YOU don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that back-to-back defeats on the international stage brings some level of pressure on any coach however much they try to wear a brave face.
That’s the story with Amavubi Stars head coach Sellas Tetteh, who watched helplessly as his team got a 3-0 battering by Benin in Saturday’s 2012 Africa Nations Cup qualifier.
It is more certain than not that the Ghanaian is starting to feel the strain that comes with the hot seat and the fans.
Presently, Tetteh is one of the most sought after coaches following his stellar feat in last year’s Fifa U-20 World Cup were he guided the Ghanaian team to the title after beating Brazil in the final.
But we should not forget that he was working with a highly talented group. It is one thing to coach a highly talented team and a totally different thing to deliver instant success to a team full of mediocre players who are playing against more stout opposition in Ivory Coast and Benin.
That all said, is it still fair to hold Tetteh accountable for the current chaos?
Other questions that have cropped up since the defeat include; has Tetteh already failed? Does that mean he should be sacked as most fans are crying out or they are simply over reacting? Is it the right time to pass judgment on Tetteh and his team?
Assuming Tetteh is sacked or resigns, will that solve the problem? Will the team improve instantly and starting converting their chances in front of goal?
Further still, are the players good enough to meet the fans’ high demands? If not, which is a general consensus, where is the problem?
To most fans, the defeat away to group favourites Ivory Coast in the first qualifier was excusable, given the nature of the opposition but a similar defeat at home to a side “supposed to be of equal measure” was hard to take.
Benin was there for the taking but a mixture of tension, immaturity, failure to rise to the occasion and two mistakes by Amavubi’s first choice goalkeeper Jean Luc Ndayishimiye a.k.a Bakame swayed the game in the visitors’ favour.
Over the years, Amavubi’s weak point has been scoring goals and from the last two games, it is clear that the team is still being haunted.
Against Benin’s Squirrels, Rwanda did create chances but failed to convert them. Before Benin scored, APR striker Kipson Atuhaire should have scored twice and while his striking partner Dady Birori did little to win over the fans despite his endless running and puffing, Benin’s opening goal – a cracker by Tchomogo Séïdath sniffed even the little confidence the wasps was riding on.
Bakame was at fault for the goal as Séïdath’s 30-yard strike caught him well off his line.
Razack Omotoyossi doubled Benin’s advantage shortly after while Sessègnon Stephane added a third with two minutes left to put their tie beyond reach.
By this time though, a large section of Amavubi fans were already locked in discussions as to whether Tetteh deserves to stay on as head coach and if the absence of experienced players like Olivier Karekezi and Hamad Katauti is costing the team.
But before everyone joins the fans’ debate, it’s imperative to remember that this is a team in transition, a process that requires utmost commitment and patience from all stakeholders.