Dear Jimmy Cobblah: You are a fraud
To be clear, I have absolutely nothing against Jims. In fact, one of my colleagues here at The Tough Tackle is called Jim (hello, Jim Aidoo!).
Me and Jims?
And, no, I don’t have anything against plus-size coaches either. Actually, I believe coaching is more of a cerebral pursuit than a physical exercise. You really don’t need to teach players how to run; just pick the right ones, plot the right tactics, and meld both for the right results. Pretty straightforward, huh?
Well, it’s not like I’m here to teach you how to do your job. With only a layman’s insight into the tactical realm, this journalist isn’t even remotely qualified to coach a ‘Sunday Special’ XI. Truth is, I try not to watch football from a technical perspective; for me, that just drains the experience of what fun is supposed to be had. Still, I can spot a bad coach from a distance, and here’s my verdict about your good self: you’re a fraud.
Oh, yes, you are!
I do know all about your ‘success’ stories with Wa All Stars, Inter Allies, and some Togolese club no Ghanaian gives two hoots about, but that does little to alter the opinion I just stated quite matter-of-factly. It’s why your very appointment as head coach of the Black Satellites early last year stunned upset many. The team, only a decade ago the crown jewel of African football after conquering the world, lay tattered like my old pair of Sebagos and a cobbler was needed to beat them back into shape. Maybe it was because you’re ‘Cobblah’ — or perhaps for some other dumb reason — but you got the nod ahead of arguably worthier candidates. Publicly, we jeered; deep down, though, muted hope bubbled that you’d prove your worth.
You didn’t try; not even a little – well, certainly not from what was observed. Despite enjoying a full year packed with fixtures, you just couldn’t get your act together. The Satellites’ cringe-worthy display at the Wafu Championship in December 2018 made us shudder, but many prayed that fiasco would merely prove a blip en route to a better showing at this month’s Africa U-20 Cup of Nations. The results of preparatory matches hardly provided a boost, yet you never seemed attentive to the glaring concerns. Instead, amid all the gloom, you only ploughed on stubbornly.
“What is happening to the team now is a temporary aberration. Heartily, gradually, we are picking up and I believe we shall be a force to reckon with in Niger.”
That was you sounding so confident — arrogant, even — just before emplaning for the tournament. The opening victory over Burkina Faso did heighten those expectations you fanned, only for the two results that followed – silly losses to Senegal and Mali — to rubbish all that faux positivity. Out there in Niamey, the out-of-sorts Satellites stood looking like a bunch of sorry Kwesi Arthurs with neither a ticket to the summer’s Fifa U-20 World Cup nor medals from the continental event — both of which you promised just prior to fluffing your lines when just a draw against the Malians was needed — to show.
Still, you weren’t done, dealing us one more blow while the nation was reeling from the aforementioned sucker punch.
“Preparation is very important in such a tournament, and we didn’t have enough preparation.”
Really, that’s your best excuse?
And this too: “We should have used most of the local boys because if you look at the competition most of the teams are using most of their local boys”?
With words so lame and almost insulting, you should be finished as a national team coach. But, of course, this is Ghana, where merit is rarely ever the basis for appointment. To myself and other objective Ghanaians, though, you’re damaged goods — as damaged as the Satellites themselves, if not worse.
A cobbler ‘Cobblah’ who can’t fix nothing?