GHANAsoccernet.com guest writer Yaw-Adjei Mintah writes Maxwell Konadu's recent portfolio in the Black Stars is a 'waste of space', arguing the former Asante Kotoko gaffer has become redundant.
Though the occasion was not as electrifying as the airport meet, Kwesi Appiah’s unveiling as Black Stars Coach still had a lot of buzz around it. Here was the man most Ghanaians believed to be the right tactician to lead the country back to the times of walloping Egypt 6-1 with verve and sheer technical brilliance. Since the resurgence of the team in the mid 2000’s, the top spot on the bench has been one of the biggest draws in the country but for the first time since 2012, a shakeup in the technical department of the Black Stars sans head coach drew loads of attention.
In place of a group headlined by questionable goalkeeper’s trainer Nassam Yakubu, a “Dream Team” as GFA Vice President George Afriyie put it, of former players have been appointed to fill spots vacated by the departed group. Ibrahim Tanko, Richard Kingson and Stephen Appiah will serve under Kwesi Appiah, a former player himself, to steer Ghana away from the mediocre clutches that dotted the Avram Grant era.
Despite the new faces, there is one big holdover from the departed group who polarizes opinions for his apparent ineptitude to get things done in situations when called upon. Maxwell Konadu served under Appiah during his first go around with the team and maintained his spot under Grant. But running through the back stories of the respective appointments it can clearly be deduced Konadu’s time in the team should be over by now.
Cameroon are kings of Africa following an enthralling AFCON title winning campaign earlier this year but during Tanko’s time as Volker Finke’s assistant, the Indomitable Lions were indomitable for their fractious campaign at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Moving him to the Ghana camp represents an upgrade on his previous job. Stephen Appiah’s role has moved from a cheer leader on the bench to a Technical Coordinator who is being groomed to take over the head coaching role in the future by his namesake. Olele Kingson is definitely a huge step forward as the veteran’s vast experience is bound to rub positive vibes on the next wave of keepers.
With Nassam Yakubu’s exit, it is safe to say the catastrophic days of Razak Brimah in the post for Ghana are over. Pretty much every member is enjoying some element of promotion but for Konadu, his second stint under Kwesi Appiah is a stripped down demotion. As the former number one behind the head coach, Konadu is now number two behind Tanko who sits in the number one spot. Naturally, a diminished role leads to the exit door but for some reason, Konadu’s place on the team has been bizarrely maintained.
Interestingly, Konadu’s exit is long overdue since the departed Grant officially recognized Gerard Nus as his assistant not Konadu as we were made to believe by the GFA. On the outside, Nus was tagged a Video Analyst but within the confines of the team, he was not. Maybe the disdain for usurping GFA’s darling boy was the reason behind Nus’ bad treatment in the aftermath of the 2017 AFCON.
Ideally, having two of Ghana’s young bright minds in Tanko and Konadu is definitely a plus for the country going forward. However, Tanko’s experience is more than enough to get the job done without additional help from a subordinate. The former Dortmund striker has nibbled away coaching ethos at the home of World Champions Germany.
Appiah’s stint with Al-Khartoum in the competitive Sudanese League garnishes the deep lessons learnt with the Black Stars, first as Milovan Rajevac and Goran Stevanovic’s assistant before nabbing the main job. In instances when Konadu has been given the chance to demonstrate what he can do, the results have been underwhelming. The Black Stars Team B’s failure to qualify for the 2016 CHAN quickly comes to mind.
In a country struggling to come to grips with a woeful economy, any money irrespective of the amount, doled out should be stringently looked at. Coupled with the fact that the once magnetic Black Stars is not the same force it was a few years ago leading several corporate organizations to drop sponsorship arrangements with the team.
Management’s main source of funds alias Ghana Government has seen a big change in personnel that is bent on accounting for every cent spent. Therefore having two men in a role that can be performed easily and to a large extent better by Tanko, there is little incentive to pay a man who has clearly outlived his usefulness to the course.
Redundant psychologically and physically
Having Konadu on the technical team throws out the main idea of the full house sweep of the Black Stars. The fact that the former Asante Kotoko Coach retained his position, is a bottleneck to the program under Kwesi Appiah’s watch. After serving the team for four years, having a new voice around is ideal for a Black Stars environment that has grown stale and needs a major kick up in attitude.
Multiple examples have shown players react to the appointment of a new boss and though Appiah is no stranger to the Stars, he comes back to the team a different man hardened by the bitter experience in Brazil and his excellent time in the Sudan heat. Same can be argued for Tanko and other members of the technical group except Maxwell Konadu.
In austere times like these, moves such as Maxwell’s retention which can easily dampen the renewed sense of hope and pride in the Black Stars should be avoided particularly when the subject under discussion has demonstrated his inability to push the team further.
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah, @YawMintYM on Twitter