By Basil Afoni
Since the appointment of four local coaches by the Normalisation Committee, to assist Cameroon coach, Volker Finke, many Cameroonians have accepted the news with mixed feelings.
After criticisms from former Cameroon international, Roger Milla, who said Finke was incompetent, and called for his dismissal, Milla later suggested the idea of Finke being assisted by a college of indigenous experts who are conscious of the value of sports to Cameroonians. This idea was finally accepted by the FECAFOOT Normalisation Committee and four local coaches: Bonaventure Djonkep, Jean Manga Onguene, Alexandre Belinga and Etienne Sockeng, were appointed.
According to the FECAFOOT Normalisation Committee, their mission will be to observe and analyse the technical and tactical qualities of the teams Cameroon will face at the World Cup, and submit a detailed video analysis to the head coach.
Some pundits hold that nothing good will come out of this move since they believe that the four tacticians were imposed on Finke. As a result, there will be that lack of harmony between Finke and them, thereby causing disagreement among the technical staff. Some are of the opinion that if the Normalisation Committee wanted Finke to have assistants, they should have allowed him to pick them so as to create that room for harmony and understanding.
Also, football lovers believe that the appointment of these local coaches is a way to lavish tax-payers’ money on these tacticians whom they believe have no work to do. In the past years, Cameroonians have bemoaned the fact that a large number of administrative staff always travel with huge allowances, when the Lions are in any tourney, whereas they are doing nothing.
Meanwhile, many fear that this college of coaches may meddle in Finke’s job. If their job is to analyse the opponent’s play style, logically, they can also propose a solution which means they can influence the selection of players or who plays a particular game, indirectly. It is also seen as a blow to Finke who had qualified the Lions for Brazil, when almost all hope was lost. It sounds funny that coaches are selected to help analyse and break down in video the Lions’ opponents to Finke. This means that the coach is incapable of doing that.
Furthermore, some pundits hold that Roger Milla would use these coaches as” Trojan horses ” to interfere in Finke’s job, or to prove that he was right when he said Finke was incompetent.
It should be noted that since the appointment of Finke as Lions head coach, Milla has never given his support to the German. Even when the German qualified the Lions for the World Cup, Milla clearly stated that it was the players that did it with their own technical knowledge and not the coach. Milla had called for the dismissal of Finke after describing him as an incompetent coach.
However, this strategy perfectly paid off in the Italy 1990 World Cup, where the then Lions coach, Russian born Valery Nepomniachi, was assisted by Jean Manga Onguéné, Jules Frederick Nyongha and Michel Kaham. This college of coaches led Cameroon to the quarter finals of the World Cup, thereby making them the first African country to reach that level.
Ghana is also thinking of doing the same, calling back her former coach as adviser.
With the World Cup just a couple of months to kick off, Cameroonians will be hoping that the coaches work for the progress of the Indomitable Lions. Just like the Italy 1990 coaching staff that did a great job, Finke and Co will be expected to see that the Lions complete their journey of redemption in Brazil come June.