Desailly More Than Capable
4/14/2012 4:38:15 PM -
Marcel Desailly’s almost certain rise to the coaching role with the Black Stars seems to have stung some detractors into reaction as
Marcel Desailly assumed pole position as potentially the next coach of Black Stars.
In the forms that such reactions have come, it is the one by E.A. Arthur per the piece: “Desailly, a huge experiment?” which has provoked this write-up.
For, it is out of a sense of duty and abhorrence for the blatantly appalling penchant to run down the innocent – on the basis of real motives that are too shameful to be declared openly – that the need to revisit the subject of the Black Stars’ next coach has become necessary.
Indeed, neither the issue of his (lack of) coaching experience nor the question of his patriotism carries the weight of serious argument.
For the sake of the exercise and the officially stated reasons for the sheer pull-him-down campaign, however, it might be worth the effort, time and space to do this.
Perhaps, it is only a question of priority and preference that precious space can be devoted to why one man is unsuitable for the job when that effort could have looked forward to what the nation expects in the next coach.
It was as if to say “anybody can become coach of Black Stars but certainly not Desailly”. Otherwise, the question of he taking up any of the junior national teams first would not have arisen, and the comparison with Jurgen Klinsman, Didier Deschamps, Lauren Blanc, Jose
Mourinho and Sir Alex Fergusson would have been done in better contexts.
Football has proven to be a special stage where special individual qualities stand a coach out among peers and provide the basis for success. Those qualities, it must be emphasised here again, include clout and competence.
The managerial duties of a coach whose performance is assessed on the basis of delivery within 90 minutes of a match are very much different from the demands on a manager who supervises a production unit at a factory, for instance.
Coaches in today’s football have become motivators who inspire the kind of confidence that asks for the extra sacrifice of a player. They instill discipline, inspire unity and drive passion to derive the best of their personnel.
That may explain why the world continues to shift towards former players to assume coaching and administrative roles instead of hiring the experts who teach prospective coaches and administrators in schools.
That Dutch football legend Ruud Gullit, for example, did not win trophies with Feyenoord or was sacked from one job or another cannot necessarily represent failure.
Success, in any case, is relative; relative to a club, resources, history, target, etc. So even though former Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona and Bayern Munich star, Mark Hughes, failed to take Wales to the European Championship during his five years in charge of the team, he was considered a huge success for the strides they made from the depth of virtual obscurity prior to his arrival to near qualification for the competition in 2004. Interestingly, Wales was his first job as a coach.
His subsequent jobs at Blackburn Rovers – whom he only helped to escape relegation – and Manchester City were influenced by his footballing profile and experience.
Similarly, Roy Hodgson was considered a success and subsequently touted as worthy of coaching the English team until his Liverpool reign ruined everything he had built during his days at Fulham.
Steve Bruce was hailed for Sunderland’s impressive form in 2010/2011, but when the team slacked in the following season he lost his job.
Many other examples such as Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Redknapp who has built his team into a serious side competing among the top clubs in Europe, Rafael Benitez who won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool but has since not reached that height again, Frank Rijkaard who left Barcelona despite winning the Champions League with them in 2006, and David Moyes whose 10 years at Everton is more remembered for their non-involvement in relegation battles rather than trophy-winning moments only lend support to the different levels of success.
What it means is that coaches are not guaranteed trophies at all times. In a 20-club league, there is just one trophy, and when it is a cup trophy such as the FA Cup it involves an even bigger number of clubs. So in a season where there are even as many as seven trophies available, clubs compete with many others. Trophies, therefore, cannot be the sole determinant of success of a coach or a team.
None can challenge the success of Ghana’s David Duncan when he steered Ashantigold from near-relegation to a respectable place three seasons ago before losing the league title by the cruelest of fates – the head-to-head rule – in a bold attempt on the league the following season.
The factors that challenged him at the Black Meteors with whom he failed to qualify for the London Olympics and the conditions that prevailed in camp may well be different from the Ashantigold situation.
For all his proven record, Fabio Capello never won a trophy with England but left the job as one of the most successful in the history of the English national team.
Even Marcello Lippi who won the World Cup with Italy in 2006 could not replicate the feat four years later in South Africa where his team failed to progress from the group stage.
Ghana hailed Serbian Ratomir ‘Doya’ Dujkovic because he was in charge when the Black Stars qualified for the 2006 World Cup. It was the same with Milovan Rajevac whose team narrowly missed out on the semi-finals berth, although like his compatriot predecessor, he also could not win a trophy for Ghana.
Every coach starts from somewhere, just as Fergusson, Mourinho, Klinsman, Descamps or Blanc started their respective careers from a point.
Desailly will have to start his coaching career from somewhere. On account of his clout and other factors, the Black Stars job cannot be bigger than him.
The issues that will challenge him include the characters that have emerged as apostles of due diligence who did not question the hiring of Frenchman Claude le Roy but think a Ghanaian who played for the France is unsuitable.
It is for this reason that he needs the genuine prayers of all who honestly wish him well.