Sports News of Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Former Ghana international Karim Abdul Razak Tanko popularly known in local circles as the ‘golden boy’ has stated of his desire to be given the reigns of the Black Stars coaching job for the foreseeable future.
Ghana are in the hunt for a new coach after Avram Grant parted ways with the four time African Champions swiftly after the Stars capitulation at the AFCON in Gabon where they were unable to even win a medal.
The hunt has reached a crescendo in recent weeks with the various stakeholders all sharing their views as to whom the next Stars coach should be.
A section believes it is about time the reins was handed down to a local coach again. On the other side of the divide, others believe an expatriate should be named.
It was reported a few days back that former France international Willy Sagnol was in advanced talks with the handlers and was close to agreeing a deal but the GFA came to quickly quash these rumors and as things stand now, it still remains to be seen who the next Stars coach will be.
However, Abdul Razak who has had various coaching stints-since he hanged his boots- notably with his former side Asante Kotoko has unequivocally stated of his desire to be named the next Stars coach in an interview he granted to Kumasi based Otec FM in Kumasi. Asked if he was ready to handle the Black Stars, he made his intentions clear.
“Why will I not be ready if I am asked right now to handle the Stars? People will say I do not have a club I manage now and that I am unattached but I always know what I am about and I always know the job I am doing. I train every day and if anybody wants to see me train, they should come to Mampong and see, I train every morning. I will not say because I do not manage a club now, I will relax and do nothing. I am always going through my drills and my training and so if I am called upon anytime, I will notpanic and wonder what I should do because I am always ready and available to quickly get back into management when I am called upon.”
Issues of indiscipline among certain players were predominant under the last local coach Kwesi Appiah and certain figures have shown concern of such issues arising again if the job is given to a local coach again. Asked if he will be able to command the respect of the players, be it local or foreign this is what he had to say.
“I have had various contacts with many players of the Black Stars both local and foreign based players and wherever I have met them, I have commanded the respect. Among all the local coaches, everyone has their unique trait and character and on how to handle certain egos in the dressing room. When players realize that you (the coach) have played football to the highest possible level, the respect is always there.”
“You the coach were a footballer just like them and you should be able to command the respect and authority over the players so that, they follow your lead. I am a very friendly coach, I speak freely with my players and we chat together. But when we get to the serious business, we are not friends anymore. On the field of play, we all have a task to do so let’s do it after that, if you have an issue you want to talk to me about, I am ever ready to listen. It is not advisable to be unfriendly towards the players in a bid to earn their respect, that is not how I do things.”
Finally, the golden boy called on the handlers of the Stars to be bold in their decision and give him the Stars job and that he wants to prove to the entirety of Ghanaians and the whole world for that matter that, that is the path he wants to take.
“Everybody has a motive he wants to achieve. If you a footballer, there is no difference. I won the local league with Kotoko both as a player and as a coach .I played in the national team as well and I won a trophy too. So what is left now for me to do is be the coach of the senior national team and win a trophy as a coach too. This is what I want and it is the path I want to take and I want to prove that to the whole world and Ghanaians. Other nations have done it before and so can we but it is not everybody who can do it. I am not worried at club level at this stage, all I want is to be given the chance as Black Stars coach. Maybe I will be the one to bring the success back into the team, the AFCON we have struggled to win. I know what I am saying.”