African Debate: Is Former French International Marcel Desailly Suitable For Black Stars Job?

Marcel Desailly gunning for Black Stars job

The 2010 World Cup quarter-finalists Ghana are on a global hunt for a new coach. Local soccer pundits have argued that it is about time they tried and tested their local gaffers as exists. Although he is not purely a local face, former French international Marcel Desailly is winning the hearts of many in the former Gold Coast. He was born in Ghana to Ghanaian parents.

He opted to play for France and upon retirement he is considered one of the most successful on the field. On two occasions Ghana approached him to handle the Black Stars but he honestly declined because he probably was too young and inexperienced.

“My time will come,” the 1998 World Cup winner told the BBC in 2007. “Me, I’m still young… In the future, I will come back into coaching. My target for sure (is Ghana). After Le Roy, my time will come.”

The TV soccer pundit and UNICEF ambassador believes now is the time to embrace Ghana’s call following the refusal of Serbian Milovan Rajevac to extend his contract with the four-time African champions.

“I am now ready to coach the Black Stars,” the former Chelsea defender told a local television station, Viasat 1 Ghana, on Wednesday.

The ex-AC Milan star has no practical coaching background but has certificate in coaching from Europe.

He has an excellent credential as a footballer. The 42-year-old was part of the 1993 Olympique Marseille Champions League winning team. He won the title again with AC Milan before playing for Chelsea in the English Premier League. He was also a World and European Cup winner with France in 1998 and 2000.

But being a successful player does not mean one would automatically be a successful coach as it happened in the case of Maradona of Argentina.

In terms of competence the Ghana FA would be going against their own words should they decide this time to hand over the national duty to Desailly on a silver platter since he does not hold relevant coaching experience.

The Black Stars are endowed with enough talents, dedicated players and experience to soften his workload but the responsibility that comes with it is too big for him to handle. The four-time African champions cannot risk handing over the steering to an inexperienced coach on the football super-highway.

To start with, the GFA can be magnanimous to hand over one of the junior sides – the Black Starlets or Satellites – to him as a training ground to prepare him adequately for the hot seat.

Monsieur Desailly has been honest with Ghana from the beginning and he should uphold that honesty to admit the task is over him although it would be worth a try for any normal human to ride on the Stars’ current glory.

The call for a local coach is a step in the right direction but it should not be anyone but someone who has been tried and tested.

“We have to take a Ghanaian… It should be the sort of person who has respect, one who has seen it and done it before,” former Black Stars player Samuel Osei Kuffour summed it up for those rooting for a local coach.

Should Ghana follow in the line of Egypt, Algeria, South Africa and Ivory Coast and would Desailly be the suitable candidate for the job?

First published on Sept. 17 2010


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