AL-SMITH: Schuster, Kluivert, Grant and snubbing local coaches

Wednesday 24th September , 2014 8:45 am
Clockwise from top left: Grant, Serritslev, Kluivert, Rajevac. [Composite: Citi Sport]
Clockwise from top left: Grant, Serritslev, Kluivert, Rajevac. [Composite: Citi Sport]

Bernd Schuster, Avram Grant and Patrick Kluivert have applied to coach the Black Stars.

The three big European names are the marquee names among 32 to have applied to succeed the sacked Kwesi Appiah.

According to Citi Sports sources, former coach of Real Madrid Bernd Schuster and Dutch football great Patrick Kluivert are in there, with the other name in the mix being former Chelsea coach Avram Grant.

Although the three coaches are among the final eleven shortlisted for the job, sources say an appointment will not be made in time for Ghana’s two African Cup qualifiers scheduled for early next month.

It is expected that Maxwell Konadu, who was Kwesi Appiah’s assistant, will take charge of those games against Guinea (home and away).

Why no locals applied

Former Black Stars defender Sam Johnson is the latest to say he is not surprised that Ghanaian coaches did not apply.

“What do we expect to see or hear? The way they treated [Kwesi Appiah] wasn’t good at all and my colleagues also believe that once they apply, then they have let him down because they want to make a statement,” the former Hearts captain said.

He goes on: “We as a nation still value the expatriate coaches more than the local ones an action if not corrected soon, will cripple football in Ghana.”

“If this attitude is not checked, then we might as well look for foreign coaches for all the national team including the Black Queens, because it will get to a time no local coach will ever take the job of any national team.”

Another veteran of the local game, Joseph Sarpong, weighs in: “I will not apply for the job and I tell you that any local coach who applies for the job is wasting his time.

“The FA is clearly on a hunt for a foreign coach so if a local coach ventures I believe it’s a complete waste of time.”

The other two favorites

With the Ghana FA now spoilt for choice, what happens to favourites Milovan Rajevac (Serbia) and Flemming Serritslev (Denmark) now that such illustrious names have applied?

Just two weeks ago, Milovan Rajevac was the runaway favourite after he flew in to be a technical adviser to Kwesi Appiah – an arrangement which has been scrapped since the Ghanaian was sacked.

[contextly_sidebar id=”nUH2V4oPrPxjL6zYtGRWAZRijhBn4uTX”] Now the Serbian, like all the others, has to be subjected to the search committee’s work. But sources say his demands of $90,000 a month are prohibitive.

In the meantime, GFA bigwig Fred Pappoe has asked for circumspection as rumours fly that Milovan will be a dead cert.

“How can you say that [Milovan Rajevac has been appointed]? Then it means you are insulting us if the decision has already taken the decision to give the job to Milo,” Pappoe said.

“And when you do that also you put Milo in a bad light because then people will shy away from considering him for the job.

“We will continue to do our work and present our recommendations to the Executive Committee for a final decision to be taken.”

On the other hand Serritslev, the Dane, is receiving favourable responses within the FA simply because he is willing to take a lesser amount.

“He says an amount less than $70,000 is fine by him and if you look at his experience of being assistant boss of Denmark, that might be in his favour,” a source says.

However, critics say that Danish national team job came many years ago, in 2000, and Flemming has not done any top-level work in more than 14 years.

Bernhard "Bernd" Schuster, the man for Ghana?

Bernhard “Bernd” Schuster, the man for Ghana?

The CVs

The former Chelsea boss made his name after guiding the Blues in the 2008 Champions League final, then later handled Portsmouth, West Ham United and then won a Serbian league title with Partizan.

Kluivert was recently assistant coach in the Dutch national team’s effort at Brazil 2014 but is more fondly remembered for the 40 goals in 79 international appearances he bagged.

The 36 year old was also the youth and reserve team boss of FC Twente in the Eredivisie until he became Oranje assistant two years ago.

Schuster was a part of the West German squad that won the 1980 European Championships. He has coached Levante, Getafe and Real Madrid in La Liga. His latest job was with Malaga, which ended in May.

Serritslev’s known love for youth development may stand him in good stead, but it is his three-time Denmark assistant coach stints and fluency in English  that may help his cause.

Rajevac has the best moment of his career being taking Ghana to the 2010 World Cup quarters. Before then, a good showing with Red Star Belgrade had made him quite popular in Serbia.

The Ghana FA are scheduled to scale down their 32-man list to “about two or three” by next week, per Fred Pappoe.

“We are not looking at that target [the Guinea matches], it’s not going to be possible,” he told BBC Sport.

“We could do that but we wouldn’t be satisfied with the kind of work we would have done if we use the target of those two games. So I believe the GFA are working on some interim arrangements to make sure the team is capably handled for the two matches.”

The Black Stars play Guinea on October 10 in Morocco, before hosting the same side five days later.

By: Gary Al-Smith/citifmonline.com/Ghana