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Sports News Sun, 5 Jan 2020

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Anwar Larry Writes: What to expect from stand in coach Edward Nii Odoom

Edward Odoom did not appoint himself as Interim Hearts coach. He did not even ask for promotion from Auroras to the first team assistant’s job neither did he lobby for the job.

Happenings within the club brought him to this stage. But that does not in any way mean he’s under qualified for the job. Odoom holds a CAF A license certificate and has coached Tema Youth for many years. He’s developed big names locally and on the international stage.

Yakubu Mohammed and Esme Mends passed through his hands during his formative days at Real Sportive. Emmanuel Clottey, Yahya Mohammed, Stephen Adams, Matthew Amoah, Kofi Amponsah, Isaac Sackey, Jonas Osabutey, James Akaminko, and Joseph Paintsil felt his guidance at Tema Youth.

Almost two years ago, Odoom was brought in to assist Henry Wellington at the beginning of the 2017/18 season. Destiny would have it that, Odoom served as a stop-gap coach for three games whilst Wellington recovered from illness. His first, a game of two halves against Karela at the Crosby Awuah Memorial Park. His Hearts side put up the show and took a deserved lead through Daniel Kordie’s wonder striker.

And they could have doubled their advantage but the Phobians spurned two brilliant opportunities with Kordie rattling the upright. That dominate display was however undone in two minutes of the second half with the hosts scoring two quick goals and completing a 3-1 comeback in the end.

However, it’s not the game that came to define Odoom’s ephemeral role. It’s the post match interview where as if in a soliloquy he answered questions by repeating “bad day, bad day!” throughout a five minute interview.

The communication team were ordered to salvage the situation but the idea that he should just give short answers and move out backfired - we did not go back to take the blame; it remained a stigma on Odoom. He took the blame silently and went on to record victory in his next game.

Odoom’s charges bounced back in style in a 0-1 away victory over Kotoko with Patrick Razak stealing the show. The convalescing Wellington returned for the next game - a draw with Liberty Professionals - but Odoom took full charge again as Hearts beat Young Wise by a lone goal in the FA CUP.

Three games. Two wins and a defeat.

Technical changes saw him swap position with Seth Hoffmann in 2018. But he’s back again as a stop-gap coach after the exit of Kim Grant.

WITH ODOOM, IT’S NOT ALL TOO DOOM AND GLOOM.....

Odoom has a track record of working with young and unknown players. He has a structure or formation that can bring the best out of the ordinary player. His favorite 3-5-2 formation demands a lot from the players especially the wingbacks but when it works, not many coaches are able to counter it.

In 2017, Odoom led Tema Youth to a 2-1 victory over Hearts in Tema. Technically, Hearts gave Odoom a tacit praise by trying to neutralize his formation on that day, but though we equalized through Thomas Abbey, his side retook the lead and maintained their advantage to the end. In the return encounter, Odoom’s side helped create a spectacle in a 3-2 thriller at the Accra Sports Stadium.

Odoom will demand fine, attacking football from the boys; players will improve with time. His Hearts will entertain the fans but it’s going to take time for his side to bring results.

Unfortunately, stop-gap coaches for this club have not had that luxury called time.

HEARTS, MEDEAMA’s WORLD CUP

No club has beaten Hearts more times in the last decade than Medeama. No club has beaten Hearts in all competitions than Medeama in the last decade. No club has caused Hearts more heartbreak in recent times than Medeama. Twice they denied Hearts a place in the FA CUP finals. And Hearts have won only once at Tarkwa in the last decade.

SEASON RESULT

2007/8 Kessben 1 – 0 Hearts

Hearts 2 – 0 Kessben

(Raphael Obeng, Ekow Ghansah)

2008/9 Hearts 1 – 0 Kessben

Kessben 0 – 0 Hearts

2009/10 Hearts 1 – 0 Kessben

(Mahatma Otoo)

Kessben 3 – 2 Hearts

2010/11 Medeama 1 – 0 Hearts

Hearts 2 – 3 Medeama

(Wilson Andoh, Douglas Nkrumah)

2011/12 Hearts 2 – 1 Medeama

(Mahatma Otoo, Attakorah Gyimah)

Medeama 1 – 1 Hearts

(Laryea Kingston)

2012/13 Hearts 1 – 3 Medeama

(Mahatma Otoo)

Medeama 1 – 1 Hearts

(Mahatma Otoo)

2013/14 Hearts 0 - 1 Medeama

Medeama 2-1 Hearts

(Emmanuel Hayford)

2014/15 Hearts 2 - 2 Medeama

(Gilbert Fiamenyo (2))

Medeama 0 -0 Hearts

2016 Medeama 0 – 2 Hearts

(Cosmos Dauda, Eric Kumi)

Hearts 0-1 Medeama

2017

Hearts 0-0 Medeama

Medeama 1-0 Hearts

Source: Ghana Guardian

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