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Tactical Surgery: Why Hearts of Oak SC’s Three Prong Attack Must Be Abandoned

Accra Hearts of Oak SC have endured a checkered start to the 2019/20 GPL season with just 10 goals from 12 league matches.

The Phobians have failed to score in 50 percent of their league fixtures despite three pronged attackers all season long.

An attacking trio of Joseph Esso, Daniel Afriyie and Kofi Kordzi has failed to leave up to its billing despite the consistent run of matches given to them by their trainer, Edward Nii Odoom.

Ahead of their clash with Inter Allies FC, takes a look at the possible causes of the goal drought and why it must be abandoned for a new formation on the pitch.

Starting the midfield trio of Emmanuel Nettey, Ansah Botchway and Benjamin Afutu, Accra Hearts of Oak SC must move away from 3 central midfielders to bring creativity to the party.

Edward Odoom’s midfield trio has so far kept the ball at the center of the pitch with no natural ball carrier to connect the attackers with the suppliers.

The long range balls from Nettey and Afutu have so far proven to be the wrong approach as the wide man struggled to use these attack-oriented passes. Joseph Esso and Daniel Afriyie, the wide men for the Phobians, are uncharacteristically ball playing wingers rather crossing experts. This slows down the build up and allows opposition players to multiply at the back when defending.

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To rectify this error, Edward Odoom must either sacrifice one of his midfielders or push one up to play a more advanced 4-2-3-1 formation. Naturally, Kofi Kordzi, is expected to be leading this particular formation that could force Ansah Botchway into the last 3 flanked by Esso and Daniel. On the other hand, the timely return of Michelle Sarpong and Umar Manaf handed the Phobians another tactical advantage in their quest to arrest the goal drought conundrum.

The coach must start one of Joseph Esso and Daniel Afriyie to create room for a slippery playmaker. The 3 attackers behind Kofi Kordzi must have a traditional number 10 leading them to fill the holes and carry the team forward. The presence of Sarpong on same pitch with Esso, Kordzi and Ansah Botchway will create a balance in the last two thirds of the pitch.

The possible starting XI for the 4-2-3-1 formation:

Goalkeeper: Richard Attah

Defender: Mohammed Fatawu, Raddy Ovouka, Mohammed Alhassan Robert Addo Sowah

Midfielders: Emmanuel Nettey, Benjamin Afutu

Supporting Attackers: Joseph Esso, Ansah Botchway/Umar Manaf, Michelle Sarpong

Lead Attacker: Kofi Kordzi


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Saani Abacha

Saani Abacha is a sports writer with a keen interest in African Football and a product of team play. I love sports for a reason and drives my pleasure and happiness watching any kind of sporting discipline. Get in touch via Email| Twitter| @Saani_abacha On Whatsup| +233207413977.

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