Isreali Coach, Avram Grant has drawn the curtain on his tenure as Ghana’s Black Stars coach -a post which he held for over two years. His resignation came days after the Black Stars’ disappointing loss of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2017 title. Avram Grant’s exit comes at the heels of the Black Stars miserable loss in the just concluded AFCON 2917 tournament. The visibly frustrated coach finally decided to throw in the towel, after a rather hopeless attempt to revamp Ghana’s football status.
Football lovers in Ghana and beyond could see and feel the struggle of the country’s team alongside their uneasy coach, as this year’s AFCON tournament approached.
The struggle and strife were very evident as Ghana has been under a trophy drought for up to 35 years. Coach Grant who took over from Kwesi Appiah in December 2014, hoped to turn things around in his regime. But little did he know that his achievement of a second-place finish at the 2015 AFCON in Equatorial Guinea, was the closest he would ever bring Ghana at the tournament.
Notwithstanding the AFCON plight, Ghana is nowhere near safe, at the ongoing 2018 World Cup Qualifier. The nation will be needing a miracle to qualify as the Black Stars performed poorly in their group games so far. This fueled more pressure on Grant, as Ghanaians channeled their frustrations towards the Israeli, demanding a change, miracle, improvement, and whatnots.
2018 World Cup Qualifier Struggle
The team are currently on the brink of a disappointing elimination from qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. With a very poor start; a 0-0 draw in clash with Uganda on Oct 7 2016 and a 2-0 defeat against Egypt on November 13 2016, the Black Stars picked up just one point out of a possible six, from their opening two matches in Group E.
Having so much to make up for, Ghana needs a breakthrough in the remaining four clashes to qualify for the world cup. In the clearest analysis, the Black Stars will have to win all four of their remaining group matches in order to reach the point’s maximum. They will also be hoping that Egypt -currently on 6 points, play to a draw or lose when they face either Uganda or Congo, as this could keep them in the race, given that they beat them -Grant’s woes deepened.
2017 AFCON Defeat
To think that Avram Grant and his team would bring a sense of hope in the country at the just concluded AFCON tournament; the Israeli’s team lost in the tournament, leaving most Ghanaians with a sense of numbness towards their next move. The Black Stars had lost yet another chance of putting an end to the 35-year jinx of no gold trophy.
For a decade now, the Black Stars have made it to all six semi-finals but have not been able to lift the trophy. The 62-year-old former Chelsea, West Ham and Portsmouth boss led the Black Stars to the final of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, where they lost on penalties to Ivory Coast.
Having lost 2-0 to Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions in the semi-finals, the Black Stars had hoped to go home with a bronze at least at the tournament. But the troubled team lost to Burkina Faso in the third play off on February 4, going home with nothing.
The misfortunes of the Ghana’s Black Stars have however attracted tons of castigation against the Israeli coach whose conspicuous frustration manifested all round, throughout the AFCON tournament. Several interactions with the media after the AFCON loss, saw the Coach explaining himself, the circumstances and the possible way forward for the team.
Could it have been his choice of Players: The Israeli was greatly tongue lashed when Abdul-Majeed Waris, Latif Blessing and Rashid Sumaila missed out of the final list submitted to CAF, despite excelling at their respective clubs. Though the team successfully made it to the semi-finals of the game without injured defenders Asamoah Gyan and Baba Rahman, their loss to the Indomitable Lions, still left Ghanaians pissed at Grant.
You might want to take a look at Thomas Partey’s Heartwarming Message of Hope to Ghanaians on AFCON Defeat
Coach Grant has on different platforms defended Ghana’s squad for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) by stating that his 23 men were the best at his disposal. But frustrated Ghanaians are still far from understanding his plight. Grant has come under intense criticisms from various sports stakeholders, including former Ghana Football Association (GFA) President, Nyaho Tamakloe who wanted him axed.
Avram Grant’s Exit
After failing to meet his target of putting an end to Ghana’s trophy drought at the AFCON, Avram Grant finally decided to resign as coach of the Back Stars. Avram Grant who tried everything possible, including considering calling back suspended player Kevin Boateng, has drawn the curtain on his tenure as Black Stars’ coach.
The Israeli revealed in a letter that he has informed the GFA of his decision to step down as head coach of the Black Stars. In the letter, the former Chelsea boss stated his appreciation to all Ghanaians and further reiterated the fact that the team had a clear future.
However, Avram Grant’s exit from the Ghana’s national team comes as no surprise after several comments in the media during the tournament. One could almost guess his next move after Ghana’s loss at AFCON, considering the massive pressure the Israeli has come under over the years.
According to reports, Uganda coach Milutin Sredojević and Morooco coach Herve Renard have been tipped as possible options to replace him.