FEATURE: Looking for Kwasi Appiah’s successor, the men to fall on

Following Ghana’s disastrous outing at the #TotalAFCON2019 in Egypt, with the Black Stars disgracefully exiting the competition in the Round of 16 and missing out of the semis for the first time in 11 years, several factors have been identified concerning Ghana’s exit with the technical department of the team coming under huge scrutiny.

With Coach Kwasi Appiah’s contract expired and with no sign of getting an extension, the debate as to who becomes the next Black Stars is heightening.

While many argue that Ghana should go for a foreign coach, with Herve Renard’s name popping up as the right candidate, a greater number of Ghanaians believe the crusade for local coaches must not end now as there are able and capable managers to handle the role.

But who can be the next Black Stars coach considering the number of local managers on the scene who have earned for themselves good reputations to be considered?

Ibrahim Tanko

The first name that pops up in the list of possible candidates for the Black Stars job is Ibrahim Tanko.

Trained in Germany after his memorable stay with giants Borussia Dortmund, Tanko’s mentality and coaching philosophy fits the bill for a new Ghana coach. Having been the deputy coach of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon at the 2014 World Cup, Tanko’s experience on the bench can’t be underestimated. M

argue that since Tanko was in the sinking ship with Kwasi Appiah, they must sink together, which is partly valid.

But what if Kwasi Appiah was overly authoritative and hardly took suggestions from his deputy? T

are several reports that popped up during the 2019 AFCON suggesting that Appiah hardly accepted a options from Tanko with many pointing fingers to Tanko’s continuous consultation and whispers to Kwasi during Ghana’s opening clash with Banin which ended 2-2.

In fact there are those who counted the number of times Tanko went to Kwasi to effect a change.

It can’t be readily substantiated that Tanko went to Kwasi to effect a change but the over seven times he went to Kwasi probably engineered Afriyie Acquah’s inclusion which stabilized the team till the final whistle.

Proponents of the ‘Tanko For Black Stars’ agenda validly argue, and of course strongly, that the gaffer has proved his worth with the stupendous outing of the Black Meteors in the U23 AFCON Qualifiers. Ghana will play Algeria in September in the final qualifier, in a two-legged encounter, but the brilliant output against Togo and the swashbuckling performance against Gabon seem convincing enough to make Tanko the next Ghana coach.

Tanko, of course, has a strong footing in becoming the next Ghana coach considering his position as the immediate instructor after Kwasi Appiah.

Didi Dramani

For those arguing for local managers, Didi Dramani is their trumpcard. A manager whose historic rise to Asante Kotoko was characterised by an arithmetic achievement with Ghana’s female U17 side – The Black Maidens – at the 2012 U17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan.

Didi guided the side to win bronze at the tournament and became the only Kotoko manager to have won the double – FA Cup and League – in the 2014/15 Ghanaian season.

Not only has Didi’s achievement with all the female national teams and Asante Kotoko consolidated an authoritative debate in his favour, he’s known for his immense knowledge of the game, doubling as an instructor for many of the coaches who are in contention for the job.

The respect he commands as a CAF Coaches Instructor and his selfless desire to help coaches grow on the continent makes him a better candidate for the position.

The brilliant rise of the gaffer has seen him as one of the influential technical pillars of Danish side Nordjelland, making him the first indigenous Ghanaian to be part of the technical team of an European club.

The argument is, however, given a different twist with the Technical Director role of the FA appearing as the perfect position for Didi Dramani.

If Didi is considered for the role of the Technical Director of the FA, then his chapter should be closed for the others to hustle for the vacant Black Stars coaching job. But until then, he’s a near-perfect option for the Black Stars job.

C K Akonnor

His recent historic achievement with Asante Kotoko has facilitated his path towards the position of Black Stars coach.

CK Akonnor’s half a year stint with the Porcupine Warriors saw them steal a ticket to the CAF Confederation Cup group stage at a time football in Ghana has been amputated.

The gaffer after two months into his appointment assembled a group of unknown players together to stage an amazing outing in the preliminary stage of the competition, beating Kariobangi Sharks of Kenya and wrapping it up with a stupendous performance against Cameroonian giants Cotton Sport Garoua to make it to the group stage.

Despite failing to qualify to the quarter finals of the competition, Akonnor stood as the fourth manager of the Porcupine Warriors to see them to the group stage in 15 years, and statistically the best Kotoko manager in the last 27 years.

Not only that, he also qualified the Porcupine Warriors to the CAF Champions League by winning the Tier 1 of the NC Special Competition.

Until his appointment as Kotoko manager, Akonnor’s amazing outing with AshGold leaves him as one of the best managers on the local scene.

Took over the Miners when they were sliding to relegation, marched them out of the claws of dropping and made them a championship winning side in his second year.

AshGold were actually 2nd on the Ghana Premier League table in his second year before the unfortunate abrogation of the competition.

Akonnor also guided Dreams FC back into the Ghana Premier League after the side was demoted into the lower tier. Akonnor in a season brought back Dreams FC into the Ghana Premier League in an amazing style.

His experience as the deputy coach of the U20 side, the Black Satellites coupled with his achievement makes him a perfect choice for the Black Stars job too.

Akonnor’s CV looks richer considering his position as the former skipper of Bundesliga side Wolfsburg – an envious achievement by an African player. And also Rose to become the Black Stars skipper after the reign of Abedi Pele in 1998.

Maxwell Konadu

Maxwell Konadu remains the only coach amongst the possible candidates who has had a closer shave with the Black Stars and has handled the side in a stop gap capacity before.

Konadu is also another manager who won the Ghana Premier League with Asante Kotoko before landing the job of the deputy coach of the senior national team.

He was the head coach of the Ghana U20 side and has an enormous appreciation of players on the local scene.

His previous role as the deputy coach of the Black Stars plus his role as the head coach of the Black Stars B gives him a better advantage over his competitors.

Konadu after guiding Kotoko to win the league, catapulted the Black Stars B to the finals of the 2013 CHAN in South Africa before winning the WAFU Zone B Tournament in 2017 with the same side.

Following the dismissal of Kwasi Appiah in 2014 as Black Stars coach, Maxwell took over and qualified the team for the 2015 AFCON before Avram Grant was appointed head coach to lead the team to the finals of the competition.

Trained in Germany, Konadu’s admirable rise in coaching shapes him to be appointed the next Ghana coach.

With these rich managers all in the waiting for the job, who should be Ghana’s next coach after Kwasi Appiah?

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