.

Argument for Richard Ofori

It will not be out of place to make a case for Richard Ofori as the best Ghanaian goalkeeper anywhere in the world. Ofori’s height and quick reflexes set him apart from any other Ghanaian goalie currently.

Again, he is the more experienced of the two goalies. Since 2015 when he made his debut against Mauritius, no Ghanaian goalkeeper has kept more for the Black Stars.

His consistency is mainly due to his imperious form of club level for Wa All Stars, Maritzburg and Orlando Pirates.

His last two games for the Black Stars were shaky but in the world of football, having an off-game is not abnormal.

Argument against Richard Ofori

Richard Ofori missed the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations due to an injury he sustained in the Black Stars game in September.

The towering goalkeeper was out of action until early March when he returned and made his competitive appearance.

He has made four appearances then, keeping two clean sheets in the process.

For a goalkeeper, the lengthy spell Ofori had on the sidelines will definitely affect his performance. Also in his absence, Wollacott has come in and done a decent job.

Wollacott can also be said to have a better understanding of the current defensive setup, having played five games with them.

Argument for Wollacott

Unlike Ofori who was on the treatment bed, Wollacott has been consistent for Swindon Town in the fourth tier of English football.

In 13 matches played in 2022, Wollacott has kept four clean sheets and recently bagged an assist in a game.

Again, Wollacott has kept the Ghana post for the past seven games and has some understanding with the defenders.

Argument against Wollacott

A game between the Black Stars and Nigeria calls for a certain level of mental fortitude and experience and Wollacott cannot be said to be on the same level as Ofori when it comes to that.

Whiles Wollacott cannot be blamed directly for the five goals, Ghana conceded at the 2021 AFCON, there is the view that some of the shots could have been stopped if Ghana had a decent goalie.

Again, Ofori’s rich experience on the African continent trumps that of Wollacott. Between the two, Ofori is the more vocal and commanding which will be needed in this game.

Author: Perez Erzoah-Kwaw

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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