Goran Stavanovic, Coach of the Black Stars

Ghana football is going through hard moments with all the hubbubs in the black stars camp, after the Nations cup in Gabon which Ghana couldn’t lift the trophy some soccer fans thought it was due the black stars after about thirty years. It started with the indefinite retirement of Asamoah Gyan from the black stars, it came down to the coach failing to fulfill his promise of winning the trophy for Ghana, then the division in the black stars camp and the use of black magic, also known as juju by some of the players.

As a football fan, I’m not happy about all that’s going on in the camp of the black stars. I can remember how united our team was just before the tournament and all of the sudden we are told that there are divisions in the black stars. Did the GFA lie to us before the tournament that the players were united just to give us the hope that the team will win the trophy? If that was the plan, then Kwasi Nyantakyi, the President of the FA who doubles as the chairman of the black stars management committee has to apologize to Ghanaians.

After calling for the head of our prolific striker Asmoah ‘Baby Jet’ Gyan, football fans and pundits of the game turned to Goran Stevanovic a.k.a Plavi, the man they think has failed and lied to Ghanaians. Followers of the National Team and some football journalists have suggested the coach be sacked because he said he was going to win the trophy and he failed. This I think is lame a reason for the sacking of the coach who would have tobe compensated with an amount of about GHC24 million for doing nothing.

I also think the coach should be sacked but not based on the reason been given by football fans in the country. I’ve had my own doubts about the coach since he was appointed. What was his qualification? Where are records of his previous achievements? I think taking Ghana to the semi-final of the AFCON is one of his greatest achievements. People thought Ghana had quality players who are hungry for the trophy and so whether the coach is good or not, the players with their level of professionalism could bring the trophy home, forgetting the selection and game plan was the doormat of the coach.

Goran should be sacked because he is tactically impaired. The coach finds it difficult selecting tactics for a game, and he’s always found wanting whenever his initial tactics fail. I remember in the stars first game against Botswana, the stars were attacking from the wings, but the tactics was incompatible with the style of play of our players .Our opponents were tall and big in stature at the back of defense, so it was difficult for our strikers to get to the ball. The tactics didn’t help and, If not for the goal and the dirty work of John Mensah, Ghana would have come out with a draw or a loss. Also in our Game against Zambia he made a substitution which didn’t help the team. He took Asamoah Gyan off and brought on Prince Tagoe at a time we needed a striker who could hold on to the ball and pass well or shoot at goal himself. I think Plavi should be taught how to be tactically dynamic.

I want to believe somebody at GFA made the selection for Goran for their parochial interest, but if not, then Goran doesn’t have to be coach of a football nation like Ghana. The coach doesn’t have an eye for quality players and failed to respect our local league and Africa football as a whole.  With sixteen teams and over five hundred players taking part in our local league, Plavi didn’t see any good player among them. The question most football fans will seek answers to is why he dropped Emmanuel Baffour, the leading goal scorer in the Glo Premier League who has about thirteen goals in fourteen appearances and selected Prince Tagoe who has scored only one goal in eleven appearances for his Turkish club Bursaspor? And why Harrison Afful, the ACL winner was not called to camp will remain a mystery for now. The Richard ‘Olele’ Kingston and Sammy Adjei factor also deserves a platform for deliberation.

I have the feeling things would have been different if these players were called to the black stars.


Plavi at the Press Conference

It was funny how he wanted to outwit seasoned sports journalists at his recent press conference, by saying he did not say he would resign if he didn’t win the AFCON.It’s sad the coach laid the blame of not winning the trophy on the doorsteps of the players. Where in this world does a professional coach do that?

So the coach wants to tell us he didn’t know there were divisions among the players in camp until we couldn’t win the AFCON? How did he get to know the players were using Black Magic against themselves? Please, I’m pleading with the FA to let him answer these questions for Ghanaians.

I think Plavi has done his best. With the help of the FA, he wanted to build an envious curricula vitae and leave us like some of our previous expatriate coaches did. But, it didn’t work this time and he’s so unlucky he has to be sacked.

The Ghana Football Association should please find a financial source to fund Goran’s departure, if not; he would cost us more in the future. Goran Stevanovic must go but not because he lied to us or he failed to win the AFCON, but because he is not competent enough to handle the black stars, I mean he just can’t lead the pride of African football.


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