It would be understatement to say Kumasi Asante Kotoko with the finest and greatest slogan ?wokum apem a, apem beba? in recent past is struggling in the First Capital Plus League and Kotoko is placed in an unfavourable position which looks like it is heading towards abyss and to a ?point of no return.
Fabulous Kumasi Asante Kotoko a team with an incredible track record of winning the Ghanaian league titles and Africa Cup titles on so many occasions has now become minnow in the ongoing local league. The team now looks like a falling elephant which every animal can beat easily to the extent that these days their Supporters will have to sit on tenterhooks watching their games both at home and away even when they are leading.
It may interest Kotoko fraternity to know some of the factors that have led to the team?s abysmal performances in the ongoing league. Kumasi Asante Kotoko the porcupine warriors we see today has no teeth to bite and their slogan is now powerless. Kumasi Asante Kotoko has failed to do a critical analysis of their past mistakes. Mistakes are bound to happen for corrections but it seems both the Kotoko leadership and Supporters have not learnt any lesson at all from their previous mistakes that is why their mistakes kept on repeating itself.
Kumasi Asante Kotoko?s problems started way back in the days of their foreign Coach Taalat Ozum and it has gone on and on and they have had different Chief Executive Officers and Board members but surprisingly none of them have been able to find lasting solutions to the persistent problems facing the team. Identifying your disease or sickness is half solved the problem and this is what both the past and present leadership of Kumasi Asante Kotoko has failed to examine.
The team instead of progressing is rather retrogressing even though on paper they have individual quality players and yet there is relatively nothing to write home about the team all because of the way and manner the team is been run. The team befits amateur football Club rather than a professional Club looking at the way and manner things are done in Kotoko with regards to checks on the life style of players off the pitch. Most of Kotoko?s players are stamina suspects and I wonder if their physical trainer had observed it. Some of them play the first 30 minutes with vim and vigour and the remaining minutes you will notice they are just spectators watching the match.
The engine room which is their midfield cannot hold and it leaks badly and that brings much more pressure on their defenders which forces them to commit unpardonable mistakes that led to their defeats in their previous matches played. Surprisingly most of their strikers are inexperience and they don?t know when to position themselves well for a pass and to place a ball past a goalie or shoot the ball into the yawning net. They must know there is no beautiful goal in football. I will take this little opportunity to appeal to Coach Duncan to work on his strikers goal scoring abilities because goal scoring to the best of my football knowledge is an act which has to be learnt at all times. Practice they say makes man perfect.
In Kotoko?s match against Ashgold looking at the begging chances that came their way and their strikers for lack of goal scoring techniques squandered all the chances and luckily enough the wood work saved Kotoko from losing the match. Duncan must task his strikers to come to training an hour before the normal training session just to practice how to score goals and see if his strikers will not get him the goals to clinch victory in their remaining matches.
Football is now scientific and has to be run with all seriousness and strategic purposes. After the exit of Herbert Mensah who was able to re brand the team to the level of professionalism the rest of the leaders have not gathered the needed courage to make the supporters understand that it will get worse before it gets better.
Mr Herbert Mensah?s relationship with Kotoko?s supporters was second to none all because he was bold enough to let the Kotoko fraternity know Rome was not built in a day and as such patience is necessary that was why Kotoko was not winning the league and yet they rallied behind him to build the a formidable team to a level that befits a winning team for his successors to achieve the ultimate for Kotoko.
Herbert Mensah could have won the league on so many occasions in his tenure of Office if not for the violent behaviours of some supporters that led to points reductionon? Kotoko?s points build up ?to the advantage of Hearts of Oak. Kudos to Mr Sylvester Asare and his IMC, most especially Mr. Javis Peprah who taught it wise to advise those among the team supporters to stop their violent behaviour to avoid been exposed to face full rigors of the law.
The obstacles to Kotoko?s chances of winning the league became a thing of the past and Herbert Mensah?s successors won the league to bring the joy on the faces of their numerous supporters. The current leadership has failed to let their supporters understand even though they have bought all the players they wanted to beef up the team but the team needs time to grow to its peak.
As a farmer plants a seed it will have to rot in the soil before it grows so shall Kotoko progressively get to the peak? Season upon season?s team leaders and Sports Presenters will hype some players and will recommend them to the Coach to buy those players not taking into consideration the kind of environment these players are coming from I am talking in terms of the pressure in Kotoko to that of the smaller Clubs these players came from.
Not every player who had scored against them fits to play for Kotoko that is what Kotoko supporters must understand because the spirit of wearing the red jersey itself is not a joke and that is why there is the need to inculcate the Kotoko spirit in their youth side so that they will fit into the first team without any panic. Kotoko supporters must give the current leadership the needed support to build a formidable team that can stand any test of time
Sacking Coaches in the middle of the season for a new Coach to come and use the same players whose abysmal performances had caused the exit of a Coach is unscientific and it has to stop to avoid employing a new coach whose philosophy and game plan is quite different the sacked Coach.
Every Coach has his philosophy as some Coaches may prefer using tall and lanky players others will prefer using short but swift players in his game plan. I don?t see why some supporters will be calling for the head of Coach David Duncan knowing very well he was not the one who recommended the players he is working with currently.
He has to be given the needed support to help keep Kotoko in a good and safe position in the current league. He Coach Duncan is good coach who knows how to develop a youthful team as Kotoko has presently to look a stronger side no team can beat easily. Wafa FC is a youthful side and is performing better in the ongoing First Capital League beating the big teams and they started from somewhere and it is important Kotoko Supporters exercise a little bit patience for the team to find it rhythm to winning ways.
Kotoko has won many titles both local and International and it is about time the leadership put its feet down to educate its supporters to help build a Club house for the team and complete the Adako-jachie Sports stadium so that the team will stop loosing huge sums of money in playing at the Baba Yara Sports stadium.
What Kotoko needs now is a long term program and not short term program. They must try all their best to be maintained in the league and set aside a three (3) to five (5) years development plan that will yield the needed result and stop forcing to create something which is not there to come into existence.
Supporters of Kotoko must remember when the going gets tough that is when they should give their maximum support to the team and not the threat and curses they issue out to players, Coaching staff and management team. No player in Kotoko would love to lose a winning bonus but even in life things will get worse before it gets better, so I would like to appeal to all Kotoko Supporters to exercise patience in this hard time. GOOD LUCK KUMASI ASANTE KOTOKO
BY: Michael Kessey (SPORTS ANALYST)