James Salinsa Debbah, head coach of the national soccer team, Lone Star, is a man with many contradictions.
Just when the national team has one crucial game to cruise to be one of the nations to participate in the 2017 African Cup of Nations under his guise, he came out on social media recently that he is resigning his post.
The reason for his action was not stated but Debbah rescued the situation when he told Ledgerhood Rennie on his program on LBS last Friday that what he said must be considered as a metaphor because it was meant to demand attention.
Demand attention from whom? It is a fact that LFA President Musa Bility has stated his appreciation to the current handlers of the national team, which Debbah is the head. And to be honest Musa can pawn his last gown to ensure that the success that is looking over to Liberia in the current campaign can be a reality.
Hence it does not need Debbah to use any extraordinary means or to use social media to express what he thinks must be done to ensure that he gets all he needs to make sure that all is well to take on Togo next month in Monrovia.
Having won against Tunisia, twice against Djibouti and one loss against Togo, one would think that the reason Liberia lost to Togo in the first match should occupy the coach’s attention.
Hence, aware of the phenomenal progress from losing to Togo in the first match and winning three successive games I was compelled to visit the headquarters of the Liberia Football Association’s technical department to request to examine copies of technical reports submitted by Coach Debbah.
Sadly, there weren’t any. How did Liberia lose against Togo when Liberia scored the first goal? Was it because the players were tired? Did the players have sufficient rest? Did the players arrive in Lome one or two days before the match? What caused Liberia to be able to beat Tunisia? What motivated Lone Star to beat Djibouti 1-0 away but humiliated them at home 5-0? What contributed to the great leap over Djibouti? Answers to the above questions could only come from technical reports that are yet to be prepared since the beginning of the current campaign.
What does Coach Debbah want for the campaign? He told Rennie that he wanted four international friendly matches but the LFA suggested two; but he did not explain his team’s current weaknesses that he felt playing four international matches could fix. Does his last analysis say Lone Star had problem in the defense? Midfield? Strikers? Playing international friendly matches mean that you have some weaknesses for which you have trained; and therefore, you want to test your team’s strength to see how you will fare against an opponent in a real competition. Is that case?
Will Debbah get all his key players for the international friendly matches?
Calling on the show, President Bility agreed with Debbah that camping the team outside Monrovia is the best option to avoid any distraction, but Bility made me laugh when he said keeping the players behind the wall of Jericho could not hold them, that is, from his own experience. If the players cannot be held behind the wall of Jericho, then it means we have a discipline problem.
Bility’s statement reminds me of the tragedy of 2002 when Liberia has only Ghana to beat and because of indiscipline allowed Ghana to send a group of boys here to deny Lone Star a chance to have gone to the World Cup.
It is also surprising that from Debbah’s behavior, there seems not be a formal channel for him to get the attention that he wants for the final showdown against Togo and Tunisia except on social media. In the worst case scenario, Debbah should agree to wash our dirty clothes in secret first.