Sunday, April 5, 2009

CAN KOTOKO RIDE STORM? ..All eyes on coach Opeele

After the ignominous home defeat to Swedru All Blacks on Wednesday, Kumasi Asante Kotoko depart for to Morocco this weekend for a tricky CAF Champions League match with a divided management.
For the first time, a management member of the club has admitted that there are cracks in their fold. Persistently, management members have denied there were troubles in the management, but with supporters “wild” after All Blacks defeated Kotoko 2-0 in Kumasi, Mr George Amoako, Director of Finance, said all could not be well with management.
He, however, indicated that everything would be done to address the differences on their return from Morocco next week.
“But in the event of failure to resolve the problem, we would advise ourselves”, he told a Kumasi-based radio station yesterday.
When Mr Amoako was pressed to find out what was wrong with the management, he declined to comment, saying the club had a crucial CAF Champions League game this weekend in Morocco and would not delve into that.
Kotoko need no one to tell them the threat posed by their Moroccan opponents in the second leg preliminary match, Ittihad Khemisset.
The Ghanaian champions won the first leg 3-1 at the Sekondi stadium and will move to deliver the final kill on Sunday. But it is not going to be an easy task. The Moroccans could come firing on all fronts in order to overturn the deficit, and Kotoko better watch out.
Having amassed a wealth of experience in Africa, Asante Kotoko cannot afford to take things so easy and coach “Opeele” Boateng has to devise the strategy to come out clean on the imminent threat.
The striking prowess of Alex Asamoah, together with colleagues like Jordan Opoku, Samuel Inkoom, Ofosu Appiah and the likes should tell positively on their game.
But even as Asante Kotoko prepare for the battle in Morocco, many are asking questions as to who is really in charge of the club. When Otumfuo Osei Tutu II put the management in place, he made Sylvester Asare Owusu the CEO, but questions have been raised as to whether he was in control of the team. Developments in the club portray that the five management members have equal powers.
Some of the fans have blamed management for the unimpressive performance in the league. They charged forward after the defeat last Wednesday and the management members and technical team were lucky that they escaped unhurt.
Quite uncharacteristic of the Porcupine Warriors, they have lost three times at home this year. Hearts and Eleven Wise beat them 2-1 apiece, while just last Wednesday All Blacks whipped them 2-0 in Kumasi.
Mr Amoako in his interview with the radio station denied that the abysmal performance of the team was due partly to the non-payment of winning bonuses to the players.
He called for a change because Kotoko supporters could not swallow those horrible performances as being experienced in recent times.
He cited the “abysmal performance” of Samuel Inkoom last Wednesday and said it contributed to the defeat to All Blacks. According to Amoako, the national defender refused to return quickly to cover up anytime he ventured forward.
The Director apologised to the supporters for the poor performance and gave the assurance that management would move to pluck the loopholes.
Inkoom did not take kindly to this statement and quicklu phoned in to the radio programme, saying the defeat was a collective responsibility and so he should not be blamed as an individual.

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