By Prince Dulzy
With Hearts still battling top four finish of the Ghana Premier League, having taken just five points from their last seven games, and ruining their chances of ending their trophy drought this year, the Accra based club is coming under sustained fire and they now realized the sacking of Kenichi Yatsuhashi was clearly a mistake. A frustrating, simple poor decision which could have been avoided.
Kenichi who was sacked with still fifteen matches to play in the second round of the Ghana Premier League had turn the team around and for over seven years Hearts of Oak were beginning to play well under Kenichi and supporters were beginning to believe that this season could be the year where their trophy drought will come to an end.
But that dream of title success this season seems to be out of reach for the Phobians now – all because the club ‘jumped the gun’ to part ways with Kenichi.
Hearts of Oak had risen to heights above capacity this season under the “Sushi Tactician” compared to previous and the coach had won the love of supporters. Week in, week out the club’s revenue increased because of stadium attendance. And even though there have been some ups and downs, there wasn’t enough evidence to sack the coach who had just initiated a long-term project and gradually making the players get used to the combination of technology in training.
Many called for Kenichi’s head after he had been involved in several disputes with management, to the extent of discussing internal club issues on the social media. As the season went on the relationship between the coach and the board begun to fade out.
He kicked against an interference from the club’s board led by Togbe Afede, and ultimately the fracturing of the relationship between Kenichi and the club’s administration led to Hearts taking decision to sack the coach.
Kenichi had earlier requested for a short leave so that he can attend a coaching course but his request was turned down as both parties mutually parted company.
By firing Kenichi, it became clear that the Hearts of Oak managerial position is a hotseat that no person can sustain for an extended period of time.
Portuguese trainer Sergio Targuil who was the club’s U-20 coach took over from Kenichi with the hope that he will perform better than Yatsuhashi and eventually win the league.
But that seems not to be the case as the Portuguese tactician is struggling even to cement the team’s position in the top four, having taken just five points from his last seven games, including defeats from Wafa and Bechem, 3-0 and 3-1 respectively.
With three matches to go, it appears Hearts of Oak’s chances of winning the Ghana Premier League title has vanished into thin air.
Disappointing, deserved and very nearly the disgrace just like the past seven years.
Even the club’s board had to admit that the appointment of Traguil was a mistake – not in words, but in actions. If not, the club will not reassign the Portuguese to his original position (the head coach of Auroras).
Yaw Preko now assumes the role of head coach of Accra Hearts of Oak for the rest of the season – an idea Kenichi had suggested to the club when he wanted to leave and attend a short coaching course, only for the club to turn this laudable idea down.
With three games to spare for the league to come to an end, and six points adrift from current league leaders Wa All Stars, Hearts of Oak face a tough task to maintain top four finish not to talk of winning the league.
The club’s board did no good to the club, their decision to sack Kenichi was a collateral damage and they have clearly shot themselves in the foot.
That is why I still hold my position that Hearts of Oak sacking Kenichi was a mistake.
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