Does Felix Annan Deserve A Place In Kwesi Appiah’s Black Stars? Featured
04 Oct

Does Felix Annan Deserve A Place In Kwesi Appiah’s Black Stars?

There is this belief that journalists wax lyrical albeit one good performance of a footballer but the recent consistent performances of Asante Kotoko’s net minder, Felix Annan make such belief, a misnomer.
The lad is in superb form and is one of the reasons why Asante Kotoko is currently doing extremely well considering how tumultuous the start of the season was for them.
It is hard to imagine how Asante Kotoko would fare without Annan, and it is fair to say they will struggle to replace him.
Until recently, the Kotoko team previously strokes no fear into opposing teams. In his first few months at the helm, Paa Kwesi Fabin struggled to give the team balance and poise, the jury firmly out on whether the former National U-17 coach was a viable long term solution to the club’s predicament.
In all these, Felix Annan was exonerated from any blame. It was his excellence that prevented Asante Kotoko from humiliation in their game against WAFA at Sogakope earlier in the season; He replicated same performances against Chelsea, Hearts and Karela. It wasn’t so surprising to hear Fabin applaud his heroics after the Karela game. 
That should tell you Annan’s quality! Annan has character and is a great professional; he deserves all the praise being given him.
When Kwesi Appiah was introduced to the press as the next manager of the Black Stars last year, among the things he said during his unveiling was to give Ghanaian footballers excelling everywhere in the world, the opportunity to prove their worth in the Black Stars setup.  
This football season has seen a lot a lot of Ghanaian players making waves albeit some scintillating performances in their respective clubs. 
Some have had the opportunity to have a stint with the Black Stars within the period and others are still knocking for the opportunity.
One name that most Ghanaians wanted to see but was always missing was Felix Annan much to the dismay of the lovers of the game.
By a quirk of fate, kid play has become a reality and Annan has finally been selected to be part of the Black Stars team to play Sierra Leone in the AFCON 2019 double-header. 
Annan’s major strength is his ability to be in the right position in order to cover a large portion of the goal especially when opposing forwards are bearing down on goal. Another strength of his is his distribution. 
He averages 5.0 successful goal kicks per game and 4.1 throw outs. 
For a team like Kwesi Appiah’s Black Stars, who put emphasis on attractive football, the benefit of having a goalkeeper who can play from the back, cut out individual errors and provide an imposing presence will be invaluable.
In terms of anticipation, Annan is the best around. He thinks like a striker and tries to anticipate if the opposition forward will dribble or shoot, and how he will shoot: close to the ground, in the air, with power, and in what direction.
This year, he has made 19 appearances for Kotoko-15 in the league and 4 in friendlies. 
He has kept 8 clean sheets saved 2 penalties out of 7 faced with 3 MVPs to his credit corroborating how important he is to Asante Kotoko cause.
The agile goalkeeper has come of age and thus certainly deserves a place in Appiah’s team.
It would have been a travesty beyond compare if Appiah had overlooked his consistent wonderful displays.
Written by Godfred Budu Yeboah
Player stats by Richard Berko (Club Statistician)
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