At long last, the search is over or the head hunt as the Ghana Football Association (GFA) put it. We have found a new coach after the love affair with Goran Stevanovic went bad. A local boy, a pure homebred Ghanaian who goes by the name James Akwasi Appiah has been appointed. Finally, a Ghanaian coach. One who has captained the Black stars (the national team) and a local side,Asante Kotoko and has worked with the Black stars technical team as an assistant coach. He also coached the Black stars those few times we were “coachless” and searching for new foreign coaches. He has some experience on and off the field with the Black stars, making him a good candidate. He also understand the needs of both players and fans.
But my big mouth has a few plausible concerns to raise. Please bear with me while I ramble on, at the end you can also tell me what you think.
What caught my attention was the monthly salary of the local coach, a paltry $20,000 a month. A very welcomed increase from the $3,000 he received as an assistant coach but $20,000? Seriously? A national coach? While our Serbian was making €30,000 a month? Is it that the GFA wanted a coach who would willingly accept $20,000 a month because Goran made them bankrupt? It would be very difficult to find a good coach who will take $20,000 a month, our very own Marcel Desailly was asking for €100,000 a month and the option to choose his own technical team, were those demands too much for the GFA ? The GFA would also find it very difficult to control Marcel, they can’t make him their puppet. Was the appointment based on desperation or on merit? The current Ghanaian coach was in charge of the black stars when they faltered against Sudan in the 1st Afcon qualifier. On the bright side, he coached the Ghana Olympic team to win gold in the 2011 All-African Games. But there exists Sellas Tetteh, who has achieved more than that and has had a better career as a coach, why wasn’t he appointed?
Local coaches are good, but how many African teams have excelled while being coached by locals? Zambia, the 2012 AFCON champion used Herve Renard, a foreign coach. I don’t think the nationality of a coach matters that much when it comes to winning competitions but in Africa, the foreign coaches have more experience and command more respect , like how foreign players are preferred to the local players. When these foreign based Ghanaian players are called, will they show the local coach the maximum respect? Imagine Essien and Muntari who have been coached by tactical men like Jose Mourinho take instructions from a local coach who is now experimenting.
Honestly though, I like the way Ghanaians are praising Mr. Akwesi Appiah and singing his name everywhere in the media. After a few trials and tribulations, I pray these same Ghanaians will not sing the “Crucify him” song (We sing it better than the Jews). Agogo and Prince Tagoe can give you their testimonies.
Well, what can I say? In case anything goes wrong, I can boldly say that Ghana has over 22 million coaches who work for free. If you doubt this, just listen to the comments you pass whenever you are watching the Black stars play a match. But good luck to Mr. James Akwesi Appiah ,and all the best as he undertakes this herculean task. Long live the Black stars, long live Ghana and our criticizing mouths.