The Result Of Listening To Your People
...The Case Of Coach Debbah
By: D. Webster Cassell
Our country is remembered globally for its longstanding history in the game of football on the continent. Besides, the people of Liberia have always appreciated the cream of talents regardless of where they ply their football trade or how much money they earn from whatever performance they produced.
As a Senior Sports Writer in Liberia, I have always wondered why some local coaches end up the way they have ended. Equally so, there are a number of reasons as well as their failure to adhere to the call from the people who, by extension, are their "direct-employer." There have been more questions than answers as to what could our passed coaches do to achieve the maximum especially when the fans/supporters become overwhelmed with their infusion to the National Team of Liberia. There is no room for excuses or complacency when you are a head coach of Liberia's Senior National Team; because the fans/supporters are prepared to go the extra-mile to satisfy their quest for victory even if it will cost their life or another's life.
With that mentality, the Liberian Sporting Press has always provided a way out for most of the coaches especially the local ones so as to safe their career from future embarrassment as well as harassment that could easily bother them. Even though some coaches partially embraced the media's projections, most of them regard it as a mere commentary intended to incite the fans/supporters against the technical staff, thus forgetting that media is the mouth-piece of the people.
Customarily, Liberians have always enjoyed being part of the selection players who are called for the Senior National Team of Liberia. Though they have constantly been disappointed due to the stubbornness of some selected managers who felt obligated and accountable to the local Football House, the fans have never abandoned their paramount duty; that is to raise the national flag and attired in paraphernalia bearing the national colors of RED, WHITE and BLUE.
I have also realized that for more than a decade now fans/ supporters of the Lonestar have not been able to boast of the country's starting eleven (11) players; that is since the scrapping of the "Famous George Weah 11." We all know that during the George Weah’s era it was that easy to name Liberia’s starting eleven ahead of any home game.
That story is totally different today but there are feelings that said atmosphere is on the horizon. Firstly, how did we arrive at this point was the question I posed to a fan and the response was "Coach Debbah is coming to himself now."
Few months ago, many Liberians including the Sporting Press felt that Coach Debbah was proceeding wrongly considering that the national team was at a cross-road fighting to restore its tinted away record. Prior to Liberia's successive defeats to Togo and Guinea, Liberians had already warned against the stubbornness of Coach Salinsah Debbah for overcrowding the national team with unattached players. Coach Debbah and co-workers refused to listen amidst repeated calls from the fans/supporters to include extra-cream of Liberia's best performers. Already, Debbah and technical staff had a herculean task of changing the shape of the National Team of Liberia.
With another litmus task against Tunisia, Debbah yielded and included additional talents to the squad. It was always advisable, whether win or lose, Coach Debbah needed to select active and attached players for the National Team. That alone could have served as a way of winning over the hearts of the fans/supporters and also restore hope to our miserable run-of-games. The Tunisia's result was a sufficient signal to prove to Coach Debbah and his technical staff that many publication on how they proceeded was not in any way intended to incite the fans but rather to assist in his job since he is a stranger to said assignment.
Finally, we welcome the inclusion of the additional players ahead of the Guinea Bissau's game here in Monrovia. It seems that Coach Debbah and technical team are learning to correct the pass. I wish the Lonestar well,,,,,,,,,Victory, Victory Lonestar Give Me Victory. Bravo to Coach Debbah and the local FA for rethinking the decision to include fresh-legs. It is our prayer that the inclusion of these fresh-legs will add new zest to the already highly-spirited National Team.