After all is said and done, it came to one thing: give the former stars a chance to prove themselves. And for three weeks, Team Debbah went through rigorous coaching seminar recently held in Monrovia.Among the participants were the Miracle Man, James Salinsa Debbah, Joe Nagbe, Janjay Jacobs, Kervin Sebwe, Christopher Wreh Oliver Makor, and the legend himself, George Manneh Weah.“It was an incredible experience as these former soccer stars sat through the seminar day after day,” said an eye-witness. The coaches were CAF Elite instructors, Henry Browne and Francis Tamba, assisted by former national Coach J. Kaetu Smith.Among the subjects discussed included the philosophy of coaching or how to turn an ordinary player into a quality footballer. “This was important because a coach must understand how to mold and impart quality knowledge into unsung players,” said an official who was at the program for all the twenty one days.With James Debbah in the lead, the coaches asked many questions and they got answers. It was an interactive discussion as the former soccer stars posed many questions and the elite coaches provided them the required answers.The would-be coaches, in their illustrations, identified certain situations that happened when they were actively playing abroad.“It was a shocking experience as the former super stars who played across Europe examined the information given them,” said another eye-witness.A member of the coaching staff told the Daily Observer yesterday, “We were impressed that these former super stars were brainstorming and drawing up their own conclusions.” He said by allowing them to manage the various national teams as coaches does not mean that all is well with Liberian football.“At least we have begun the process and only time will show us how right our decision is,” he said, “we now have people handling the national teams who have had firsthand experience playing abroad under varied coaches and they are bringing those experiences to help those young players that they would be developing.”That the newly appointed coaches demonstrated rigid determination for a better soccer program in Liberia was the fact that they were able to, during the early interviews conducted by the technical department of the LFA, convince officials why they are the best to lead the change that Liberian football needs presently.“It will be unfair to declare that there will be absolute success to lour football program because we have former players as coaches,” one of the Elite coaches told the Daily Observer, “what we’re doing is we are moving in the right direction with people who can and are able to transform their experiences into our players for a better performance.”The Daily Observer learned that the transformation of former soccer stars into firs class coaches is a process, being developed by the LFA to ensure that there is a pool of players to help the national effort.“The LFA is impressed by the commitment of those appointed,” an official said, “and we hope the general soccer public will support the process to use former players who are able to deal with local and professional players when it is necessary.”The general deportment of the participants, their interactive involvement and the effective manner they provided answers to why they are capable for the job, convinced the LFA that the exercise is worthy.“We are satisfied that all the participating coaches understood the philosophy of the game,” an Elite coach said. “That is fundamental in successful coaching.”The process now continues on December 4, at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium at 9a.m. with practical application of the knowledge so far gained.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
0Shares0000World Cup sensation: France’s Kylian Mbappe © AFP / FRANCK FIFEPARIS, France, Nov 9 – Teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe told AFP on Thursday that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi remain football’s greatest players but that his own World Cup heroics could help crown him the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner.Mbappe, 19, inspired France to World Cup victory in Russia with four goals. One of those came in the 4-2 final victory over Croatia as he became just the second teenager after Pele in 1958 to score in the championship match.He was also voted Young Player of the tournament and has since become Ligue 1’s leading scorer with 11 goals as Paris Saint-Germain run away with the French title.Messi and Ronaldo have won the last 10 Ballon d’Or awards and Mbappe believes that they are still the sport’s top A-listers.“Nobody is doing better at the moment and we can’t say it’s the end of their era because it will only end when somebody else does better than them,” Mbappe told AFP.However, the young striker added: “I don’t think one of them will win the Ballon d’Or this year because it was a World Cup year, and the World Cup takes precedence.”While Mbappe thrived at the World Cup, Messi’s Argentina and Ronaldo’s Portugal bowed out in the last 16.“But if you take the player in the purest form, there’s nobody better yet. This year they were again the best two,” added Mbappe.“Messi finished the best goalscorer in Europe; Ronaldo was the top scorer in the Champions League.”Mbappe was speaking to AFP on Thursday at an event organised by watchmakers Hublot, one of his leading sponsors.The last French player to win the coveted Ballon d’Or was Zinedine Zidane after the national team’s 1998 World Cup victory.“Frankly, I hope so (win the Ballon d’Or). We achieved something big. It would not be unjust because that is a strong word, but it would be a shame if a Frenchman does not win it.“We made history and it would be nice to be rewarded.”Football’s future? Kylian Mbappe talks to AFP © AFP / FRANCK FIFECroatia’s Luka Modric, voted Best Player of the World Cup, remains favourite for the Ballon d’Or.However, Modric is 14 years Mbappe’s senior so the young Frenchman has time on his side.He will also have time and opportunity to complete his journey from the tough streets of the down-at-heel Paris suburb of Bondy to a life of super-riches.– ‘Play to win’ –Mbappe, who will turn 20 just before Christmas, signed for PSG from Monaco for 180 million euros in 2017 in the second most expensive transfer of all time — behind PSG teammate Neymar who cost the French champions 222 million euros.Off the field, he seems destined to match Ronaldo in the commercial stakes.Will his initials “KM” match the brand power of Ronaldo’s “CR7”?“I don’t know because CR7 is something big, he has managed to build his brand and become international,” said Mbappe.“Mine is not at this stage yet, I’m changing little by little.”That development into the public consciousness saw him dominate the front page of Time magazine in October with the American publisher breathlessly showcasing the teenage as “the future of football”.Mbappe said that he will not be satisfied with winning just one World Cup.When asked what he wants to win next, he said: “All the World Cups that I can play.“I play to win; if I play four World Cups then I want to win four. We go step by step. I have already won one. You have to prepare and win with your club and with the national team also.“There are short-term goals before thinking about the 2022 World Cup. But the aim always is to win.”On being tipped to be the next true superstar once Messi and Ronaldo have retired, Mpabbe added: “I cannot control everything that is done and said.“There is not just the pitch but everything around it must also be managed. It’s not easy but I’m learning, I’m still learning. I have people around me who help me overcome the challenges one after the other.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Aguero’s penalty opened the scoring at and the Argentine forward netted again before Leroy Sane, who also contributed three assists, struck against his former club.Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus all scored after the interval to complete City’s biggest home win in the Champions League.Pep Guardiola’s side, who lifted the League Cup in February, remain on course for an unprecedented quadruple, sitting one point ahead of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League before this weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final at Swansea.Sergio Aguero scored twice in Manchester City’s 7-0 thrashing of SchalkeThis emphatic victory was the joint-biggest ever Champions League knockout stage win but won’t linger long in the memory given Schalke’s total lack of resistence. However it could be a good omen as City beat Schalke en route to winning their only European trophy in the 1970 Cup Winners’ Cup.Twice a Champions League winner as Barcelona boss, Guardiola claimed this week that City are “teenagers” in the competition compared to the more established European powers.They have never won the Champions League, with their best performance a semi-final appearance in 2016 under Guardiola’s predecessor Manuel Pellegrini.But City are one of the favourites to claim the trophy after Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain crashed out and, on this evidence, Guardiola’s players are up for the challenge of showing they are more mature than he believes.It seems only winning Europe’s elite club prize can make City fans fall in the love with the tournament.Once again they loudly jeered the Champions League anthem, this time in frustration at UEFA’s recent investigation into the club over allegations of financial misconduct.Guardiola had claimed it would be a “dangerous situation” to underestimate Schalke, but the struggling Bundesliga team were never a realistic candidate to spring a surprise.– Floodgates opened –Sergio Aguero was in predatory form in Manchester City’s demolition of SchalkeSprinting onto Kyle Walker’s pass, Sterling crossed for Aguero to shoot against a post in the opening moments.Guardiola’s men monopolised possession and their territorial dominance finally paid off in the 35th minute.Ilkay Gundogan clipped a pass into the Schalke penalty area and Jeffrey Bruma bundled over Bernardo, with the spot-kick awarded after being checked by VAR.Aguero stepped up to nonchalantly chip the penalty down the middle as Ralf Fahrmann dived the wrong way.Aguero has now scored in four successive Champions League games for the first time.That opened the floodgates as Aguero quickly put the result beyond doubt three minutes later.Sterling was the provider as he raced onto Gundogan’s pass and pulled the ball back to Aguero, who squeezed his shot past Fahrmann from a tight angle for his 27th goal of the season.An interminable VAR delay of several minutes while Sterling was confirmed as onside drew more boos from City fans.Leroy Sane shone against his former side SchalkeBut they were celebrating again in the 42nd minute.This time it was Sane who ripped open the shambolic Schalke defence, the German winger sent clear on goal by Oleksandr Zinchenko before driving a clinical strike into the far corner.City were streets ahead of Schalke in every phase of the game and Sterling maintained his sublime form with a cool finish from Sane’s majestic pass in the 56th minute.Bernardo made it five in the 71st minute, netting with a first-time shot from Sane’s pass.There was still time for Foden to bag his first Champions League goal as the young midfielder took Sane’s pass and slotted home in the 78th minute.Jesus beat Fahrmann’s weak attempted save with six minutes left to complete City’s perfect evening.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Manchester City players celebrate one of their seven goals against Schalke during a Champions League tie at the Etihad Stadium on March 13, 2019MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Mar 13 – Manchester City thrashed Schalke 7-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday to romp into the Champions League quarter-finals and keep their quadruple bid alive.City had snatched two late goals to win the first leg 3-2 and they made the most of that fightback with a ruthless demolition job at the Etihad Stadium to clinch a 10-2 aggregate victory.