The term Catenaccio which is described as total defending at the back thereby denying your opponents from scoring is synonymous to Italian football. over the years, the Southern European country has seen “Catenaccio Lords” such as Nero Rocco, Carlo Ancelloti, Arrigo Sachi and Marcelo Lippi all using the system to perfection.
Many countries and clubs in the world have adopted the system and used it to great effect. The Ghanaian game is generally scented in the midfield with fantastic passing and dribbling which is termed as “Samba”, a name which originated from Brazil but one coach who is going on a different route and is becoming a chief in the Catenaccio is Elmina Sharks coach Yaw Acheampong.
As a player who sat in front of the back four and did all the dirty work during his playing career, Achaempong was the first Ghanaian player to attain cult figures in Spain as he featured prominently for Real Sociedad from 1995-1997. He was a fierce defensive midfielder who tackled and defended well.
Acheampong after his playing career took up a coaching course and after attaining his certificate, he has handled Ashanti Gold, Inter Allies and now Elmina Sharks but it is the later that he is really making his name.
At a time most Ghanaian club coaches don’t even have a particular system they play, Acheampong has adopted the catenaccio at Elmina Sharks and it is really working for him in the ongoing Normalisation Committee Special Tournament as they are unbeaten in six games and have not conceded a goal in all of them.
With a back five made up of gangling goalkeeper Richard Attah, Samuel Arthur, Daniel Obeng Crentsil, Kingsley Adjei and Issaka Mohammed, Acheampong plays a rugged system which makes it very difficult for opposing teams to penetrate.
His defenders cover every grass in their territory and play a very compact game at the back which has seen other team finding it tough to enter their danger zone.
Acheampong has shown that defending is an art and with Felix Addo and Benjamin Tweneboah on top of attack, all he needs is just one goal to win games with the doors already shut at the back.
With Acheampong, Catenaccio has come to stay in Ghana football and any team which face Elmina Sharks should watch out.