Citi Sports editor Nathan Quao examines the Black Stars’ 1-1 draw with Congo Brazzaville and believes Kwesi Appiah is vindicating his opposers.
Everyone clearly remembers my opinions on the appointment of Kwesi Appiah as Black Stars Head Coach.
However, I said I would back the coach and give him time to work and succeed.
Four matches is clearly not enough time to call for his head so I will not do that but the man himself has gained more doubters especially as his team could not beat Congo Brazzaville in the 1-1 draw in Kumasi in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
Time, according to my father, makes love pass and the love for Kwesi Appiah is taking a hit.
We all want the Ghanaian to succeed and the drive from the government about supporting home-grown talent is very laudable.
But that campaign only works when there is genuine effort and brilliance in the work being done. Very often, the support fuels the person to keep giving off his best for better results.
Unfortunately for the Black Stars head coach, his work in four matches has made for bad reading.
One win, two losses and a draw. Granted, the World Cup campaign looked wobbly even before he walked in. But was that not a great chance to leave a mark and prove that we had a winner on our hands?
At least, that was what I imagined but my imagination and what the gaffer thinks are clearly at variance so he decided to complicate matters further.
If Harrison Afful was fit enough for a second half showing against Congo Brazzaville, then why did he not start? It did not look like he had any issues when he played.
So why start Attamah Larweh? I have nothing against the Turkey-based player and he needs to play more often to build his confidence.
But why play him out of position and later yank him off? For me, that is the clearest of admissions. Kwesi Appiah, with the change, told all of us that “I messed up with this one.”
The player also needs to get his head right. Playing for the national team is big business and he must realise that now.
Back to the start of the piece.
What was Richmond Boakye-Yiadom doing on the bench? It was very apparent we needed a goal and one could have expected a striker to be introduced to solve that challenge.
One argument for the coach might say that the Afful change for Attamah Larweh left us short of attacking options.
But that is why Kwesi Appiah is paid 35,000 USD. He had to take a great decision. One that would show the maturity we were all told he had acquired in his time in Sudan.
And he failed to make the change that would come to most top-level coaches.
Overall, he did not counter Sebastien Migne, the Congo coach and that has cost us the game.
They kept using the flanks and we looked on. They sat deep and we played slowly and allowed the concrete of their defence to set and harden.
I will not call Kwesi Appiah out for not making it to the World Cup but games of such nature are very akin to a final of an AFCON and in this setting and atmosphere, the man did not pass the test.
The best of people in their fields are never tested and approved when things are rosy.
They earn their stripes and titles when they meet the challenge, examine it, devise a plan and win.
Kwesi Appiah has not done a lot of it so far since his appointment in May.
He has a long way to go so the daggers should be kept away. We should politely criticise the showing on the day.
But while I will shield Kwesi Appiah for a while, he needs to remember this truth:
The number of fans he had in his corner has gone down and they will go down unless positive things start to happen.
He has to decide his own future narrative because the one we read now is not pleasant for him.