Veteran coach, Josef Emmanuel Sarpong, has charged Black Stars coach, Charles Kwablan Akonnor, to ensure consistency in his team and avoid tinkering with his team all the time, as it would undermine his plan to build a formidable side capable of reclaiming Ghana’s lost glory.
He said that a lack of consistency in team-building cost the Black Stars their 0-1 defeat to the Sudan in their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in Omdurman recently.
Coach Sarpong, who has handled a number of elite Ghanaian clubs and some national teams over the last three decades, put the blame squarely on Akonnor for Ghana’s loss, citing inconsistency in player selection for the defeat. The loss threw Group C wide open with leaders Ghana, South Africa and the Sudan all capable of qualifying for the tournament with two qualifying matches left.
He said Akonnor needed a core set of players around which his side revolved with new players coming in only when the need arose, as the coach worked to buld a very winsome side capable of competing for honours once again.
“To keep changing the face of the team under the pretext of team-building is not the best. Call-ups should strictly be on merit and there should be no compromise on that,” advised the firebrand coach.
“Akonnor should not only focus on building a winsome side but he should also have a core team who can play together for a period of time. At the end of the day, it is his name that would be at stake when giving account of his stewardship as the manager of the Black Stars.”
He said a lack of competition among the players for positions was not good for the team’s progress.
“The Black Stars didn’t look competitive enough and the desire to play and win was missing in their away encounter with the Sudan. The attack was totally non-existent as we were not purposeful upfront.
“Some of the players who contributed to the 2-0 win against the Sudanese in the first leg were absent. Although the skipper was injured, other players were replaced while someplayed in uncomfortable positions.
“Obviously, a player cannot perform at his best when he plays in an uncomfortable position. Players should, therefore, be maintained in their positions so that they can play with consistency and stability.”