Prince Tagoe reveals ‘uncomfortable role’ under Milovan Rajevac in Ghana’s 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign

Black Stars former attacker Prince Tagoe has made big revelation about his new role in South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup that made him uncomfortable playing that position in the top flight tournament.

Ghana appeared as one of tournament’s underdogs to the likes Spain, Germany, Netherlands, France, Italy and Brazil but the Black Stars pulled huge surprise only failing to find escape route in 4-2 defeat on penalty shootout to Uruguay which prevented the West African side from becoming the first African country to taste semifinals of the FIFA World Cup finals.

Ghana entered into the tournament for the second time in history and a in row after 2006 edition in Germany where they were unsurprising beaten in round 16 by then one of tournament favorites Brazil.

Black Stars needed more experience players to go beyond their position in 2006 and Prince Tagoe was one of weapon Milovan Rajevac send to South African having the former Ghana Premier forward emerged as hit-man for Bundesliga outfits TSG Hoffenheim in 2010.

But with Ghana’s Serbian trainer Rajevac, preferring Asamoah Gyan in a lone-striker system, Tagoe who has been known to pair Gyan in a two-upfront in the qualifying round, was forced to play on the right wing-back in the World Cup final with a prime role to join the front line when Black Stars attack.

And the former Hoffenheim ace has revealed how the role as a wing-back in the tournament affected and made him uncomfortable.

The 33-year old believes he would have loved to come in games later as a sub than to start in a right wing-back position during Black Stars’ fine campaign in South Africa 2010.

“Going to the World Cup was a big deal for me,” he told Joy Sports. ‘We had few issues but I think we did our best,” he revealed.

“If we had rolled back to the World Cup, I would have loved to be at the bench and come in later or perhaps paired with Asamoah Gyan coming in,” he continued.

“I was told to play at the right-wing during the World Cup. I was told that whenever we lose the ball, I should fall back and help the midfield regroup.”

Tagoe told Ghana television Station TV3 similar story when he was asked his influence on Black Stars’ quarter-finals mark in 2010 FIFA World Cup.

“I was played out of my natural position at the World Cup. That wasn’t the case during the qualifiers,” Tagoe told TV3.

“When you check the records, when we were playing the qualifiers, I was playing in my comfortable position, which is a striking role.

“In Ghana, if you are a striker known for scoring goals and the goals are no more coming, the fans will definitely come at you regardless of the position you are being played at.

“The coach [Milovan Rajevac] told me ‘Prince, Asamoah [Gyan] is at the top and when you get the ball at the wings, make sure he gets it, and when you lose the ball, come back to the centre or a little closer to the right-back’. So, most people didn’t know that was my job.

“If the World Cup were to be held today, I will tell the coach to put me and Asamoah at the top. It will be a dangerous pair.

“During my days with the Black Meteors [Ghana U23s] where Asamoah Gyan was playing with me, we were playing as two top, as in two strikers. But in the Black Stars, I was played out of position, the coach used me as a winger which I was doing double work.”

The former Hearts of Oak striker was in the starting lineup for Ghana’s all three group games against Serbia, Australia and Germany.

However, his lack of match influence and goals earned him a position on the bench in Stars’ knockout games against USA and Uruguay.


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