The FIFA World Cup is only 52 days from kick-off and Ghana plays in about the most difficult group in Qatar. A group which drew Portugal, South Korea and Uruguay. It is the group of death.
However after recent outings against Brazil and Nicaragua the team does not look like anything near a finished article. At best it is a work in progress at a slow pace. That is largely because it is a fairly new team that is rebuilding itself. Rebuilding teams in football is inevitable, it is the process that makes the difference.
In the middle of this rebuild is Ghana’s head coach, Otto Addo, who inherited an unsettled team on the back of its worst AFCON campaign. This team needs so much attention from everyone who works on it yet the reality is different. Otto Addo is a part-time coach and as the name of the role suggests, only part of his time goes to working on this unsettled, new, unbalanced, dysfunctional Ghanaian team. For a team that has not played particularly well in the last 2-3 years, one would expect it gets the full attention of the manager and his technical team. Until two weeks ago both his assistants were all working as part-timers too. George Boateng has since left his role at Aston Villa to concentrate on his Black Stars role.
Don’t forget prior to the AFCON, Ghana appointed two part-time assistant coaches for Milovan Rajevac. Maxwell Konadu and Otto Addo were his assistants. For some reasons Otto Addo did not join the team for the AFCON. Was it because of his job at Dortmund?
After the underwhelming performances in Ghana’s recent friendlies and only weeks to the World Cup, Otto Addo is heading back to Dortmund until two weeks before the tournament. It is fair to question if a coach of his little experience will have enough time to learn about his upcoming opponents, players, coaches etc. when he is working for one of the biggest clubs in Europe in one of the best leagues in the world.
This World Cup is different, it is in the middle of the season and as a result club football calender has become congested. Elite teams like Dortmund are playing almost every three days. Coaches and players with these clubs have very little time to get plenty done. Otto Addo is working for Dortmund in the busiest football season in the history of the sport. How much time does he have on his hand to focus on the Black Stars?
Football is about fine details and margins these days, you do not find these details and margins by giving part of your time to it. It needs special attention and especially for a team in its current phase. Otto Addo does not have the luxury others have in other national teams. His technical team is thin which means he has to take up more responsibilities. Some of his competitors have as many as fifteen (15) or more backroom staffs and functional technical directorates working on their teams. Even they have the job on full-time basis.
I’m I surprised about the results he’s had with the team? NO. Of course not. Addo out of his eight games as coach of Ghana has won twice in regular time beating Madagascar 3-0 in the AFCON qualifier and Nicaragua 1-0 in a friendly.
From my view point Otto Addo can be a good coach but his lack of experience at this level and divided attention does not inspire confidence. Ghana’s head coach must prioritize the Black Stars to enable the work in progress move at a faster pace and give Ghana a chance.