thumbnail Hello,

The Ghanaian-born former French international is in line to become the coach of the 2010 World Cup quarter-finalists, but reports suggest that he is in a state of dilemma

By Kent Mensah

The football-loving country of Ghana is desperately looking for a coach to start working with the national team before the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign begins.

Marcel Desailly, a former France international, is the man heavily touted as favourite to succeed sacked coach Goran Stevanovic. However, unconfirmed reports have suggested that the 1998 World Cup winner is unsure about his future if he accepts the Black Stars hot seat.

Below, outlines a few of the reasons that should give the former AC Milan defender hope as news becomes rife that the Ghana FA are in talks to persuade him to take up the position.

Desailly is not a media-shy person and has been trained to face the cameras at any given time. The Ghana job comes with a great deal of media grilling and having a coach who is familiar with the intrusiveness and someone who can think on his feet without fear will only add to the national team’s advantage.

With such an attribute, Desailly can speak for himself and get his points across precisely, rather than rely on a spokesperson, who has often skewed answers or misrepresented former coaches through badly translated statements.

A coach must view a football team like running a business in order to yield results. One of the accomplishments of the distinguished defender is the establishment of the finest state-of-the-art sports centre in Ghana – a place the Elephants of Cote d'Ivoire used in times of political crisis prior of their journey to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

Odenke, which is his native name, is a business-minded person and with his connections across the globe, Ghana is likely to benefit from a great deal of sponsorship and opportunity because of his personality.

The 43-year-old has gone through the ranks as a footballer, distinguishing himself as one of the finest defenders in the history of the game.

Although he has never won the ultimate individual accolade in world football, the former France captain was one of the leaders in the squad when his European side lifted the highest collective prize in the beautiful game – the World Cup.

He has seen it all as a player from club to intercontinental championships to world tournaments. The experience and knowledge he has accrued as a player will be vital to his charges.

Many pundits have argued that Desailly is a novice because he has no practical experience in the coaching field. While that may be true, it should not stand in his path to become Ghana’s coach.

Frank Rijkaard took the Dutch national team to Euro 2000 with no concrete experience as a coach and finished at the semi-final stage. In fact, his side produced the biggest win of the competition in the quarter-finals with a 6-1 victory over Yugoslavia. Another example of a player with little experience taking on coaching responsibility is Dunga of Brazil, and Desailly deserves to be given a chance with the Black Stars.

Marcel has carved a niche for himself worldwide as someone who carries an aura of respect with him. He is an inspirational figure – and inspiration is an attribute a coach should always possess to motivate the players or guide the team through times of difficulty.

The fact that he has become a Unicef ambassador speaks of his charisma and influence, two characteristics that will come in very handy when dealing with all the personalities of a star-studded Ghana squad.

Follow Kent Mensah on