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Sports Features of Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Source: Anyidoho, Koku

Couldn’t The FA Have Taken Its Time?

So the tournament is over and it was impossible for us to breathe life into our “Host And Win” agenda? Too bad for us but we did not end the tournament with heads down.

Beating the Drogba led Cote d’Ivoire, tournament favourites, 4-2, is no mean achievement and we must take a huge consolation in that.

Ask me, and I will say that the players acquitted themselves very well and I don’t think any of them should be singled out for vilification.

We most definitely expected a bit more from one or two of the players but at this stage we must hold on to the words of Philippians 3:13 which has it that “…forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead”.

Surely, let us forget what the players did or did not do, and hope that they grow from strength to strength for they are bunch of positive minded young men who can get us to higher heights.

In as much as I am of the considered opinion that winning a bronze medal is not what anyone should consider humiliating and so we must not come down heavily on the players, I don’t think the FA did us any favours with that press conference that told us they have “absolute confidence” in Claude Le Roy and that his contract is going to be extended.

Why the need for the press conference at that time?

We had just lost our semi final match to the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, Ghana was a nation with a bleeding heart, and the FA thought that the best way to stop the nation from hemorrhaging further from the defeat, was to organize a press conference and tell us that they have “absolute confidence” in the coach?

What happened to the issue of, “timing”, in such matters?

The FA can go ahead and repose absolute confidence in the coach but couldn’t they have chosen another time to let us know what they think about the coach?

As far as proper reasoning goes, the normal thing is for the tournament to end and for a comprehensive auditing to take place based on which the issue of having absolute confidence in a coach or not, would be made public.

Personally, I am not one of those who think that we should drop the ax heavily on the neck of the coach because in the match against Nigeria, most of us praised him for introducing Laryea Kingson and Aminu Dramani into the attacking machinery of the Stars and considering the role Aminu in particular played in giving us the winning goal in that match, Le Roy showed a fair amount of tactical and technical competence.

Against Cameron however, I don’t know what in God’s name made him decide to play Essien as a central defender when he had other central defenders on the bench.

Why did he go into the tournament with those central defenders if he did not have confidence in them? We need some answers.

And considering the performance of Aminu Dramani, does the coach not have any explanation to do as to why before the Nigeria match, he was keeping Aminu on the bench and allowing the inexperienced youngster, Dede Ayew, to be his number one sub?

With the likes of, Laryea Kingson, Shilla Illiasu, Bernard Kumoji, Asamoah Gyan and Bafuor Gyan going into the tournament with various forms of injury, do we not need a detailed explanation from the coach and his technical staff as to why they gambled with half fit players?

It is for such reasons that one would have though that the Kwesi Nyantekyi led FA would have respected the feelings of the people they represent (i.e. Ghanaians), and allow for the tournament to end and do the proper postmortem analysis before telling us that they have “absolute confidence” in the coach.

Nobody can take the FA’s tenure away from them because of the position of FIFA but that does not mean that they can run roughshod over the rest of us.

The FA got a near 100% support in the buildup to the tournament and can’t they repay Ghanaians back for that kind of support by respecting our feelings and giving us very cogent reasons why the FA has “absolute confidence” in the coach?

The kind of thing that the FA did, smacks of nothing but extreme arrogance and lack of respect for the feelings of Ghanaians and they are definitely not leaving a sweet taste in the mouths of Ghanaians.

That kind of attitude leaves Le Roy chewing the bitter end of the stick as he will be hanging on to his job without the important goodwill that he needs.

The FA could have taken its time and I just hope that they don’t live to regret that brash position of theirs because as much as they have absolute confidence in the coach, it is important for Ghanaians to also have absolute confidence in them.



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