Ghana coach Akonnor cautioned about copying 1978 Afcon style

Veteran Ghanaian coach JE Sarpong has advised Black Stars boss CK Akonnor to build his team according to the strength of his players.

Sarpong was reacting to a recent revelation by Akonnor, who intends to “slightly modify” the style of Ghana’s 1978 Africa Cup of Nations-winning side for the current set-up to help win the tournament once more.

Akonnor assumed duty as new Black Stars boss in January, replacing James Kwasi Appiah.

“It is good that he is being ambitious with winning the Afcon title. Times have changed and what happened in 1978 is different from what is happening now,” Sarpong told Happy FM.

“Players who played in 1978 are different from those playing currently.

“The type of players in the team will also influence your style of play so he should play to the ability and capabilities of the players.

“CK Akonnor should tread cautiously. He is a very young coach and everything he says about winning the Afcon will be judged.”

Speaking to TV3, Akonnor said: “Over 30 years we’ve not won Afcon. I don’t want to be just another coach who comes in to manage Ghana and goes and then it’s the same story.

“I want us to work and make an impact, be relevant.”

In a separate interview with the Ghana FA media, the former Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak boss made the revelation about his plans for the Black Stars’ playing style under his reign.

“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,” the coach remarked.

“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 were eliminated at the Round of 16 at Afcon 2019, failing to make the quarter-final of the tournament for the first time since 2006.

The Black Stars have won the tournament on four occasions, the last title coming in 1982.