Feature: Black Stars Coaching Job: Who’s your pick?

Published on: 08 October 2014
Feature: Black Stars Coaching Job: Who’s your pick?
Avram Grant is among the coaches shortlisted for the vacant Ghana job

While alone with my thoughts this week, I played the scene over in my head; one by one, each of the five candidates, shortlisted for the Black Stars coaching job, step up to present their credentials to replace Kwesi Appiah, who was “fired’ about a month ago.

However, without a laid down criteria by the three man committee set up to find this new coach, it’s been one guessing game after another.

That game has been made easier, with a narrowing down of over thirty applicants to just five. Word out there is that, the committee might go with the cheapest hire amongst the five. However, if there’s anything about the committee worth noting, it’s their unpredictability.

I mean, who really saw the cutting of supposed favourite, Milovan Rajevac? I didn’t, hence my open mind in predicting who steps in Kwesi Appiah’s shoes. Who’s first up? That would be …….

Avram Grant

If disposition won matches, Grant would be losing for fun. Think of the complete opposite of Atletico Madrid coach, Diego Simeone, that’s how Grant looks; docile and uninterested on the touchline.

If you are looking for a pumped up personality, then forget Grant. However, if you are looking at a pragmatic coach who would cook a meal with his limited beans, Grant, the 59 year old, from Israel is your man.

His fear for losing games informs his philosophy and how he sets up his teams. Grant had success with his native Maccabi Haifa, where he won domestic titles before coaching the Israeli national team. His pragmatic tactics saw Israel go through the whole 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign without a loss.

That’s what you will get from Grant, who also coached West Ham, Portsmouth and guided Chelsea to the 2008 UEFA Champions League final.

Grant, who has just signed with Thai side, BEC Tero Sasana, as technical director, is really another Milovan Rajevac, only with a higher pedigree.

Patrick Kluivert

Talking of pedigrees, Patrick Kluivert, the former Barcelona and Dutch striker would be riding on pedigree to secure the Black Stars top job.

Kluivert who is 38 years hasn’t really coached in a senior role and has just had spells with FC Twente's reserves, AZ Alkmaar and NEC Nijmegen in an assistant’s role.

Assisting seems to be his thing as he also had a brief spell under the late Tito Vilanova at Barcelona.

His biggest job yet is assisting then Dutch coach, Louis van Gaal at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Thus, it’s a little difficult assessing his technical capacity and his appointment, if indeed confirmed, would have been just based on his reputation.

It will be a big risk as he is unproven in a head coach capacity. Thankfully, there are no women on the appointing team to be swayed by his boyish good looks.

Marco Tardelli

When you are remembered more for your celebratory antics than your coaching tactics, then it’s a cause for worry. 60 year old former Italian international, Marco Tardelli, another shortlisted candidate, built a solid reputation as a defensive midfielder and is world famous for his celebration when he scored against then West Germany in the 1982 World Cup final.

After short spells with Italian sides Bari and Inter Milan, as well as the Egyptian national team, his most stable job was assisting Giovanni Trapattoni, Republic of Ireland coach, till September 2013.

His short spells as head coach with teams indicate a nomad who barely stays in his job; the Egypt and Inter Milan stints are proof. His management style, mimics his playing style; solid organization.

Now, that is one attribute the present Black Stars could use.

Michel Pont

60 year old Swiss coach Michel Pont’s credentials won’t grab you. Serving as assistant national team coach for 13 years is his claim to fame back in Switzerland. He was at post until he left office together with his boss, Ottmar Hitzfeld, after the World Cup in Brazil. He also works as a consultant for Swiss Television and really there’s not much to judge him by in a full head coach role. Out of the chosen five, he may the longest shot.

Juan Ignacio Martinez

Then there is the 50 year old Spaniard, Juan Ignacio Martinez, who until recently was coach of Spanish side, Real Valladolid. He lost his job after Valladolid were relegated last season. Apart from, Valladolid, he also coached Levante in the top flight and famously guided the team to their spectacular opening of the 2011/2012 season, where Levante went unbeaten in the first 9 games. He did that with limited resources by pumping up the dressing room into a never say die attitude on the pitch.

In the short term, he does pretty well before plunging. If the Black Stars are in need of a quick fix, then the man simply known as JIM could sneak in on the job. The last two look like journey men, but so were a couple of the coaches who “succeeded” with the Black Stars in the past.

Though one of Grant, Kluivert or Tardelli look odds on favourite, a one on one interview, to be conducted from October 17-18 to assess their technical, psychological skills, as well as emotional intelligence should trump all other considerations, especially financial, well, that’s what I think, and I know, I am not alone in that thought.

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(Culled from the 90 Minutes)


  • Mumbi
    says: 5 years ago
    Let NANA KWASU BONSAM apply also. He is the right man for the Black superstitious team.
  • aa
    says: 5 years ago
  • Stranger Danger
    says: 5 years ago
    How GFA Shortlist went: 'Is he White?' ... check 'Is he Not African?' ... check 'Is he European?' ... extra points Decision: 'He qualifies'
    says: 5 years ago
    Mumbi u are a fool wt show that ghana team is supperstion
  • Stranger Danger
    says: 5 years ago
    they put Kluivert in there to not make their requirements soo obvious. I mean the guy has little to no experience in coaching.
  • Kwame Adu-Gyamfi
    says: 5 years ago
    Give Maxwell Konadu a chance.
    says: 5 years ago
    MY LAST THREE ACTUALLY OUT THE FIVE 1.Patrick Kluivert 2.Michel Pont .3Juan Ignacio Martinez
  • afrikaba1
    says: 5 years ago
    No more white coaches. The name of the team is black stars. If Nyantakyi wants to improve his image then Kluivert is the man. He has more expérience than when Akwasi Appiah was given the job. He will be respected by all the players because they all adore him. Avram grant is not a coach. He is like otto pfister riding on the good work of others to make a name. Kluivert will give us attacking football. Gyan will not be the only striker. And will be impartial.
  • BABA
    says: 5 years ago
    MILO AGAIN is best solutions to finally won world cup.
  • Kwame Asare
    says: 5 years ago
    fool are you an illiterate? how did kluivert get chosen then? is he green?
  • Bishop
    says: 5 years ago
  • Stranger Danger
    says: 5 years ago
    Oh the irony. It is you that's illiterate and a fool, because your attempt to degrade my intelligence by blatantly using the terms illiterate and fool, (while my posts doesn't show any signs that I am and illiterate nor a fool )reflects on you as the true foolish illiterate. BTW: It's "Fool, are you illiterate? How was Kluivert chosen then?" There is no need for the "an","get", and "did" doesn't belong there. Get a Webster. ... the irony
  • victor
    says: 5 years ago
  • @papamensah
    says: 5 years ago
    ln the land of blind one eye is king. The truth is that, none of them is one eye!!!