There's more room for improvement.

It isn’t cooked food yet

Jerome Otchere

Posted on: Tue Aug 16, 2016

In my last write-up, I talked about how the 2015/16 Premier League was nowhere near closure and why it was just too early for supporters of any of the top four teams to start celebrating. 

I went further on radio to share why I felt Kotoko were still in the reckoning and indeed, why I was also convinced that, quality-wise, Hearts of Oak were no better than Kotoko and that, should Kotoko start winning, pressure would mount more on any of the top three teams.  

People with sympathies for Hearts of Oak didn’t like my submissions on Asempa Sports. Some wondered why I could describe Hearts as poor when on the league table, they were well-placed than Kotoko. It’s fair for people to always disagree with you on the basis of statistics but statistics are not sacrosanct no matter what they show. 

Pundits often look beyond statistics and also suppress their sentiments. They focus on what the statistics may not be revealing to simple minds. I was quite confident of Kotoko being convincing at Dansoman after the Dreams FC struggle, not only because I work for Kotoko but also because I had seen the potential of the team and could vouch for their comeback. 

Kotoko haven’t been so convincing but in terms of performance, the team isn’t as weak as some want us to believe. Again, given the difficulties the team faced at the beginning of the season and how they recovered to place second at the end of the first round, it was in order to believe that, once the coaches and players accept criticisms, and work seriously on their faults, bouncing back was only natural. 

And guess what? Isn’t it intriguing that, a team that was ridiculed in every available media space in the country at the end of match day six (when Kotoko were bottom of the table) are now hot title contenders? What were the other teams doing when Kotoko was struggling? The answer to that question is quite simple. 

The other teams no matter their strength and quality, normally don’t come up to our standard. For me, you will be naïve if not ignorant of trends in our Premier League to write off Kotoko as a likely winner of this season’s competition. That doesn’t mean the Porcupines have arrived yet.  

From where I sit, we don’t have a cooked food yet. We seem to have had our ingredients right and the preparation as well as the boiling of our food went well at Dansoman against Liberty Professionals as we secured an emphatic 2-0 win but there are six more matches to be played. 

The amount of work left is huge as the six matches left will definitely determine our fate. The first among these matches is the date with Aduana Stars on Wednesday. The remaining matches – Hasaacas, Berekum Chelsea, Medeama, Ashgold and WAFA will all be difficult encounters; let’s not deceive ourselves. It’s the more reason we must win when we have the chance to do so. Victory against Aduana Stars will add so much to our ambition.  

The remaining matches are what my colleague, Kofi Achampong has termed as title winning matches. I have no fear whatsoever that, all things being equal, the Porcupines can battle all the teams mentioned above and triumph. They must do exactly that to make the last days of the competition an exciting adventure. 

My candid opinion is that, it’s all right to commend the players for their impressive show at Dansoman but please, let’s get back to work immediately. We have an unfinished agenda to perform well, win and overtake teams ahead of us on the league table. We can’t compromise on that in our desire to be champions. 

What’s important is winning. Even though we just can’t do away with enjoying the good feeling that comes with sweet victories like the one at Dansoman, we have to cut short the celebration and spend time reviewing the game. We have to examine all that went on in the past with the objective of correcting our mistakes and improving. When that’s done, we will celebrate big time soon. 

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