Odartey Lamptey speaks of why he failed in England

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After bursting onto the scene as a 14-year-old at the 1989 FIFA U-16 World Championship in Scotland. Odartey Lamptey was hailed by Brazilian great Edson Arantes do Nascimento, popularly known as Pele. Pele named the tricky and explosive midfielder as his natural successor.

Two years later, Odartey stamped his authority on the next “Pele” tag as he helped Ghana to win the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Italy, Lamptey won the Golden Ball and scored four goals in the process.

Odartey Lamptey was born for greatness, he had enjoyed successful spells at Anderlecht and at PSV. Things started to go wrong when he made a big-money move to join English Premier League side Aston Villa in 1994. The talented midfielder flopped woefully in England at Aston Villa and then Coventry City, he would never recover. 

There have been numerous theories on why Lamptey failed, especially in England which was the kickoff to his free fall.

The midfielder in an interview with Daily Graphic newspaper opened up on the subject matter, stating why he failed in England.

“It was really too much for me, to me it was a wrong decision to move to England at that time,” Lamptey, who has advised in-demand Ghana midfielder Thomas Teye Partey to snub English clubs Arsenal and Manchester United in the wake of transfer reports, told the Daily Graphic newspaper.

“I went there because Anderlecht did not want to approve of my stay in Holland, which would have helped me much and I was also not willing to return to Belgium. 

“It was not easy to fit into the [Premier League] in those days. Their style of play was too robust for my liking and besides, I met very tall players, so I struggled to cope.

“Their style of play never suited me at all. The players were not only tall, but also they liked playing long balls and running for them. 

“I was short and skilful at that time so it affected my performance so much”, he concluded.

With the hope of rejuvenating his career, Odartey Lamptey after his unsuccessful spells at Aston Villa and Coventry joined Italian side Venezia, but he would never recover as he hanged his boots in 2008 as one of the talented footballers who failed to fulfill their potentials.

Odartey Lamptey during his career played for 13 clubs across 12 countries and 4 continents.

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