The cry to push out Black Stars coach, Avram Grant, appears to have taken a rather deviant twist against what was scripted when he was taking up the job after the Black Stars’ World Cup fiasco in Brazil.
But the development may be understandable, following the poor results in the Russia 2018 World Cup Africa group qualifiers in which Ghana recently lost 2-0 away to group leaders, Egypt, after dropping vital points at home in a goalless draw with Uganda in Tamale.
Indeed, the agitation to immediately see the back of Grant is fuelled by the Israeli’s unrepentant attitude of staying in Europe under the guise of monitoring foreign-based Ghanaian players when he must rather stay in the country to monitor local stars.
The concerns, therefore, appear justifiable. But that is where the danger lurks, and which is why we would like to caution the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and, by extension, Grant’s paymasters, the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS), to be circumspect in any decision to give him the boot.
First of all, Grant has not failed yet, given the targets handed him by his employers, we dare argue. His initial target was “to go and do well” at the last AFCON jointly held in Gabon/Equatorial Guinea which he achieved even beyond expectation by reaching the final.
And the second stage of the target is for him to win the next AFCON, which is what Grant is said to be beating his chest he will achieve at Gabon 2017. So why are we anxious to truncate the coach’s dreams?
Should we terminate his appointment, what is the guarantee that his replacement will be the man to lead Ghana to a triumphant Africa Cup that Ghanaians have been longing for since the Stars’ last victory over three decades ago?
It is the reason the GRAPHIC SPORTS agrees with the views expressed by Coach Kuuku Dadzie in the paper last Monday that Grant must be judged based on his performance and after the upcoming AFCON.
Dadzie, who is not only a former captain of the Black Stars but also a former national team coach (the Black Queens), even rationalised why Grant could not be blamed much for his continued stay outside the country, since most of the players were in the foreign leagues.
For him, the job of monitoring local players should be the responsibility of Maxwell Konadu, the local assistant to Grant.
“He must be tasked to do more of domestic monitoring and provide much information about the potential local talents he identifies to Grant,” he said.
We cannot agree more with Dadzie. Indeed, we have intimated this several times in this column about the essence of the local assistant if he cannot do this when he doubles as the coach of the local variant of the Black Stars.
We also feel uncomfortable, as do many Ghanaians, about calls that former coach Kwasi Appiah should be reinstated to the Stars when it is clear that he was unable to manage the egos of the players when he was in charge at the failed World Cup mission in Brazil.
Let us be frank to say it as it is, that it was Appiah’s failure the last time and the attendant national disgrace in Brazil that necessitated the hiring of an expatriate coach in the person of Grant.
Therefore, it must be against wise counsel to tread that path now when the wounds of Brazil have hardly healed. Grant can part ways with Ghana after Gabon AFCON, but we are wont to advise that his replacement can be anybody but a local coach.
And we would like to repeat Dadzie’s admonition: “We can only sack Grant after AFCON.” This must not be taken for granted, since anything to the contrary will come with heavy financial recompense to Grant.