Yaw Frempong Ampomah
Heart of Lions became the first team this season to hand Kotoko it's first home defeat after 22 league games, completing an enviable double over them with last Wednesday's 1-0 win at the Baba Yara, courtesy a Hudu Yakubu 60th minute strike from the penalty spot.
Well, Yusif Abubakar's men worked for it and they earned it. That however did not come without what looked like a visible aid given them by coach Masud Didi Dramani (MDD) and his team of spineless men.
As spiritless as Kotoko's performance was on the day, flatly reducing the reason for the defeat to complacency would be hard to take as it would mean that Kotoko could have indeed reversed the results if the team had just simply resolved to not feel or act 'home and dry' which is not what i saw nontheless.
The Asante Kotoko team i saw on Matchday 22 in the Capital plus league was far from being complacent and that's obviously worse a diagnosis from the widely held opinions. We looked helpless! No spark, no magic, just helpless with the few glorious opportunities created being spurned by, not complacent players but, players who just appeared to not know how to help themselves.
How many times have MDD experimented the Bancey - Boakye strike pair and till when is he going to realize it's just not working, and probably wont?
A lot of people, myself inclusive, are yet to fully recover from the shock of the Champions League elimination at the hands of a certain BYC from Liberia whose pedigree is now being drafted in comparason to Kotoko's. An elimination suffered at the Baba Yara stadium even before the game's return fixture in Monrovia.
Kotoko's line-up against BYC in the first leg read 'asimesi ne obintin' and then Isaac Boakye, the only memory of whom was an injury lay-off picked up from the said game. Oh! that Boakye inclusion was a mistake i'm sure he had realized and won't repeat or so i thought. Months on, and i'm still wondering exactly what the 'Magic' man has been doing at Adako Jarchie to evoke this much trust from MDD into an almost guaranteed start especially in some of Kotoko's most crucial games like that against Lions. He sure must be hitting the post daily at training from his sitting room or perhaps hitting sweet volleys from Kejetia to score. Nothing close to these and Didi must rethink his Boakye stance.
If anyone has a contrary view of 'Boakye Magic' and his contribution to the Kotoko course on his return, let him speak now or just let me continue.
Don't, however, be led anywhere you ought not to be. This is not another piece to pick on a player just because my team lost a game, No! It is about a worrying characteristic of a fairly brilliant technical brain as MDD whose sometimes strange calls, however well intended, leaves the bitterest of tastes in porcupine mouths.
A careful study of how BYC eliminated Kotoko will reveal a repetitive episode of bad calls on MDD's part after a similar detail led to Kotoko's crash at the Baba yara once again against Bejaia in last year's Champions league where two of his best, tried and tested players, Michael Helegbe and Kwabena Adusei, were both left to warm the bench in that heart-wrenching one-all draw.
Asante Kotoko is without a technical director portfolio. This means the buck stops with MDD on most, if not all, technical decisions including who comes in or leaves and at what technical instance right?
Kotoko willfully brought in older players with zero resale value, backed by the lazy excuse that these players would help in our African campaign and attract fans into the stands. Question is, where is the evidence to increased fan turnout? and where is the Champions League berth 'proper'?
What explanation is there to why Asante Kotoko needed players like Stephen Oduro and Isaac Boakye? How does any serious club have the patience and time to wait around for players who have long passed their prime to deliver when there isn't same committed to young, promising ones?
What would a player like Aminu Mohammed have to do to earn a consistent playing time ahead of some of these regulars? Few months time, we'll place him back on a transfer list; the same kind of list that finds Augustine Okrah at Bechem, and the duo of former youth captain, Kojo Poku and Razik Mohammed at Lion to mention but a few.
What would make any club stagnate the development of it's most promising talents in favor of a more tired generation of history makers?
I'm a commoner and i find these strange.
Kotoko Will Work Again, Fabu!