Feature: Ghost of Duncan continues to hunt Polo

Hearts Board Chairman Togbe Afede

Hearts Board Chairman Togbe Afede

You only need to look to Inter Milan, post-Mourinho in this regard. The treble winners of 2010 never recovered after Jose Mourinho departed for Madrid. The players’ love for him overshadowed Benitez’s stint in charge, as they struggled to match their performance of the previous season.

Don’t be fooled into thinking Polo’s tactics are the sole cause of Hearts’ plight. Yes he may have his tactical flaws, but until the entire club move on from the Duncan fall out, things will not change on the pitch.

Like Polo said himself, he has managed the likes of Stephen Appiah, and is more than experienced to carry out the task. When he was appointed head coach, he was aware of the sensitive nature of the situation. His willingness to take up the job spoke well of the confidence he has in his own ability.

Admittedly, he wouldn’t have done himself any favours with his rant this morning. By coming out to point fingers at his players, what he has only done is to put more pressure on himself. Singling out players in public is no way to win over a dressing room, especially in times like this.

What he needs to do is get his players back on his side. Football has changed; players have more power. The best managers are those who are able to manage players’ egos, without losing their respect. The fans need to play their part as well, by giving Polo the needed support.

Duncan is gone, and won’t return. The earlier everyone at Hearts of Oak understands this the better. Mohammed Polo is the head coach of the club, which is going through a torrid time. He needs all the support he can get. Fans of Hearts of Oak, in the words of a famous Scot, I urge you to “Stand by your manager”.

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