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Final Whistle: Kotoko’s overflowing cup, Takam mortalises Joshua, NBA giants stutter

October 30, 2017 11:57 AM
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Final Whistle: Kotoko’s overflowing cup, Takam mortalises Joshua, NBA giants stutter

Pardon me for being that bird that insists on pooping on what should be one party for the ages, after all arch-rivals Hearts of Oak have been comfortably humbled 3-1 in the MTN Fa Cup final while Sadick Adams put on a masterclass for the history books.

Success has the power to paper over deep cracks and Asante Kotoko as a franchise do not need reminding that the clock is ticking as far as getting their act together is concerned.

Informed heads within the corridors of the club have revealed that it is being run like a tabletop confectionery business, as it stutters its way through, attempting to impersonate a professional outfit.

The Asante Kotoko script has been exposed to many reckless hands with little supervision and has been used too often as a political and traditional tool and thus has lost sight of its vision.

Let the FA Cup triumph be the reason the club finally finds real reason to set in motion a long-term plan that will provide them with a training facility they can call their own.

Grooming and nurturing their own players from the ground up is a reality that is attainable.

This trophy should be the reason a real media apparatus that actually pays salaries and social security is put in place.

When the media apparatus of a club is run on the benevolence of individuals you know they are stuck in the dark age.

A quick look into the stands in Tamale showed countless fans clad in both modern and retro jerseys from various European teams,prompting one to ask:where is Kotoko’s merchandise and how much has been realized from it in the past.

One will be led down a long and winding road should a proper explanation be sought on such matters but the club cannot continue like this.

Why can’t the young ones growing up in this age walk up to a club store or museum where they can purchase jerseys of club legends like Sarfo Gyamfi,Opoku Nti,Stephen Oduro among others?

The time has come for a club of their stature to stop celebrating small time incidents like the presentation of a bus by the club’s life patron Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

Their triumph in the FA Cup means that they have earned a place in the Caf Confederations Cup, it will be a good opportunity to observe if they have matured or are still relishing the chance to bath with the old sponge again.

And before I forget, Steve Pollack is a brilliant coach keep hold of him if you can.

Built like a bull with a chin carved from granite, Carlos Takam’s stature and respect grew in the eyes of the world with every jab he took to the body and every shot he took to the head.

Call him the 36-year-old Cameroonian born Frenchman that required just a 12-day notice to fight Britain’s young heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua.

By the seventh round the man who had sworn before the bout to use Joshua as his own stepping stone had two nasty cuts opened above both eyes, bleeding profusely.

After several inspections by ringside physicians he was allowed to soldier on, only for referee Phil Edwards to abruptly end the bout in round 10 ,claiming Takam was in no condition to go the full distance.

I strongly disagree with the discretion of the man in the middle even though he is well within his rights to stop the bout in the event that he deems one boxer to be in danger.

In Takam’s case he seemed a man who was coming alive with every head shot he took and even found the luxury to taunt Joshua moments before the referees gut wrenching decision.

It will be almost foolhardy to believe that Takam would have won the bout which he was obviously trailing on the score cards,but there was enough evidence to show that he was capable of the unexpected hay-maker or counter punch which would have changed the complexion of the bout.

After all the bout that placed Anthony Joshua on the pedestal he finds himself now was decided by a powerful counter upper cut to Vladimir Klitschko in a fight that looked to be heading the way of the veteran.

“I respect the champion and the UK fans, they are great fans and I am happy to box here. I don’t why they stopped it.

“I want a rematch, I make my preparations with 12 days to fight Anthony. I want a rematch, I want to box him again, I want him, he is a great champion,” he told the crowd after the bout.

Whether his wish will be granted remains to be seen,but what is clear now is that Anthony Joshua is clearly not as invincible as he has led a large majority to believes in his young career.

He has made it 20 stoppages in 20 fights but the footage from this bout with Takam will excite the boxing world as it anticipates showdowns against the likes of Wilder and Fury.

The Warriors opening night defeat to the Rockets raised a few eyebrows but was not unusual,however a resounding 114-107 defeat to the Detroit Pistons who were on a back to back should greatly worry Kerr.

“This has nothing to do with being unselfish,” Kerr said. “This has to do with a complete lack of focus and fundamentals. We are throwing the ball all over the place.”

Every manager in his shoes will be mad after seeing his team cough up the ball 25 times.

Nearly a third of the Pistons’ offense — 28.7 percent, or 33 points — came off Golden State turnovers. Draymond Green had more giveaways (six) than assists (four).

The team, which lost only nine times at Oracle Arena over the past three seasons, has dropped two home games.

It will obviously not be the game that will shape the season of the champions but in what has promised to become the most competitive Nba season yet, marquee games will be decided by tiny details and fine margins which might mean just one bad turn over.

Their nemesis from the Eastern Conference,the Cleveland Cavaliers should have greater reason for concern,at least according to the form guide.

I have learnt not to take the Cavaliers blips too seriously in the regular season and that stance has not changed regardless of the fact that they have lost four games in their opening seven to start the season.

A lot of over the top reactions are beginning to trickle in with some going as far as to say that Lue should be fired.

It is essential to put things in perspective as we dissect the Cavs early season struggles.

Coming into the season, Lebron confessed that he wasn’t in the best of shapes as he sat out a number of preseason games in a bid to restore himself to peak levels.

It has manifested especially since he has had to play point guard in the absence of Thomas and Rose to an extent.

A relatively new team,will still require guys like Crowder,Wade and Green to find their roles with the team attempting to blend in and that is more a matter of when than if.

One must not forget that significant strategy changes have also been made with Kevin Love being shifted to Centre while Wade has replaced Smith in the starting unit.

Their effort on defense however has been less than impressive and that is where the danger lies.

In the season where the Cavs won the Championship they ranked 10th in defense efficiency rating and ranked 22nd when they lost to the Warriors in the season gone by.

I still firmly believe that they will emerge Champions of the East to contend with whoever makes it out of the West.


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