By: Leroy M. Sonpon, III
Amidst reports of some Liberians not convinced Lone Star would pull a win against Tunisia on Saturday at the ATS, Coach James Salinsa Debbah’s technical team is hopeful of victory, and reports gathered say William Jebor and Francis Grandpa Doe would lead the attack.
The marvelous Spain based striker, Jebor, who scored the consolation goal against Togo, is also a strategic finishing clinical at his club team - SD Ponferradina.
For his part, magical Francis ‘Grandpa’ Forkey Doe, who plies his trade with NS Matrix, Malaysia returns to the Lone Star team with a Golden Boot he won in the Malaysian Premiership and it marked the second in his career, with the first being in 2012.
The duo, according to sources said they would provide the inspiration for the team, playing along with Patrick Gerhardt, Anthony Laffor, Zah Krangar, Sekou Jabateh and Sam Johnson to spark superb ball coordination as well as venomous shooting.
Unconfirmed reports say Forkey has promised to formally present his ‘Golden Boots’ to the country by netting at least two goals, while Jebor is certain of rattling his second goal in two games.
In an interview with Deputy Coach Kelvin Sebwe yesterday via mobile phone, he acknowledged the usage of the 4-4-2 system in practice matches, but failed to confirm whether they would use it on Saturday.
Our reporter who attended the practices say, the Lone Star defending shape look like 4-4-2, but their attacking shape is sometimes 2-6-2, or 2-4-4 or 2-4-1-3.
A stakeholder, who begged anonymity said: “We have seen that the Lone Star attacks with eight players, leaving two at the back and defends with eight players, leaving two upfront – so summarily this leads to an 8-man defense and an 8-man attack.”
“This formation would give us a win, if the players passionately play and the best way to defend is to attack.”
He added: “Understandingly, this 4-4-2 system is a system of pairs – two centre-backs; two full-backs; two central midfielders, two wide attackers, and two strikers – meaning from an operation point of view there would be closed relationship between players to get the needed results.”
While it’s true the 4-4-2 plot would be a good formation for a win, sports analysts are wondering whether the players have the “endurance” for the attacking and defending tactics.
Some believe that for such a “plot” to be executed superbly, players should have the energy to defend as well as to penetrate the Tunisian defense with a “mazy run” to rattle the net.
Howbeit, goalie Nathaniel Sherman, Liberia’s 1st choice has been ruled out of the Tunisia clash owing to accident. According to the Communication Director of the LFA, Henry Flomo, goalie Sherman, while communicating on his cell phone, slammed into a transparent glass at the hotel where the national team is camping, thereby sustaining serious facial injury.
This means, Coach James Salinsa Debbah would look up to Saylee Swen, the most experienced of the three goalies. He plies his trade with local side, LPRC Oilers and made his debut with the Lone Star in late 2003 with the senior national team and later went on to collect more than 10 senior national team caps with the last being with a 4-1 defeat against Rwanda.
Unconfirmed reports say, Anthony Laffor would be at the right wing, and Zah Krangar would make the left and Patrick Gerhardt and Sam Johnson would be in the middle.
The defense would comprise of Dirkir Glay, Teah Dennis, Adolphus Marshall and Solomon Grimes.
Substitute players would be Gizzie Dorbor (Hapoel Afula, Israel), Sekou Jabateh Oliseh (Al Ghasara of Qatar), James Soto Roberts (LPRC Oilers), Sekou Konneh (Fortuna Sittard, Holland) and Herron Berrian (Platanias, Greece). Others include Sporo Somah (Sewe Sports, Ivory Coast), Mark Paye (BYC), Murphy Oscar Dorley (Ghana), Raymond Franciah (Ghana), Trokon Zeon (Local, LISCR FC), Sampsn Giddings (FC Fassell), Aloysious Symugla (FC Fassell) and Tommy Songo (LISCR FC)