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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 is concerned.

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 success.

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 filled arsenal.

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 game.
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.