It was Rudyard Kipling who once said that “if you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you…yours is the earth.” That was probably not the case of Ghana’s reigning coach of the year, Herbert Addo, whose free fall from grace doesn’t seem to end.
Just a season ago, Herbert was riding the ninth cloud and achieving the impossible. Aduana went into world record books after winning Ghana’s league conceding and scoring the least number of goals under Herbert’s guidance.
Football being the unpredictable game it is, Herbert is now about the most disliked coach in Ghana today. Herbert is probably deserving of all the disdain after breaking so many hearts just two months into the year. Ghana’s CHAN 2011 performance was completely disgraceful; the worse in Ghana’s football history. Aduana’s early exit from the CAF Champion’s League has not gone down well with many a fan who strongly contend that had Herbert been abreast with modern coaching trends, Aduana would have put up a much respectful performance.
What heavier blow can ill fate hit a rising coach with?
So in the scheme of events, some club officials, fans and journalist in particular will not stop criticising Herbert. They will go on to insult him, taunt and go as far as threatening to chase him out of the club’s dressing room on sight. Even when Aduana drew goalless with Liberty Professionals on Match Day 20, a completely expected result, the fans were still breathing fire down Herbert Addo’s neck.
A radio commentator, Oduro Anim Appau told Radio Gold: “…After tempers had been calmed at the clubs dressing room, Herbert was driving home when a taunting fan rushed to Herbert Addo’s car. It is unclear what the fan said to Herbert, but he pulled to the side, jumped out and chased after the fan with a dagger… Herbert returned to his car with smiles on his face after the taunting fan disappeared into the crowd.”
Now, while Herbert and the Aduana PR machinery have issued press leases to deny this report one can quite relate to his frustration. I feel his pain as all these journalists and fickle fans are behaving as though Aduana is relegation-threatened. As if his dented CV is not bad enough; as if the sting in his heart each time he thinks about the fact that he may never coach any national team again is not sharp enough; as if the pain of not meeting personal, club and national goals is not haunting enough, ignorant holier than thou fans with little or no coaching knowledge will not let the troubled man be.
They yell his name on radio at the least opportunity; threaten to beat him up in the dressing room and chases after his car with annoying taunts and insults. Now there is only so much a man can take…and I am not saying he should have chased after an irritating fan, brandishing a dagger like an inspired butcher… but I UNDERSTNAD.
Seriously, Herbert is like everyone else. He is bound to have such bad periods in the office. We have all told him to his face that he could have done better with Ghana and Aduana (in the Champion’s League). That’s enough. Let the man be!! He could use some encouragement. It is a good thing that the Aduana management have stood by their coach in trying times as these and refused to sack him. After all, success is never ending and failure is never final!