When the countdown clock stops in less than 24 hours, the cheap talk will end as well. Bragging rights must now be earned on the green pitch! Boys will give way to the men.
Ghana has always claimed to be among the men, yet, no one under the age of 35 can recall the last time they saw Ghana win the African Cup trophy.
This year, Goran Stevanovic seeks to right that wrong. He promises to walk where even better qualified and experienced coaches have failed. He believes he is the chosen one to end Ghana’s 30 years trophy drought:
He has told media men that: “I believe I can take Ghana to become champions [at 2012 Nations Cup]. That’s my idea and we must believe it.” According to him; “Everyday I believe more in that …”
Is he just being his media savvy self? Stevanovic has always been guilty of saying things he has no plans of doing to make the media happy. His famous ‘I am coming to Ghana to scout for local talent’ speech was particularly heart-warming but what does he do? He come to Ghana, attends one game and no one knows where he vanished to.
So, sometimes when Stevanovic does the talking, one has to swallow it with two pinches of salt. But if he is not taking Ghanaians for another ride, then one cannot help but admire his spirit going into this tournament.
As the sages say, a blind man will not issue threats of stoning if he already does not have a foot on the stone. All the confidence Stevanovic is exuding ahead of the tournament must have some basis.
Might it just be the spirit in camp? Or perhaps there are a couple of tactical tricks down Stevanovic’s sleeves. Does he just trust in the quality of player he has? Has the Black Stars’ consistency over the last couple of years got to do with it? Maybe it is a combination of all of these and even more.
For now, we will wish Stevanovic well and trust in his confidence. But our support is not enough to bring the cup. As it is said; every man’s work will be taken through the fire. The chaff and the woodwork will be exposed. When the fires are stoked come kickoff, we will know whether Stevanovic is a man if straw or steel.
Thirty years of waiting. More than 10 expatriate and 5 Ghanaian coaches have been looking for the cup without success. Will Stevanovic’s faith be enough or we will have to expect another?