Sports Features of Tue, 12 Feb 20194

Dear Jimmy Cobblah: You are a fraud

Dear Jim,

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?

Mad love.

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?

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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.”

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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”?

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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?

Freakin’ fraud!

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