Kingson bemused by England plight

30 June 2010 03:41
As England's under-performing players lick their wounds at home, Ghana keeper Richard Kingson believes he is destined for the World Cup final.

It does seem odd that, having been branded "a complete waste of space" by former Birmingham owner David Sullivan following a miserable period at St Andrew's, and spent two years languishing in the reserves at Wigan, Richard Kingson is still in South Africa while Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard run the gauntlet of public ridicule following England's demise.

Kingson has produced a series of eye-catching displays for Ghana, none more so than against the United States in Rustenburg last Saturday, when the 32-year-old played a major role in ensuring there was African representation in the last eight.

So, while England's highly-paid stars can only watch on TV, Kingson is preparing for the game of his life when Ghana look to book a semi-final berth by beating Uruguay on Friday night.

"I am here and they are not. Everybody can see that," said Kingson of England's demise.

"There is no need for me to say anything. It is for other people to judge.

"But I am a little bit surprised England were so bad because most of their players have had a good season, especially those from Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

"We all expected them to get to the final, or at worst the semis. To go out in the last 16 was not part of the plan at all."

Kingson's quiet, matter-of-fact manner is not meant to poke fun at England's plight.

Yet his assessment is brutal and goes right to the heart of the Three Lions' problems.

Ghana do not have a slick PR machine and access to their players is not controlled, creating an admittedly chaotic scrum at times.

But neither are they divided. Whatever the result at Soccer City, there will be no claims of splits or tension.

"We are a good team," Kingson said.

"But we have so much more than that. We have unity. We love each other. We do everything together.

"There is no single player who does anything on their own. The spirit is high and we play as a team. It brings out the best in Ghana."

Based around the team that triumphed at the FIFA World Under-20 championships last year, Ghana emerged from a tough group and then overcame the United States - a team England could not beat in their opening match - to become the third African side to reach the last eight of a World Cup.

In 1990, Cameroon fell to England. Twelve years later, Senegal lost against Turkey, also in extra-time.

History now beckons for Ghana, which would put Kingson right back in the shop window, having been released by Wigan after just four appearances in two seasons.

"It was not easy at Wigan," he said.

"But I tried to stay positive and do everything correctly.

"I was waiting for my chance but it did not come.

"Now I am at the World Cup. I am playing, I am comfortable and I am happy. Everyone can see what I can do.

"I would still like to stay in England because I know I could play every week in the Premier League.

"I have to prove myself there. It is an unfulfilled mission for me."

Source: Team_Talk