Saturday, September 06, 2008
Essien injury blow allows Arsenal target Appiah to prove his fitness
By 1970’s Gooner
All the interested clubs, including Arsenal, would have lapped up the chance to observe from close up the fitness levels of much sought after midfielder, Stephen Appiah, last night in hot Tripoli.
As we reported on this site yesterday Appiah started this World Cup Qualifier on the bench but his chance came pretty quickly when on the 22nd minute Chelsea’s Michael Essien was stretchered off with what looked like a serious injury after being cynically hacked down.
The Chelsea player missed the start of the Premier League because of a calf injury and only recovered last week.
But the midfielder looks set for another spell on the sidelines with the injury looking serious as he wept while he was taken off.
He was replaced by Captain Stephen Appiah, who was making his first appearance in a competitive match after a nine-month injury-induced absence.
Appiah didn’t look rusty for having been out of action for so long as he was brilliant with his passes and tackle. Agogo and Muntari in particular were unable to utilise his inch-perfect passes failing to find the target.
Laryea Kingston who had a quiet game like most of his colleagues was withdrawn in the 70th minute for ex Arsenal player, Quincy Owusu-Abeyie.
Libya had the best chances but the bar and woodwork denied them repeatedly.
Goalkeeper Richard Kingson produced the game’s best save in the 72nd minute when he tipped a goal bound chip from Omar Dawood beyond the crossbar.
Kingson, a Wigan target, was on hand to make great saves again blocking point blank shots as Ghana struggled to contain their opponents.
The game looked like ending in a goalless draw until Harrison Afful (!) mistimed his clearance and Ahmed Osman took the chance to poke the ball past Richard Kingson for the opener in the 84th minute.
You can watch it on the video screen.
Appiah was discussing a 40.000 a week salary with West Ham prior to Alan Curbishley’s resignation and if Arsenal are willing to match that then his move to the Emirates could be inching nearer.
You will probably hear about it here first rather than the national press!
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