West Ham help Ghana legend up the coaching ladder
Steven Appiah has spent time at West Ham as he looks to take his first steps towards his dram of managing Ghana
Stephen Appiah is one of Ghana’s greatest ever footballers, having played a crucial role for his country at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
He retired from playing six years ago, but has now set himself the goal of taking charge of the Black Stars after their failure to qualify for Russia 2018.
Appiah has now taken his first steps towards his dream of managing his country by undergoing a knowledge-sharing experience at West Ham United.
The 37-year-old observed both the first team and the academy at West Ham, taking advice from numerous members of staff including head of medical services Gary Lewin and captain Mark Noble.
The sessions gave Appiah a valuable insight into coaching at the highest level, something which could prove vital in his quest to manage the national side.
The former Juventus midfielder’s club career was blighted by injuries, but it was his exploits with Ghana for which he became most famous.
He captained his country to their first ever World Cup appearance in Germany in 2006 and was part of the squad that almost reached the semi-finals in South Africa four years later.
Ghana went on to finish bottom of their group at Brazil 2014, but a run the final of the Africa Cup of Nations the following year sparked hopes that they could qualify for Russia.
However, that proved to be something of a false dawn as Ghana failed to book a fourth consecutive place at the World Cup after finishing behind Egypt in the African qualifiers.
Ghana’s failure to adequately replace the likes Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari and John Mensah has been blamed for their current struggles.
Thomas Partey and Kwadow Asamoah are the only Ghanaian players who have excelled at club levels this season. Partey won the Europa League with Atletico Madrid, while Asamoah featured in the Champions League quarter-finals with Juventus, but Ghanaian success has been thin on the ground beyond that.
While many people think that the future of Ghana football is doomed, there are reasons to believe Appiah could spark a revival.
Youngsters like Anderlecht’s Dauda Mohammed and Godfred Donsah at Bologna are amongst the country’s most promising stars in Europe and they look capable of becoming African football stars.
Appiah will hope his sessions at West Ham can help him lead the next generation of talent and take Ghana back to the World Cup in the future.