Accra, April 18, GNA - This year's GT Premier League might just be warming up in the eyes of the passionate soccer lovers, but for some of the coaches, it looks like the season has already travelled over a mile after supervising only a day one match. The heat is already on and like the "he who feels it knows it best" saying, Kumasi Asante Kotoko's coach Malik Jabir, Hearts of Oak's Archibald Lamptey and Real Tamale United's (RTU), Mumuni Gamel might be in the best position to paint the exact picture. Perhaps the only difference is that whilst Malik's fate would be determined by his ability to scale the supposed "five match ultimatum" allegedly given by his employers, Lamptey has no contract with the Phobians and cannot really be held accountable in the face of any eventualities while Gamel's destiny seem to lie in the hands of the expectant supporters of the club. Coach Jabir might have consoled the long suffering Kotoko fraternity with the One Touch Gala Trophy last week, but only a miracle can save him from being used as the sacrificial lamb should he drop the remaining 12 points when he comes up against RTU, King Faisal, Sekondi Hasaacas and Feyenoord in the next two weeks. Coach Malik's fortune, according to information pieced together by the GNA Sports was tied to winning the first five games that was issued by a five-member committee prior to the commencement of the league on Sunday, which saw the Fabulous boys been dumped 2-1 by Berekum Arsenal. The coach must be counting his losses after that defeat, but obviously he cannot lose sight of the fact that scaling the RTU hurdle would not be any easy task. To say a tie with the "Pride of the North" could deteriorate his already precarious position is like saying it as it is, especially against the backdrop that the 'Pride of the North' are equally hungry in spite of the fact that their supporters called for the head of coach Gamel after dropping two vital points in their game against Heart of Lions at their favourite backyard. Obviously the difficulty in disposing of RTU cannot be said to be that difficult but the same cannot be said of their game against King Faisal whilst their matches against Hasaacas at their home base and Feyenoord in Swedru can be anybody's game, but to be forewarned is to be forearmed. However the problem is not only with coach Malik since after all coach Lamptey and their main competitors, Hearts aren't faring any better - a situation which saw some supporters threatening to chase the coach out if management failed to replace him before their next home game against stubborn Power FC on Sunday. Even though the only consolation for Lamptey is the fact that he currently works without a contract, it remains unknown whether he would be allowed the luxury to stay for that long as the management is said to have intensified the search for his replacement. Some Hearts supporters described the coach as a non-performer, questioning what merited his continuous stay with the team and swore thunder and fire "to deal with him" and minced no words stating their decision.
To the Phobians, their 2-3 defeat to Cape Coast Ebusua Dwarfs which marks their first home defeat in a league opener in 21 years was due to incompetence on the part of coach Lamptey, hence the clamour for his head.
But alas! Not even a draw could save the German-trained Gamel from the club's irate supporters who claimed the team's performance was below par in their one all game against the Lions. Coach Gamel on Sunday needed more than that for his desire for another Top Four participation and to make his warning to the competitors to be wary of his relatively younger team's threat in his pre-season interview with the GNA Sports to survive became a nightmare and did not go in favour of the supporters who thronged their favourite Kaladan Park.
To survive yet again would undoubtedly depend how he can execute his pre-season's threat of improving upon his poor away records as well as coming among the first six club by the fifth week when he comes up against the much hungrier Jabir at the Garden City.
The journey has just begun and its evident that it's survival would be beyond the fittest, but rather go the way of the most tactical, disciplined, durable and most of all luckiest of all the teams. 18 April 05