Ace Ghanaian journalist Mohammed Amin Lamptey digs deep into the Black Stars disastrous World Cup campaign in Brazil.Â
Undoubtedly this year's World Cup brought on to the pitch predictable and unpredictable scenes which added value and excitements to the global soccer fiesta.
It all started with the preparedness of the host Nation Brazil regarding venue,organization and security threat which many observers believe could be partly the reason for the shocking results and the early exit of some favorite teams like the defending champions Spain.
In fact after the groups balloting,many soccer commentators had their script well analyzed and predicted a great tournament with the Hope that history will repeat it self with tournament favorites making all the waves but amazingly they were prematurely demanded by the unpredictable happenings to rewrite their scripts on the entirety of the ongoing World Cup in Brazil.
Officiating at the World Cup in Brazil this year had the fair share of criticism right from the opening match till today and the quality of some pitches and rain at some venues became a big issue.
However match turn outs and shocking results brought excitements and enthusiasm so far in the tournament.
Ghana made her third consecutive appearances at the World Cup this year in Brazil with a very strong conviction of making an indelible mark coming from the back drop of their previous experiences in Germany and South Africa.
I believe every Nation that qualifies to play in the World Cup must try as much as practicable to acknowledge the following variables
1-Preparation and proper organization.
2-Mission and purpose
3-Management and players orientation
4-Management and players relationship.
5-Technical and Tactical disposition.
6-Motivation and inspiration.
7-General welfare of both players and handlers.
8-Mental and psychological direction
Let me now crave your indulgence to critically analyze the Black Stars of Ghana participation in the World Cup in Brazil as against their exit today via their 1-2 defeat in the hands of Portugal.
1-Preparation and proper organization:After we qualified to play in the World Cup,have we considered seriously our preparation and organization? Preparation and organization should not only look at the playing body but the generality of Ghana as a country right from the management members,players,supporters and floating supporters.
Was the technical team on top of their job organizationally? How many players did we take to the World Cup who have no business being there and how many players did we left behind who should have being there in Brazil? Was the technical team headed by Dr.Appiah fully in charge of affairs during our qualifiers,after we qualified and in Brazil?
I do not think that we conducted ourselves very well regarding organization of our players,officials,supporters and other supplementary elements.We were just not prepared for the World Cup because how could a well organized team left home for more than three weeks before the commencement of the World Cup and after loosing an important first match,drawn a crucial second match and all expectation was on a slippery last match,then players came out to request for appearance fees and even had the gut to suspend a training session?
It's only lack of organization and preparation that can cause all those instances including the mismanagement of information and supporters.
2-Mission and purpose:I stand to be corrected, but I do not think Ghana went to the World Cup with a vision and mission.We find it very hard to change our perception for 2006 World Cup in Germany which was obviously to go and just participate without any logical and realistic vision.Right from the management,the players,Journalists and the ministers, I want to believe that our vision for the world was not well defined because behavior of all the above stakeholders have not shown any element of visionary Ambassadors out in Brazil to defend the good name of Ghana regardless.
3-Management and Players orientation: Ghana took to the World Cup 16 new players making their debut,two players(Sulley and Djan) making their third appearance and about five making their second appearance.The question is what kind of orientation have we introduced these players to? Our players needed repackaging and rebranding befitted the World Cup and not for qualifiers and warm up friendly matches.
Even most of the team officials needed this orientation more than the playing body because orientation will shape your thinking about the tournament,your behavior on and off the pitch,how you communicate with officials and colleagues both on and off the pitch as well as dealing with sensitive issues like the appearance fees.
4-Management and Players relationship:This very variable is the main problem that has bedeviled our national teams since time in memorial.Let me emphasize that football management is now purely marketing and without the basic level of marketing where you will understand that the customer is always right and can lead to the closure of a company when that customer decided to spend with your competitor.Our World Cup management team members failed to acknowledge the significance of their strong relationship with players as core to their success.A lot of management members have been rumored to be agents to some players and usually aid them in the call up process to the national team for a fee,and so the leader already has sold his birth right for a single meal.
So in Brazil you can clearly see that the leadership was overwhelmed with variety of indiscipline and despondency all because there are no mechanism to consolidate any relationship,hence the players and management friction.
5-Technical and tactical disposition:Football is all about tactics and system and so any Coach who because of the injury of a players gets confuse and dislocated strategically must be questioned about his readiness and sense of creativity.
We obviously lost our game against the USA purely due to tactical bankruptcy and lack of variation in our disposition.We played better than them but how many chances did we failed to utilized? The psychologist of the team was a huge apology to say the least in that game.
Against the German's was our best game in any World Cup Ghana participated because we dominated the game,played all the quality and beautiful football but it took a tactical substitution by the German Coach to denied Ghana a deserved win.
Fortunately or Unfortunately the Black Stars exposed themselves and Ghana before and during their crucial game against Portugal.Indeed Portugal has been one the surprise package even with the best world player in their fold but could not leave up to expectation.Financial Banter between Black Stars players and their management reflected vividly the lack of commitment,understanding and discipline in the team because why must we wait till this very crucial time?
If Ghana Black Stars had given us 60 % of their performance against the USA in the Portugal game,it would have been a done deal.So again looking at the game, we gave out the game to Portugal because of technical and tactical indiscipline.
6-Motivation and Inspiration:I have realize one thing in my life as a sports person that it's not always financial motivation that a player needs to deliver but a very strong mutual trust and understanding between management and the playing body.A management team must be able to know the study rise of each and every player so much so that individually their problems can be attended to specially for the sake of the generality of all stakeholders.We failed to know our own players with their various problems and how to manage them to the point of the motivation.We fail to inspire our players on the pitch and off the pitch without any justifiable reasons
7-General welfare of management and players:I just believe that the poor relationship between the GFA and the Ministry for Youth and Sports right from the onset regarding our projection for the World Cup where different figures were quoted left,right and centre.
The welfare of Ghana contingent to the World Cup should be of a paramount important to any serious participation nation at the World Cup.So with all the sponsorship cash flow,FIFA cash and government supplementary financial injection Ghana could not managed the welfare of players and management to the point of players going on rampage for their appearance fees.You can never get full scale performance from players and management when their welfare is not catered for.So we have failed.
8-Mental and psychological direction:One player I personally thought he had his mental and psychological direction perfectly under control was Ali Sulley Muntari but disappointed me by his unprofessional behavior.Our players both on and off the pitch seem to lack mental and psychological direction.I mean lack of confidence at the back,lack of organization in midfield and lack of vision in attack.Every team in today's football business requires a professional tried and tested psychology to be able to succeed.
9-Communication:In Marketing we have internal marketing and external marketing.According to Marketing gurus,if a company fail to prepare it internal staff or workers,they will transfer their incompetence to the customer who can bring business to a stand still.I realize that communication among Players,Management Journalists and the Ministry has not been properly formulated and so the situation in the Black Stars camp was just the repercussion of failing to established a long lasting communication.
10-Leadership: arguably one of our major problem in Ghana, I mean in all sectors,be it politically,socially,academically and religiously.Lack of a strong leadership from the Black stars Coach could be attributed to our problems.We needed a leader who can identify his men for a battle and know them inside out so much so that he will become the main person the players can rely on many issues including the appearance fees.
He should see himself as a "mother and her babies" where the bond is so intimate that nothing can split them.We need leadership on the pitch and outside the pitch in every football tournament.
In conclusion, I wish to congratulate Ghanaians for their unflinching support but urge the GFA to get back home and revisit their drawing board and consider all suggestions people would have made on their performance in Brazil so as to help reshape our preparation and vision for International tournaments.
Without getting down to develop colts soccer and help to develop other leagues including our premiership,well I just can not say never though but.....