Afcon winner Polo: Our 1978 style can win Ghana the World Cup 

The former Black Stars attacker shares his thoughts on the playing philosophy of the current set-up 

Ghana’s 1978 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) winner Mohammed Polo backs Black Stars coach CK Akonnor’s plans to model his current side after the continental conquering set-up.

Akonnor has revealed he intends to “slightly modify” the style of the team that beat Uganda in the final to win the third of the West Africans’ four titles.

Polo was a member of the victorious squad, ending the tournament with a goal to his name.

“That [style] is the real brand of Ghana football; we call it ‘Agoro’. There were quality players in that squad,” the 63-year-old told Asempa FM.

“If CK says he will adopt the 1978 style of play, he needs to fuse it with his own. And if he can do that, it means we are on course. If we play like that, it means we can go to the World Cup and even win it.”

Akonnor assumed duty as Ghana coach in January, replacing James Kwasi Appiah.

He has been tasked to lead the Black Stars to Afcon victory at the next tournament in Cameroon next year.

“The difficult thing [now] is that we so much rely on foreign-based players. I will advise him to have a standing team made up of local players,” Polo added.

“What helped us [in the 1978 squad] is we had ample time [to prepare]. What he can do with the local ones is they have to go to camp and train so he can inculcate the style of the 1978 football, which is the brand of Ghana football.

“To me, he should start with the local players and he will be on course.”

“I have a tape of the 1978 squad [and observed] how they played. We will modify it a little bit – that [style] has been my idea,” Akonnor told Ghana FA media.

“It is not about what I want, it’s about the demands of the people and I know the style of play that our people are interested in – we entertain the crowd, play a very constructive football but we have to be efficient at the end of the day because that is what matters most. You play, entertain and you don’t win and you will see what Ghanaians will tell you.

“Ghanaians are passionate about the game. I know what they want and how I can manage to get them what they want is the problem my technical team [has to solve]. And I think we will do this in a very positive way.”

Ghana first won Afcon in 1963 before making it two in a row in 1965.

After the 1978 success on home soil, the Black Stars beat Libya on penalties to claim their fourth title in 1982.

Their best appearance at the World Cup, on the other hand, remains a quarter-final finish in 2010.