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The curse of the second coming: Kwesi Appiah returns

Kwesi Appiah 05.14 Kwesi Appiah to have second stint with Black Stars

Wed, 5 Apr 2017 Source: Mutala Yakubu

Former Black Stars captain and Coach Kwesi Appiah has been reappointed as the head coach of the senior national team just two years after he was replaced by departed Israeli trainer Avram Grant.

The former Al Khartoum coach has been given a two-year contract to lead the Black Stars again for the second time.

But the big question is "will he face the curse of the second coming”?

Most Coaches do not thrive in their second spells with teams and references can be made to Jose Mourinho’s second spell with Chelsea in 2015 where he won the league but was fired when the club performed badly the season after. Same can be said of Harry Redknapp who took over Portsmouth for a second stint between 2005 and 2008 but oversaw a poor run of form contrary to his first coming.

Perhaps the catchiest of them all was Coach Kevin Keegan when he returned to Newcastle in 2008 but failed to win any of his first eight matches and fell out with owner Mike Ashley.

So, will Kwesi Appiah’s second coming be one to remember or will it be shortlived in the memories of Ghanaians?

Kwesi Appiah becomes the 43rd coach of the Black Stars and his appointment was met with mix feelings by football loving fans. The former Kumasi Asante Kotoko captain was appointed in 2012, where he took over from Serbian Goran Stevanovic, and subsequently finished 4th in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.

The highlight of Kwesi Appiah’s previous reign is captured when he had a hundred percent qualifying record prior to the 2014 World cup in Brazil, with his team famously beating the Pharaohs of Egypt 6-1 at the Baba Yara Stadium.

All was rosy for the man who was tagged as a master tactician after becoming the first African Coach to qualify the Black Stars of Ghana to a world cup.

He was always touted as the ideal man until Ghana had a horror showing in Brazil; drawing one game and losing two. There were several reports of Kwesi Appiah not having utmost control over the team with some senior players like Kelvin Prince Boateng engaging in an oral war with him which led to the sacking of the Las Palmas midfielder from the team's camp in Rio.

His personality and ability to control his players was questioned by most Ghanaians and several pundits of the game begun to doubt his qualities as a tough coach. After the world cup Kwesi Appiah was offered a new two year contract but resigned in September 2014 by mutual consent.

Kwesi Appiah’s appointment has sparked several debates, with sports journalist Gary Al Smith clearly showing displeasure after he took to twitter and wrote “ Kwesi was sacked for incompetence in 2014, still not good/bold enough”.

Lawyer and Sports journalist Moses Foe Amoaning has also cautioned the coach to be ready for the task as the Black Stars are on the verge of not qualifying for the Russia 2018 world cup, and are currently trailing group leaders Egypt by 5 points.

Kwesi Appiah is set to begin his second tenure on the 1st of May and is tasked to take full charge of the local Black Stars as well. His success or failure will be one that several football fans will be interested in when his reign comes to an end.

But as the saying goes: legends are only known when they stand the test of time. For Kwesi Appiah, though, this is a test of his character.

Source: Mutala Yakubu
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