‘We Were Not Prepared for Togo’s Pressure’

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Hardly had the wind blow on the inglorious performance of the national soccer team against their Togolese counterparts when tongues started getting busy that national team coach James Salinsa Debbah may lose his job.

But LFA President Musa Bility countered such rumors by saying: “We have full confidence in our coach. There is no need to sack the coach because we are not yet out of the tournament. We’ve played five games, including against the fourth best team in Africa—Tunisia, and Liberia still top the group,” he told UNMIL Radio’s Sports Extra.

The mounting criticisms that had bedeviled Salinsa even compelled him to state on an LBS radio program that he would resign so that another coach could be sought to carry the team forward. Though Salinsa somehow rescinded his decision to resign and even followed up on an advice to apologize to Liberian soccer fans, the rumors of his replacement would not go away.

But on the strength of the Togolese national team’s sterling performance, Bility was emphatic when he added: “So there is nothing to make ourselves to want to pounce on ourselves as though the world has come to an end. We expected a good result but we didn’t get it. We were not playing against minors.”

No truer words were ever spoken; but did we know that from the beginning? If yes, how much did we prepare for the Togolese?

Bility further admitted: “We should have done better than we did, especially when we led 2-0 after 65 minutes, but we have to understand that when you lead a very good team, you just bring pressure on yourself. You just have to be prepared for the pressure, and we weren’t prepared for it.”

Truly Musa Bility is no coach but he speaks his mind better than what the technical team has said so far. Now, while we are nursing our wounds, aware of the Herculean task to tackle Tunisia in Tunis in September, what are we doing to make sure that we are at least successful? Has not Mr. Bility said Tunisia is the 4th best team Africa? If we should believe him, and the records are there not to, it means we; that is, Liberia, have a much difficult job to manage against Tunisia.

And the best we can do is to haul out the technical report that was crafted by the Lone Star technical team to read it carefully to understand how we defeated Tunisia in Monrovia 1-0, thanks to Francis Grandpa Doe. Sadly, there has never been any technical report prepared by the Debbah gang, and so we will be working in the blind.

Of course Debbah said on that radio program that the national team players could only play for 65 minutes and therefore the remaining 25 minutes could be in the hands of God. But how come we did we not see the 65 minutes performance against Djibouti in the two times that Liberia met that country and hammered them 1-0 and 5-0?

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