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Opinions of Saturday, 15 January 2011

Columnist: Alpha, Shaban Barani

Obroni Dad & Bibinii Kids; ‘I Told You So’

*I am no prophet to have prophesized, but truth be told, some things have
become far too obvious to be missed, one such thing is who the Ghana
Football Association (GFA) was going to hire as coach relative to the
local/expatriate argument.***

* *

*After Milo had crushed hopes of signing an improved deal on the expiration
of his contract, I observed the posturing of the GFA as they prepared to
hire a successor; I was of the strong belief that a homo sapien of foreign
descent was up for it.*

* *

*“I Told You So,”** is a piece I promised as far back as September of 2010
to put together after the GFA had appointed a ‘Broni’ dad (white Coach) to
look after the ‘Bibini’ kids (Black Stars) of whom they, the GFA were Mum
(by the teams Management Committee)*

* *

*In two online articles that I authored, I made a very strong case as to why
the GFA had to offer a local hand the much sought after Black Stars coaching
role, whiles expressing skepticism thereof of the highly improbable
occurrence as is the case now.*

* *

*In the first article titled; “The Black Stars coaching vacancy - A wound in
need of surgery not bandaging,” **I took pains amongst other things to
explain the mad rush for the Stars job by expatriates, simple reason, the
team doesn’t need much twiddling with.*

* *

*At the time, the GFA Vice-President, Fred Pappoe, had also made the
infamous competence not colour criteria in the choice of a new coach after
Milo packed off, an indication in my opinion as far back as then of the FA’s
intents of who to hire.*

* *

*In the words of Pappoe, **“No one is saying we don’t like Ghanaian coaches.
All we are looking for is competency. The colour e next coach is not
important but how best he can do the job is important. The issue of black
oof thr white coach should be put aside.”*

* *

*I further opined that local coaches had gone past playing along as
assistants to foreigners and that it was high time the GFA stopped this
practice of allowing some foreigners to use the Black Stars as spring boards
instead of allowing our local coaches same chances.*

* *

*I stated then and will forever do that, the Kwesi Nyantakyi-led GFA has
given a new phase to the Black Stars by their shrewd management of the team
as well as positioning it strategically as perhaps one of the biggest brands
locally and globally.*

* *

*Reasons why the FA would not appoint a local was simply that, they would
not give as much as they give an expatriate to their country men especially
with all the perks that accompany the post et al.*

* *

*If the FA gave as much support as it gave expatriate coaches to local
coaches, they will excel no doubt. In any case, the Black Stars team is an
already well carved, structured and knitted unit in need of a little
direction, one that local coaches possess no doubt.*

*
*

*As the list of prospective coaches to fill the vacancy left by Milovan
Rajevac kept growing, amidst the media speculation, confirmation and
dismissal of names by FA officials, I wrote my second article; “Black Stars
are ‘Elite’ Orpans – Prospective Fathers all over.”***

* *

*As the title did suggest, the tall list of mangers linked with the job
whether true or otherwise went to reemphasize my earlier point that the team
was one on the high, in no need of twiddling as per personnel but perhaps, a
little tactical variation along the line.*

* *

*I managed thanks to Wikipaedia to draw a trajectory of the Black Stars
coaching situation and to establish thereof that in order not to leave the
team orphaned as was fast becoming a trend every 24 months – 2 years if you
will – a local coach had to take charge.*

* *

*From the Bukhard Ziese days through to Ralph Zumdick, Milan Zivadinovic and
to the Portuguese professor Baretto, onwards to the days of Ratomir
Djukovic, monsieur Claude Le Roy and Milovan Rajevac, here we are with a
certain Goran Stevanovic.*

* *

*So one may ask whether local coaches were at all interested in the post, I
can say without any contradiction that that job is the dream of a majority
of local coaches as it is of expatriates whenever they hear of a vacancy as
the one left by Milo.*

* *

*Herbert Addo, the current Champion coach and Ghanaian-born French
international, Marcel Desailly, put in applications to the vacancy, Desailly
pulled out for so many reasons that it’s difficult to lay a finger on one,
that though is history as they say.*

* *

*The Herbert Addo aspect however left me fuming all along, especially when
the shortlist came down to five, staying in there only afforded the FA the
chance to lay claim to having given a local coach an equal chance. Nice
smokescreen by the GFA guys. *

* *

*At least he stands taller relative to experience that his two other Serbian
predecessors, having coached as big a side as Partisan Belgrade and being
assistant to the Serbia and Montenegro squad at the Germany 2006 World Cup.*

* *

*By his presentation to the press as coach for the next two years, the
44-year old tactician is the new father/parent surrogate for the until
now, “orphaned
Black Stars,” **his job as he admits is well cut out for him.*

* *

*“It’s time to win trophies,”** as he piles on himself the pressure of high
expectations even before the biting critique and opprobrium begins to come
when tough times come around. Under Goran, the challenge of lifting the
Black Stars to winning laurels is definitely on.*

* *

*As the FA president advised and as the coach himself reiterated, the
support of all and sundry is of the essence if the coachs’ philosophy and
dream of transforming the team into a championship winning side were ever to
materialize.*

* *

*So in the end, even though Africa has a big external family web that
ensures that Africans cater for their own, forgive me if I sound racist, we
have here, Black kids (Black Stars) entrusted into the care of a white dad
(Goran Stevanovic), no big deal I guess, after all it isn’t the first time.
*

* *

*Maybe as the name of the team bears some celestial significance by way of
Stars, a comparison - pardon its appropriateness or otherwise – would be of
Black Stars with a White moon or a bright sun? That if you ask me remains to
be seen.*

* *

© Shaban Barani Alpha

alfarsenal@yahoo.com/ newcguide@gmail.com