By: Hawa Wesseh
Liberia FA and Musa Bility recently appointed new set of coaches for the Lone Stars. The appointment was met with dis-pleasures in certain quarters. Here also are five coaches that could turn the Liberian national team fortunes around. Africans FAs have a bias [these long years] for European coaches, sorry to disappoint you: There are two Nigerians on this list, one Ghanian, one American, and one South Korean. The prestigious Liberian Lone Stars position was not subject to application critics say, the coaches were randomly selected, therefore not subject to competitive bidding…oh well, here’s my list, in no particular pecking order.
#1. Huh Jung Moo
Intro: Moo is a high intensity coach and a patient man with lot of endurance. Just the kind of coach Liberia needs. Problem is he has never work in Africa and it is unlikely of all those on this list, if Coach Moo will want to work in Liberia and groom the Lone Stars and make a name for himself. Liberia can not produce a World Best Player and be lack of talents. The next generation are lurking around to be polished, Moo can do it too!
“Why Liberia needs Coach Moo? Under Coach Moo the Liberian national team should flourish. Liberians styled and called their football ‘tabellah,’ where a strong midfield is prioritized and the ball is shared. Liberians have always experimented with Brazilian football. George Weah is a product.
It helps that as a player, coach Huh Jung- Moo was also a midfielder, even when Asian players were rarely plying their trade in Europe, he was one of the few who played there in the 1980s. Moo’s coaching philosophy also teaches a strong midfield, and the ball is distributed well under that value.
His teams dictate the pace of play as far as ball possession is concerned. Having coached his native Korea successfully, the team reached the round of sixteen for the first time away from home during the South Africa 2010 World Cup. Moo would bring nothing but knowledge of the game to the Lone Star. Liberian players are diminutive in size like their Korea counterparts. Moo used that to his advantage in the 2010 world cup, because what they lack in height and weight, the Koreans make up for in the fitness and intensity. With a lot of Liberian players including its best player in Francis Doe playing in the Asian league, he will have plenty of time to see them first hand in action.”
“Hire this man for the Lone Stars job”
—The Liberian Dialogue
#2. Stephen Keshi, Nigeria
Intro: In this game against France Les Bleus, Keshi, prove he had what it takes. This was one of Nigeria’s best efforts that was wasted by players’ mistakes and bad refereeing. Nigeria felt robbed and for good reasons. To Make matter worse, he took a young team to the World Cup, which he probably should have considered, but it’s no time to cry over spilt milk! The France game proves the Big Boss yet again, has potential, as is always the case with keshi’s teams, the Super Eagles were getting stronger when France stole their luck. He made Michael Barbatunde a star, kept faith in Amed Musa and was intent on raising a young team… going against orthodoxy in Nigerian football by dropping big names for young talents, if Stephen keshi took the Liberian job, Africa will be put on notice.
“THE REFEREE IS a human being and is bound to make mistakes, but a lot of mistakes is questionable,” raged coach Stephen Keshi after Nigeria’s controversial loss to France earlier. And it was hard not to sympathise to a degree with Keshi, as France were the beneficiaries of a number of poor decisions in the game. It was as if American referee Mark Geiger was determined to avoid making big calls – Blaise Matuidi only received a yellow card for a horror tackle on Ogenyi Onazi, while Olivier Giroud’s elbow on John Mikel Obi similarly went unpunished.
Moreover, Nigeria should have had at least one penalty, as Patrice Evra blatantly tugged back Peter Odemwingie in the box. It would be unfair to single out Geiger however, as officials’ reluctance to make big calls is something that has characterised this World Cup and football in general for quite some time…Deschamps’ side haven’t had it all their own way so far though — indeed, much of the game has been played in their final third…”
“5 talking points from last night’s World Cup last 16 action”
#3. Bob Bradley
Intro: Bradley put in a great effort for the Pharaohs in Egypt, and the record is there to be looked at. It was hard for him to leave Egypt, after spanking the Black Stars, despite a havy first leg loss away. He is familiar with African football very well. Ghana stopped him twice, he could sure use Liberian talents and still leave a mark on the continent…but Bradley like Moo will be too expensive and out of reach for the Lone Stars, given the stinginess of the Liberian FA…Liberia will be lucky to have a coach like Bradley’s calibre!
“There was no fairytale ending to this story, because this story was no fairytale. This story, one of the most amazing in sports and life we have ever seen, was about preservation, fear, family, work, and just a little bit of soccer. Egypt beat Ghana 2-1 in Cairo on Tuesday, but that victory was nowhere near large enough to overturn a 6-1 deficit that the Egyptians took into the second leg of their FIFA World Cup Playoff. It’s over for Egypt, and their American coach Bob Bradley. Despite winning seven of their eight qualifiers in a country ripped apart by revolution and war, the Pharaohs will not be in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.”
Bob Bradley Leaves Egypt
#4. Manu Garba, Nigeria
Intro: Manu Garba, is one of the current coaches Nigeria is grooming, rising them from the bottom, where they must prove their mantle Emmanuel Emunike included, this man proves he has grits!. In this interview with fifa.com he warn the world that his team made up of nobodies, would win the under 17 world cup. He won. Also against Nigeria nemesis Argentina! Nigeria will surely miss him if he took the Lone Stars’ job.
Garba is not a naïve man. He is a serious man. He understands the freedom, the fitness and intelligence, the 90-minute commitment, needed to make it work. He also knows the dangers and challenges of using a highly intellectualised system, where the comfort of set positions is totally thrown out the window, are doubled with such young players.
“It’s not been an easy philosophy to pass on to these young boys,” admitted Garba, who played in the first Nigerian team to reach a FIFA finals when he won the African U-20 championship of 1983. “They have no league experience. They are amateurs,” he insists of his side who have spent two weeks in Dubai preparing for the tournament opener. “They play for local teams, or at their secondary schools, but it is this youth that can make them very adaptable to new ideas,” he adds, a tone of warning building in his voice.
“They are right to call us favourites. “I give my players a special freedom, a freedom to express themselves,” he continued, conjuring the spirit of the Rinus Michels, the late coach of Ajax and Holland, who is credited with founding, or at least refining, Total Football. “When we have the ball, we all attack. When we don’t, we all defend,” said the coach, who was an assistant in 2007 in Korea the last time Nigeria won a U-17 World Cup. “Take a chance; go forward, another man will cover you. All my players have the freedom to go anywhere, and it’s a responsibility they understand. Think Barcelona, think Spain, think entertaining, think passion and possibility…“We know a World Cup is a different story, but, man, my attack is blistering. They can destroy any team on their day.” Manu could replicate what Shakes is doing in South Africa!
“I give my players a special freedom”
#5. James Kwesi Appiah, Ghana
Intro: Appiah took on Die Mannshaft [The Team] with his young players and and stood Germany and world up during the 2014 Brazil World Cup. He is a young coach relatively, when you considered his assignment as a national team trainer. He recently signed in Sudan for a paltry sum. He wants to make a name for himself; Kwesi Appiah thinks he have the guns…even in a place called Sudan not known for football on the continent, some said he lost control of the Ghanian dressing room. But what do you expect when a national government sends 3million dollars in cash…? Distraction! Going to Sudan is definitely a big gamble, which he hopes will pay off…he proved that against Germany. He’s from Ghana and Liberians are familiar with Ghanian football. and oh this little note, it was Appiah who also frustrated veteran American coach Bob Bradley and the Pharods, stopping the Egyptian in their tracks and denying them a world cup place at the table.
“Fans love nothing more than watching end-to-end attacking football, and with Germany taking on Ghana, they were always likely to get plenty of that. However, nobody expected the teams to give their everything, going for goal, with each and every moment the ball was in their possession.
After Ghana fell short, losing 2-1 against the USA, they were hoping for a better performance against Germany, who were high off of their 4-0 win over Portugal. Ghana came close to winning, but a late equalizer ensured the game finished 2-2.
…although there’s been few bad games at the 2014 World Cup, this game was most definitely the top contender for game of the tournament, with many saying it’ll be tough to beat the entertainment the two teams put on display.”
Ghana Vs Germany World Cup 2014 Best Match