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Opinions of Friday, 3 March 2017

Columnist: Michael Kessey

Coach Zdravko Logarusic's performance is splendid

By: Michael Kessey

“Coming events they say cast its shadows” and I am not surprise at all with Kotoko’s outstanding performances in the on-going Ghana Premier League.

Looking at Kotoko’s points build up in four matches they have played so far it is disheartening and pathetic for some self-styled Sports journalists who are working behind the scene to incite some Kotoko supporters to condemn Zdravko Logarusic’s 3-5-2 formation simply because they think the team now have quality players not taken into accounts how the technical man at the helm of affairs sees these players at his disposal in terms of the work rate of each player with regards to their strength and weaknesses.

Objectively criticism is what these self -styled Sports journalist and the aggrieved Kotoko supporters must do because they have no idea of how many minutes each of these supposedly quality players in this current team can play for Kotoko in a game. Don’t you think you are not been fair to Coach Zdravko Logarusic knowing very well we have countless number of players in others teams whose quality surpasses the quality players Kotoko have currently.

Today names don’t play football but team work and tactics. The Porcupine Warriors after playing four solid matches have been able to secure 10 points out of the 12 points that was at stake as compared to the points they secured last season after playing the same number of matches. It is disheartening, pathetic and unfair for some supporters to start condemning Zdravko Logarusic’s newly introduced 3-5-2 formation which is very suitable for his players doing the job on the football pitch. No bad system can yield these good results for a team like Kumasi Asante Kotoko who have won three matches and drawn only one out of the four matches played.

The Porcupine Warriors’s performance last season after playing four matches placed them in an unfavourable position on the league table. Fabulous Asante Kotoko occupies the 2nd position on the league table with the same 10 points with league leaders Aduana Stars.

This outstanding performance by the team in four matches played is not a fluke, but it was due to hard work by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Kwame Kyei Baffour a visionary leader, Coach Logurasic and the entire Kotoko team. Kotoko’s performance under Zdravko Logarusic deserves commendation rather than the severe criticisms from some self –styled Sports journalist and some Kotoko supporters just because the team is not playing the “Samba football” or “Tiki taka” that is the entertaining football which has no head or tail.

These aggrieved Kotoko fans must not forget the Coach is tasked to achieve a certain target and that if he fails to deliver his employers have no option than to show him the exit. Zdravko is determined and very confident of winning this year’s league title for Kumasi Asante Kotoko that is why he has adopted a system that will help him achieve this desired objective.

One thing I want Kotoko fans to be proud of is Zdravko Logarusic is a disciplinarian and his relationship with his players is second to none. No wonder he has been able to maintain discipline in this current team and that alone is what has propelled these players to die a little for their cherished club Kotoko whenever they are on the football pitch. The man has special love for the team and its numerous fans that was the reason why he accepted the Kotoko job.

He was able to monitor Kotoko’s performance last season when it comes to the number of goals the team scored as against goals conceded. Kotoko supporters have not taken their time to critically examine why Kotoko last season could not win the league title.

Coach Logurasic has done that and he has also been able to identify the strength and weaknesses of his players that was why he has adopted a 3 5 2 formation that will make Kotoko very strong in defense and the midfield which is the engine room very tight. The team in the last season was able to score over 30 goals which means the team had no problem with regards to goal scoring that is why Zdravko is trying his best to make Kotoko a team to beat in this year’s league.

His main idea of adopting this system is very simple, that is if Kotoko cannot beat their opponents then their opponents cannot beat Kotoko either and some supporters say his system is not good for the team. The coach and his players are eager to get the best for Kotoko fraternity.

The coach is tactically good and he is someone who sees things from afar and he needs time to gradually polish his boys to fit into his 3-5-2 formation. The coach has vision and that is a hallmark of a good coach who is result oriented. If I may ask his critics which time do they want the coach to use this 3-5-2 formation? Supporters of Kotoko who detest this 3-5-2 formation should go and ask coaches who have played against Kotoko if the 3-5-2 formation adopted by Zdravko was comfortable to their game plan and see the answer they will give them.

Undoubtedly, there are so many ways to kill a Cat and as such it is imperative for Kotoko fans to appreciate Coach Logurasic’s tactics after all, his boys doing the job on the pitch have not complain to any supporter they are dissatisfied with the Coaches new 3-5-2 formation.

At least he has introduced a new 3-5-2 formation working perfectly for Kotoko. Surprisingly, when the coach varied his 3-5-2 formation in all his matches played in the second half and yet his critics find it difficult to see he changes his usual 3 5 2 formation to a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 formation respectively. These same aggrieved supporters if he adopts the usual 4-4-2 formation and loses they will say the coach is not good. Kotoko supporters what shall it profit Kotoko if the coach decides to play the usual entertaining football and your team loses the match at the end of the day?

The most important thing in matches is the results and not a particular formation. Kumasi Asante Kotoko under Zdravko Logarusic will surely deliver for Kotoko fans this season if supporters will continue to rally behind the team as they have started. Before Kotoko went to Obuasi to play Ashgold no supporter gave the team a dog chance to beat Ashgold, a team that defeated Great Olympics by 3 goals to 1 in Len Clay. Victory in Obuasi this time around is a clear indication Logurasic is gradually building a formidable team which can stand any test of time.

My little piece of advice to Kotoko fraternity is that Chief Executive Officers, Management members, Players and Coaches will come and go and their darling Club will still be in existence and it will be good for them to do their part as supporters to give their CEO, Management members and Coach Zdravko Logarusic the maximum support to lift the team from grass to grace.

Kumasi Asante Kotoko this time around is fortunate to have a Chief Executive Officer in the person of Dr Kwame Kyei Baffour who is a successful business man and a God –fearing man as their bank roller so when it comes to raising money to finance Kotoko there is no problem. As a former footballer he understands the football game very well and because of that he has provided all the necessary things that will help the team achieve its target.

I am exceedingly glad Kumasi Asante Kotoko now have a CEO who is slower to talk but quicker to act in making sure the team is run in a professional way and will not repeat the mistakes of his predecessor who allowed himself for some self-styled Sports presenters to throw dust into his eyes by recruiting undeserved players for a big Club like Kotoko.

He has done his part and the rest lies in supporters of the Club to also give Zdravko Logarusic and his men the maximum support to win the ultimate. Rome was not built in a day and I am sure with time the boys will adjust to the 3 5 2 formation and Kotoko will be a delight to watch. There is no turning back for Kumasi Asante Kotoko in this year’s league. Let the goals flow in your subsequent matches to bring back the lost glory. Good luck.