Another Fruitless Season Looms For LISCR FC
Sentimental favorites LISCR FC is like the rest
of the 19 premier clubs virtually set to compete in the
Cellcom National league in what should be an intriguing
season as far as the development of the country's football
With the season still in its early ambers, connoisseurs have
already opened the debate as to who are the favorites to
lift the crown, who the minnows would be as well as the flop
of the season. It can be recollected that prior to the start
of the top flight last season, it was predicted that LISCR
FC, regarded as one of the highest spenders in the local
game was to end the season empty handed with five concrete
reasons brought to the fore. True to such prediction, the
team despite its star studded squad led by then Lone Star
Captain Murphy Nagbe failed to win a single honor and never
went to the podium table at the end of the season.
Another season is here and it seems it is the same story of
empty handedness, underachievement, lackluster and prima
donna outing for LISCR FC in what can be predicted as
preparation for another fruitless season for the second time
in a row.
But, one may say this writer needs to be looked at
critically by a psychiatrist as on paper, the team look like
having the best cream of players with vast experience,
something that many clubs will envy them for since they
cannot match them.
But, is this writer not seeing what is unfolding in the camp
of LISCR? a new but loquacious Coach with stints in
neighboring Sierra Leone, a plethora of top named players in
Murphy Nagbe, Sunday Seah, James Koko Lomell and probably
George Gebro as well as plenty of cash to be dished out, how
can such assertion be made? But, for the mean time to some
extent appease curiosity of many, FIVE REASONS LISCR WILL
END THE SEASON EMPTY HANDED IS LISTED BELOW.
1. COACHING FACTOR- One rather unknown quantity in
William Pennoh has surprisingly catapulted at the helm of
LISCR FC which its admirers call "the peoples team".
Having had stints with Mighty Blue Angles and Invincible
Eleven (IE) as a peripheral member and not really as head of
the technical staff, Pennoh landed in Freetown in search of
pasture- green. There, he managed to coach in the lower
league in what can be termed as the Liberian version of
Third Division as more than seven players from various clubs
in Liberia were exported to Sierra Leone to play in the
play-offs for a place in the Second Division.
Despite several unsuccessful attempts, the young coach
failed and managed to move as a back room member of at least
one Second Division side.
With such petit feat, he seemed like suffered from nostalgia
and returned home with self-made CV claiming he has
conquered Sierra Leonean football. NPA Anchors without any
probe looked like signed him, but then after few weeks, he
made the break as he landed at "just buy" LISCR FC.
Not the worse of coaches though, he is however accused by
his critics of being a talkative, thrasonical and putting
trust in non-football related matters like taking his team
to 'prayer bands' in finding enemies or solutions for
Those who really know him say there will be plenty of
fasting and praying for the players, and whether there will
be much energy left in them to play against their opponents
is what remains to be seen.
Also, being a not-top-level coach, how will he stamp his
authority on the team for the so-called untouchables or big
name players to succumb or take his instructions is one
other interesting matter. Besides, Pennoh is short of top
level coaching credentials as far as the records at the
Liberia Football Association (LFA) is concerned and with his
highest paper being a one week Confederation of African
Football (CAF) certificate, what level of respect or
confidence will he earn from the club's officials on a
regular basis (though one with so-called little training can
still deliver) is another sticky issue.
Whether his signing was a bizarre one or one highly
justifiable will be known as the season progresses. And,
with LISCR notorious of parting company with coaches on the
string of poor results or just interference (ask Sam Chebli,
Haysay Duwoku and Frank Jericho Nagbe), the young but over
rated coach, Pennoih has a mountain to climb in what should
be described as his biggest job ever.
2) MISFIT GALACTICOS - The club's faithful can brag
of having in their sight some of the country's best players
or Galacticos (Spanish word for stars) in goalkeeper cum
striker Sunday Seah, burly rearguard Murphy Nagbe, and
midfielder James Koko Lomell. And with all-rounder George
Gebro rumored to be linked with the side, it seems the
opponents should be preparing to lick their wounds for such
But, it is often said that though experience matters,
current form matters most.
Thus, these players fall short in the latter part as they
are virtually match rusty and are misfits.
Sunday Seah who can count himself very lucky of featuring
for the Lone Star in goal despite plying his trade
throughout Asia as a striker, has never stood in goal in a
league season for more than nine years. For the Lone Star,
he runs down with gloves to Liberia and after just few
training sections, he is favored by the coaches and is in
goal at the expense of regular shot stoppers.
But, this time it is a national league and as he looked
injury prone in recent matches (Guinea and Mali) how well
will he cope especially when a game is a bit difficult for
his side is what remains to be seen. Can he stand in goal
for up to four games in a row? Letís wait and see.
Defender Murphy Nagbe who was part of the squad last season
has so far lost some bite since his broken leg problem, as
he is short of pace nowadays and is not really on top of his
Prior to the injury, he was arguably Liberia's best defender
in terms of the aggression, power and steel he possessed.
James Koko Lomell was offloaded by Israeli underdogs Hapoel
Pitah Tikva about a year ago and has since been lingering in
Monrovia as an unattached customer.
Observes say his game lacks industriousness and stand
accused of not being business minded (simple pass and go
football with much pace) something required from players in
the modern game.
Like Lomell, Gebro was dumped by Pitah and has reportedly
been in the United States of America but ran to Liberia in
an apparent attempt to gain public sympathy few weeks to the
Lone Star, Zimbabwe clash on September 5, which did not work
out for him.
These players certainly lack hunger, desire and the attitude
to get the team to constant winning ways wish could mean
trouble as far as those wanting the pendulum to turn in
LISCR's favor should be concerned.
3. UNDERATING THE YOUNGSTERS- Will the likes of
Lomell, Seah and Nagbe be put aside for young, hungry and
enthusiastic youngsters on LISCR?
How brave will the technical staff be to do so? With such
dilemma, the hungry ones could be disappointingly placed on
the side lines for the seemingly filled- seniors- which
could cause devastating effect as the season progresses.
The younger ones are keen on making name for themselves and
club will be regular during training, while their bigger
brothers cum senior players will be the opposite, but will
still be preferred. The big guns are expected to weigh down
their younger compatriots and probably they might not go all
the way till the end of the season, as they might have the
luck to travel during the midseason, the team could by then
be faced with confidence crisis as the damage might have
already been done in terms of emerging as champions or
catching with their competitors..
4. Gospel- Like- Boss or One-Man-Show- Critics of
LISCR say one major problem on the team is the overly-
authoritative style of the club's president Mustapha I. Raji.
In the past, he stood accused of dictating as to who should
start or not with endless calls being made during matches
from the VIP stands.
The relationship too with the team especially during torrid
or bad times as far as the results are concerned is also one
major menace said to be impeding the team.
What the boss says is known to be gospel and with no real
import from others, it is like a One-Man-Show which has and
will still not work.
5. OPPONENTS PRESSURE-With its galaxy of stars and
huge spending act, opponents will put tremendous pressure on
the team as it would look like a win against LISCR is a
major path to success in the league.
Clubs will prepare well against them and will be well
focused to do the damage.
This does not mean they will not win matches or have a
string of good results, the pressure will however be on them
as playing against LISCR will be like justifying for a place
on Bertalan Bicskei's Lone Star.