By Kofo Owusu Aduonum
Asante Kotoko’s failure to end their five week winless streak when they hosted inform and current league leaders Berekum Chelsea, has led to the demand for answers by the faithful followers of the club.
Hitherto, the team’s predicament had been laid at the door step of incompetent technical direction. Indeed, that necessitated coach Ebo Mends’ exit from the Red Army.
Management member, Opoku Nti and others held the fort temporarily, but failed to restore the club’s fortunes, losing 0-2 to Aduana Stars in Dormaa.
Then came Korak Bogdan, the current Serbian trainer, who many believed can provide the answers to Kotoko’s woes. However, he has gone past two games and he has nothing to show for it.
Far from being a prophet of doom, I told a colleague that Kotoko’s losing streak had just began the moment coach Mends was given the boot, or forced to resign as they made us to believe then.
In the 2006-2007 football season, the same fate befell the Porcupine warriors when EK Afranie was replaced with a certain Telat Ozum, a Turkish coach.
The club wandered in the wilderness till ‘Messiah’ Bashiru Hayford surfaced, and won the league the same year.
Coach Bash’s arrival once again heralded the golden era of the club, with players like Eric Bekoe, Daniel Nii Adjei, Francis Akwafo and Jordan Opoku among many others forming a winsome side and displaying some attractive football.
Again, Kotoko’s ad-hoc way of hiring and firing coaches, and haphazard transfer of players, saw coach Bash exiting the club at a very sensitive time of his job when the fruits of his labour were just beginning to blossom.
Even at a time he had lost his wife, the man received no sympathy as the management at the time kicked him out and ushered in another light-skinned coach, Morris Coreman.
After a few months in charge, Coreman destroyed all that coach Bash had taken years to build. An SOS call was made to Herbert Addo, who came to salvage the little fortitude left, and performed a miracle by catapulting the team from a middle position to finish second, in last two seasons league.
It will come as no surprise when we wake up tomorrow morning to hear that Kotoko has terminated Korak’s two-year appointment.
Korak is new in the system, and it will take him a l-o-n-g time to adjust to the Ghana league.
The fact that he requested the services of Bernard Don Bortey after watching him in the Aduana vrs Kotoko game is a clear testament to the fact that he needs time to study the terrain.
On second thought, Kotoko should have maintained Ebo Mends, since he hired most of the players currently playing, but he was bastardised after succumbing 0-1 to Hearts (via penalty), and was forced to resign.
A colleague who watched Kotoko’s game against Chelsea told me that the team’s form seems to have dipped since Korak took over.
The new coach’s total (instead of gradual) infusion of new and inexperience players is a major factor that accounted for their loss against Chelsea.
From my colleague’s observation the Kotoko team he knew from the beginning of the league was a far cry of what he saw on the said day.
It’s not over yet for Kotoko, they can still bounce back if they put their house in order. The progress of Kotoko and Hearts in the Ghana league makes it more competitive.
The two must lift up their game to give the league the bite it deserves.