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Date: 22 April 2019

  African - Soccer

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News Headlines

Has Desailly' time to coach Ghana come?

[Posted 16 Sep 2010]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Marcel Desailly linked with the vacant Ghana coaching job

Following the exit of Milovan Rajevac from the Black Stars of Ghana coaching post, Ghanaian discussions have been dominated by debates on who the next coach of Ghana should be.

Earlier this week, carried a story on the Ghana Football Association's hunt for a new coach. That hunting expedition has intensified in the last few days. Many names of local coaches have been bandied around in soccer columns in Ghana and elsewhere on the continent.

Marcel Desailly's name appears to be one such name which holds centre stage in the on-going debates in Ghana. While it is the GFA alone who will decide on who will coach Ghana next after Rajevac, public opinion certainly does play a significant influential role.

Desailly's popularity has been steadily growing in the last few days. His name has always been thrown into the mix each time the Black Stars position falls vacant.

Born in Ghana and of Ghanaian parents, Desailly grew up in France, got naturalised in the European country and played for the French national team instead of his motherland Ghana. Yet Desailly has been known to be a proud Ghanaian at heart and Ghanaians have been proud to be associated with Desailly's achievements on the field of play.

Desailly played for Marseille and AC Milan with whom he won the Champions league on seperate occasions. Desailly was a World Cup and European Cup winner with France in 1998 and 2000 respectively.

Such football accolades  gives Desailly the support from local Ghanaian soccer fans and respect of former players like Samuel Osei Kuffour, who believes time has come for the GFA to appoint a Ghanaian as the next coach.

"We have to take a Ghanaian but it just shouldn't be any local coach," Kuffour told the BBC recently.

"It should be the sort of person who has respect, one who has seen it and done it before," he continued.

Kuffour is convinced that the Ghanaian who fits the above description is Desailly. He however believes that there are former Black Stars players who also deserve to coach Ghana apart from his first choice Desailly.

"Apart from Desailly, [we also have] C.K Akunnor or Mohammed Gargo who can all do it because they have been around and know what is going on," Kuffour added.

But does Desailly qualify to coach the Black Stars given his lack of coaching experience? And is he willing to coach the team this time around, after turning down approaches of the GFA previously? 

 "I am now ready to coach the Black Stars," boldly declared the former French international.

Desailly revealed for the first time live on Ghanaian local TV station Viasat that he was interested in the position of Black Stars coach and that he was ready to step in and take over from Rajevac.

Many former players have taken up coaching posts and have done relatively well even without coaching experience. Stephen Keshi took Togo to the World Cup finals in Germany without much national team coaching experience.

Carlos Dunga was Brazil coach at the recent World Cup in South Africa. Though his team was eliminated in the quarter-finals by losing finalists The Netherlands, Dunga, without much experience, had led his Samba Boys to the 2007 CONMEBOL title and the 2009 Confederations Cup trophy. 

While giving a coach who has never been tested and tried the role to coach a national team remains a gamble, indications are that Desailly could write his own success story with the Black Stars if given a chance. 

Desailly himself appears to know when he is ready and when he is not ready. Twice he was approached by the GFA to coach the Black Stars, and twice he turned down the invitation citing the reason that he was not yet ready.

Im doing my final coaching badges in September, but I am not ready yet," Desailly had told a Ghanaian journalist when asked about becoming Ghana's next coach then.

In future? I will come in, for sure, probably national team and not as an every day coaching clubs.

"The exposure is too much every day today you are the man, the next day you are nothing. I can handle the pressure, but I dont want to get back to that sort of pressure, Desailly had added in June.

Perhaps Desailly's time has now come, and he believes it has, to help the Black Stars to shine further after a decent performance at the 2010 World Cup finals. Only time will tell if indeed the moment of truth has finally arrived for Desailly.  


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