13.06.2003 Sports News

Ghanaians in Europe: Summary

By Francis Akoto
Ghanaians in Europe: Summary
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It's been a long, hard European season, with pain, passion and pathos among the prizes; tears, triumphs and tribulations in the quest for trophies. Week after week, I assessed the individual performances of most of the Ghanaian players who represented their European clubs during the previous round. Below is a summary of Ghanaian players’ performance in Europe for the 2002-03 campaign. Stephen Appiah (Brescia, Italy): Had an unforgettable season in arguably the world´s toughest league. It’s hard to look past him or Essien for the accolade, player of the season. Week after week, the 25-year-old player proved himself one of the most solid midfielders in Italy. Based on this season’s performance, he is definitely ready to take his chances in a top team. The only dent in his season’s achievement was his inability to win a medal. RATING: (9/10) ACHIEVEMENT: PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Roma, here I come! Michael Essien (Bastia, France): He was virtually unheard of outside of Ghana and France before this season, but now he is described as the 'new Vieira’, and has English premier league sides and a host of top French sides chasing his services towards the end of an incredible campaign. Many observers (including yours truly) conclude the defensive midfielder is the best African in France . RATING: (8/10) ACHIEVEMENT: - PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: France is a breeding ground for the English league. Get my drift? Yakubu Abubakari (Ajax, Netherlands): He has been one of the revelations of the season. Started off warming the bench, but ended the season as a regular of the club that almost made it to the finals of the champions league. His ability in recovering balls in the middle and transforming them into effective counterattacks was one of the keys to his success. Put in some stunning performances in the Champions league against Europe’s best. RATING: (7.5/10) ACHIEVEMENT: - PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Expect a phenomenal season at Ajax. Augustine Ahinful (Ankaragucu, Turkey): Unofficial Goal King for our foreign-based players. He scored 16 goals to hoist minnows Ankaragucu into the top half of the Turkish league. Ahinful has been constistent in the past two seasons and deserves a starting spot in the national team’s attack. His enormous talent is wasted in a bad team. RATING (7.5/10) ACHIEVEMENT: Top Ghanaian Scorer In Europe PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: He’ll move to one of the big Turkish Clubs. Mathew Amoah (Vittese, Netherlands): 15 goals in the Dutch league is no mean feat. He managed to shine, despite his club’s disappointing league campaign, arousing the interest of a Bundersliiga giant. He had a dry spell in mid-season, but finished the season off with a spectacular hat trick. RATING (7/10) ACHIEVEMENT: - PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Dortmund (Germany ) or Ajax (Netherlands) Godfried Aduobe (Rostock, Germany): Brilliant, But Not Brilliant Enough. The midfielder struggled after a very good start to the season. However, he had a solid end of season to justify a high rating. RATING (6.5/10) ACHIEVEMENT: None PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Still with Rostock. Samuel Osei Kuffour (Bayern Munich, Germany): Despite winning the German double, this was not a particularly good season by his own high standards. Never looked wholly comfortable at the back and guilty of some damaging errors. But then, who will not, after the death of a daughter. Spent a lot of time on the bench. Like him or hate him, he’s still the best defender we have. RATING (6.5/10) ACHIEVEMENT: German League, German Cup PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: If Bayern gets a good offer, they will let him go. Kwame Quansah (Germinal Beershot, Belgium): Spent the season at Ajax's Belgian satellite club and made sufficient progress to warrant a recall to Ajax - played 27 games, scoring 11 goals. There were plenty of highs in the first third of the season; fewer as the campaign progressed but enough throughout to ensure that 2002-03 looks like a turning point in this young “unknown” striker’s career. RATING (6.5/10) ACHIEVEMENT: - PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Back to Ajax; Spends most of his time on the bench; will be loaned again Sam Johnson (Fenerbache, Turkey): When it comes to “Foyoo”, I’ll admit I am biased. I’ve always liked this player, not for his skills, but determination. When he's inspired, and this happened very often this season, there's no limiting his boundless talent and imagination. On a bad day, he runs around like a headless chicken. RATING: (6/10) ACHIEVEMENT: - PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Will move to a smaller club in Turkey. Kofi Amposah (PAOK, Greece): Picked up a Greek cup winner's medals. I never saw him play, neither did I read a complete match report. His rating is based solely on weekly reviews of PAOK games, by a fanatical PAOK fan. RATING (6/10) ACHIEVEMENT: Greek Cup PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Same Old. Sulley Muntari (Udinese, Italy): Was used sparingly throughout the season, but was very effective whenever brought on as a substitute. I have a great deal of faith in this boy, but he still has a lot of work to do RATING (6/10) ACHIEVEMENT: - PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Regular at Udinese; Moves To Parma in 2004 John Mensah (Chievo, Italy): Like Munatri, he was was used mainly as a substitute. Had some great games against AC Milan. The central defender was on loan at Chievo last season . RATING (5.5/10) ACHIEVEMENT: - PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Chievo will sign him on permanently Alex Nyarko (PSG, France): His crisis seems to be endless. After a slow start, he became an excellent player for PSG. From January onwards he was very good. However, the Paris club could not sign him, given the financial situation of the club and that was when he walked out of the club, angry he had not been signed on a permanent move. RATING (5.5/10) ACHIEVEMENT: - PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Speculations he might end up in Qatar or China is pre-mature. I say - back to Everton (yes, I’m serious) Lawrence Aidoo (Mönchengladbach, Germany): A symbol of the German club's awful season. If a striker plays over 75% of league matches and scores only three goals, then he might as well get a new job. However, Aidoo was not the only player to blame for the clubs perpetual struggle against relegation this season, most of the players at the club were terrible. RATING (5/10) ACHIEVEMENT: - PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: No Change Charles Amoah (Stum Graz, Austria): The diminutive striker is in a bad shape to say the least Another disappointing season, in which, he never showed his usual imagination and effectiveness as he did at St Gallan, Switzerland. Having said that, he’s always played well for the national team. RATING (5/10) ACHIEVEMENT: None PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Score more goals for Stum Graz, than this year Eric Addo (Roda, Netherlands): Joined Roda from PSV, on a loan deal, midway through the season and although failing to win the support of Roda's supporters, the team feels that he is a welcome addition in their defence and want to secure the services of the defender. I was not impressed with his performance, but then I never actually saw him play – my judgment is based on weekly match reports. RATING (5/10) ACHIEVEMENT: - PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Richard Kingston (Elazigspor, Turkey) Spent too much time on the bench for a fair judgement. Not a particularly great season, but he’s still good enough for the national team. His club escaped relegation on the last day of the season. RATING (4.5/10) ACHIEVEMENT: - PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Baffour Gyan (Slovan Liberec, Czech Republic): The striker was not given enough time on the pitch to prove himself. RATING (4.5/10) ACHIEVEMENT: - PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Ofori-Quaye (Olympiakos, Greece): To sum up his season in five words: Yet Another Frustratingly Mediocre Season. Another disappointing performance by this undoubtedly talented striker, who was considered as one of the top African prospects just a couple of years ago. What happened? RATING (4.5/10) ACHIEVEMENT: Greek League PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Career will be resurrected after transfer. Christian Gyan (Feyenoord, Netherlands): - An overall disappointing season for the defender, who has been a fringe figure at the Dutch club this season. His Feyenoord career was saved last season after helping the club to win the UEFA cup. I’m afraid this time he’ll be released RATING (4/10) ACHIEVEMENT: Dutch Cup – Losing Finalist PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Plays for another Dutch club Stephen Baidoo (Ankaragucu, Turkey): An average season. Nothing to write home about. As a former international defender with proven Turkish soccer experience, he did not add much to the squad. RATING (4/10) ACHIEVEMENT: - PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Playing in US Derek Boateng (Panathinaikos, Greece): We are still waiting for him to show all of his qualities. He's not even close to the effective striker of the U-17 days. He went to OFI Crete in January on a four-month loan, but he struggled to make an impact. RATING (3.5/10) ACHIEVEMENT: None PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Ibrahim Razak (St Etienne, France): The young midfielder’s talent is out of discussion. Neverthelss, his discipline is in question. He went AWOL in mid-season and his French club decided to return him back to Italy. He will have to work hard in order to recover, since his confidence at the moment is below zero. RATING: (3/10) ACHIEVEMENT: None PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Back to Italy Serie B Emmanuel Duah (Gil Vicente, Portugal): Hello, is anybody home? RATING (3/10) ACHIEVEMENT: None PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Portugal division 2 Yaw Preko (Gaziatenspor, Turkey): Hello, is anybody home? RATING (-/10) ACHIEVEMENT: None PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Playing for Kotoko Otto Addo (Dortmund, Germany): The international was one of the stars of the season for the club a year ago, however an injury ravaged year limited his opportunities this term in which the team only narrowly made it to the Champions League. RATING (-/10) ACHIEVEMENT: - PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: Stil At Dortmund Charles Akonnor (Wolfsburg, Germany): Injury ravaged year. RATING (-/10) ACHIEVEMENT: None PREDICTION FOR 2003/04: TEAM OF THE YEAR 4-4-2 The side is picked without any prejudice and includes only players who ply their trade in Europe Goalkeeper: Richard Kingston Defenders: J. Mensah, S. Kuffuor, Y. Abubakari, K. Amponsah Midfield: S. Johnson, M. Essien, S. Appiah, G. Aduobe Forward: A Ahinful, Matthew Amoah

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