Ace Ghanaian sports journalist, Patrick Osei Agyemang alias Countryman Songo has expressed satisfaction with Ghana’s 27-man squad for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

Songo believes that the squad announced by coach Chris Hughton on Monday, January 1, 2024, is a representation of the best possible talents for the country.

He is however not convinced that the team paraded by coach Chris Hughton is good enough to win the tournament.

On his Fire for Fire show, Songo undertook a comprehensive audit of the 27 players invited by coach Chris Hughton, casting doom on Ghana’s chances of excelling in Ivory Coast.

In the goalkeeping department, Songo believes that none of the three goalies invited is good enough to man the post of a title-winning country.

On the defence, Songo is worried about the unreliability of the key members of the defensive set-up, noting that their injury-prone status will adversely affect Ghana’s chances of impressing in the Ivory Coast.

“The three goalkeepers are not good enough. They cannot win us the trophy. The goalkeeping department is the weakest link. As for the defenders, they are finished. They are popular and experienced but can’t lead the team anywhere. They are all injury-prone players. The few good players are the injury-prone ones. Ati Zigi doesn’t know how to play out from the back. Wollacott lacks confidence and Richard Ofori is a robocop.

“Which of the goalkeepers can play out from the back? The defenders cannot also build-up play from midfield to the wings. Can we trust Chris Hughton to win us our first trophy in over 41 years? He has proven that he is not good enough. He has told us that he can’t guarantee us a trophy so how can we trust him? Even this selection, there were issues,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Black Stars commenced preparations for the tournament at the Dr Kwame Kyei Sports Complex in Kuntanse, Ashanti Region on Tuesday, January 3, 2024.

Coach Chris Hughton benefitted from the presence of 24 of the 27 invited players for the first training session ahead of the tournament.

Of the 27 players who made the final cut for the tournament that Ivory Coast will host, only Mohammed Kudus, Richard Ofori and Inaki Williams did not take part in the opening training session.

Inaki’s late arrival is due to some slight illness issue which, per his club, will make him undergo further testing and treatment.

Kudus, per the press conference by the Black Stars coach on Monday, January 1, 2024, is nursing a slight injury that needs to be treated before he eventually joins his teammates.

The training had the presence of the Ayew brothers, Daniel Amartey, Alexander Djiku, Mohammed Salisu, and Salis Samed, among others.

The players were taken through their paces and worked on Chris Hughton’s tactical plans ahead of the tournament.

The Black Stars will be camping in Kumasi instead of Johannesburg, South Africa after an alteration in the pre-tournament plans following massive public protest.

Before they head to Ivory Coast for the tournament, the Black Stars will play Namibia on January 8, 2024, at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium to test their readiness for the tournament.

Ghana have been placed in Group B of the tournament alongside Mozambique, Egypt and Cape Verde.

The 2023 AFCON which is the 33rd in the history of the tournament kicks off on January 13 and closes on February 11, 2024.

Source: Ghanaweb

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