By Wleh Bedell
The recent list released by Lone Stars struggling Coach James Salinsa Debbah brings to the limelight a chunk of talking points. The list when look at critically, is a representation of less than twenty percent of the best players at home and abroad as far as performance or current form is concerned, more so, with this crucial game against Tunisia. For example, there has been no competitive football in Indonesia for close to a year, yet still, a player named Adolphus Marshall is being selected from there as Liberia meets the log leader in a vital Afcons qualifier, a must win game if the Lone Stars must stay in contention. While he was also selected for the game against Togo, Turkish based Tonia Tisdell is still not available for the Tunisia clash.
The news that winger Tisdell cannot be reached, if confirmed will be a major setback, also as this will show his unwillingness to play for James Debbah. He snubbed Debbah the first time and this will be his second. Yet with all this, Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh was still not given a call, something in my mind, says this is somewhat personal. What yard stick has been used to select dreadful Omega Roberts, and understudy Trokon Zeon who is still unable to break into his own team LISCR first eleven at home, and literally inactive James Soto Roberts whose International Transfer Certificate has since been sent to the Seychelles where he is expected soon to play.
Soto Roberts is no longer in the plans for the Oilers and has now become a spectator to the local league where he is often seen in the stands, as he await tickets to travel abroad as he seeks to pilot his dwindling football career that has flagged, yet, the hurriedly assembled coaches of the national team the Lone Stars, James Debbah and Kelvin Sebwe have said Soto Roberts is more useful than established players who are being ignored and playing week in week out.
Two Monrovia Breweries players who recently left the local scene for more than a month for Ghana to get visa to travel to a European nation to seek greener pastures and have been inactive for long spells have been listed and, despite such long stay in the former Gold Coast, Murvee Dolley and Raymond Fanciah are been preferred to in-form lads like Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh, an established Lone Stars player, also.
It was reported that the Debbah led technical crew said Zeon was selected because no home-grown player has the experience he has, a complete compulsive falsehood as no local player is more experienced than Solomon Wesseh, alias Jean Pierre, as far as rating local talents are concerned.
The whole selection process looks ‘topsy turvy’ with James Debbah and company just managing at least to get something, while doing it their own way and ignoring in form players that need to play for their country.
Regrettably, one cannot understand the whole arrangement, and especially when Liberia will be facing the leaders in their group, James Debbah is not selecting the best team for the nation. All the best for the Lone Stars, but as always, Tunisia are the overwhelming favorites, reason why this Debbah’s selection should have been carefully thought out. The Carthage Eagles, as expected will book an automatic ticket, and will qualify from the group as James Debbah is already making it easy for Tunisia, and don’t ask about one of two runners up tickets in the thirteen groups, the Lone Stars, are going nowhere, not anytime soon with the kind of selection we are seeing.
Since the 2004 qualifiers, the Lone Stars have ended at the bottom of their respective groups and it seems the story will be the same, barring they can get a better head to head match ups against fellow minnows Djibouti, but with Debbah’s questionable selections, the Liberian national team, Lone Stars woes are expected to continue.
As a citizen, I want to see the Lone Stars of Liberia qualify for Gabon 2017, but as a blunt analyst, I don’t see it so. It’s seemingly impossible, the team is in shouting distance and mostly due to the fact they are bad hosts and poor travelers, hence a current situation not being helped by its coach, also.
SQUAD: Liberia Lone Stars Vs. Tunisia Cartage Eagles
1. Francis Grandpa Doe–NS Matrix, Malaysia] 2. Gizzie Dorbor–Hapoel Afula, Israel] 3. William Jebor–SD Ponferradina, Spain] 4. Anthony Laffor–Mamelodi–Sundowns South Africa] 5. Sekou JabatehOliseh–Unattached]
6. George Weah, Jr–Unattached] 7. Adolphus Nagbe Marshall–Unattached] 8. Sekou Konneh–Fortuna Sittard, Holland] 9. Tonia Tisdell–Osmanlıspor, Turkey] 10. Teah Dennis–Al-Ahli, Jordan]
11. DirkirGlay–GorMahia, Kenya] 12. Patrick Gerhardt–Sarawak FA, Malaysia] 13. Sam Johnson–Djurgårdens IF, Sweden] 14. Zah Krangar–Felda United FC, Malaysia] 15. Solomon Grimes–Nea Salamis Famagusta, Cyprus] 16. Herron Berrian–Platanias, Greece] 17. Sporo Somah–Sewe Sports, Ivory Coast] 18. AmadiayaRennie–Brann, Norway] 19. Melvin King–Oman] 20. Murphy Oscar Dorley–Local, Ghana] 21. Raymond Fransia– Ghana] 22. Trokon Zeon– LISC FC]