IS it the case that Kwasi Appiah blew away a fine opportunity to make a case for Ghanaian coaches last Sunday?
This was the crucial point of argument after he led the Black Stars to manage only a goalless draw at home to The Sudan in a Nations Cup qualifier at the Baba Yara Stadium.
The most prevalent sentiment the Graphic Sports gathered during and after the match was that the local coaches do not have the pedigree to coach the Black Stars, citing various reasons including the inability to organise the game properly and unproductive attitudes towrads player indiscipline.
But on the flip side, others insisted it was pretty unfair to castigate Appiah for the team’s performance as that was his first major match since that was the first time he was leading the team in a major game.
The Chief Executive of Bechem United FC, Mr Kingsley Osei Bonsu, aka Zico, told the Graphic Sports that even though he did not support the idea of the local coach for the national team, he thought the criticims against Appiah were unfair.
“Apart from the introduction of some few faces, he used the core of the team that played in the World Cup, so it will be unfair to play down the capacity of the coach at this early period,” he said.
Many have been calling for a shift in power in the coaching department of the national team and the departure of Serbian Milovan Rajevac restarted the debate as Appiah took over the job albeit as a stand-in.
But after his side struggled to a goalless draw against an average Desert Hawks of Sudan before a sell out crowd at the Baba Yara Stadium Sunday night, some believed the coach failed to map out the strategy to overpower the Sudanese and thus underlined the need for Ghana to go for a top-notch foreign coach.
Yet, others argued that the coach did his best only that the players failed to take advantage of the opportunities that came their way.
Appiah himself insists his team was unlucky on the day after playing so well in the second half.
“We should have won the game in the second half but hard luck robbed us of victory.”
The coach said he varied his game plan when he realised the Sudanese had gotten the antidote to his tactics.
Indeed, he varied his tactics and at some points it appeared the coach was in to surmount the Sudanese obstacle.
His tactical flexibility, as he himslef said, saw him playing with the 4-3-2-1 and the 4-4-2 systems, and if the players had taken their chances, a different story would have been told.
Clearly, even though the Sudanese produced a number of last-ditch tackles and clearances to remain on level terms, the Ghanaian team did not show the typical dexterity that could have led them to victory.
How the Ghanaians failed to take advantage of the indirect free kick from six yards out amazed many, and it underlined the frustration the team went through.