It is no easy task in taking a decision to allow your coach be absent from the bench for five matches or to mutually terminate his contract.
Hearts of Oak however decided to let go of their Japanese-American gaffer under whose tutulege the side placed fourth, two points off leaders Wa All stars . Kenichi Yatsuhashi came under a barage of criticism after the GHALCA G6 tournament for a poor showing. Pundits and fans called for his head.
The first thing the fitness trainer did was to take his players through fitness training as he discovered they did not have the lungs to play for 90 minutes. This paid off as his side performed really well in the second half of the first five games of the seasin. Many teams became wise to the secret but they still struggled to break Hearts down.
Under his watch, Hearts won seven matches, drew five and lost three of which one was against their bitter rivals Asante Kotoko in Accra. But probably the Japanese's biggest achivement was his ability to attract fans of the club to rally in stadias wherever they played. Somehow, he got fans and even neutrals off their bums to the games.
What was quite frustrating was the Phobains' blistering form away from home where, despite the impressive form of teams like Medeama and Berekum Chelsea, Kenichi's side tasted defeat.
Perhaps his best match ( again away) was against Inter Allies where they came down from a two goal deficit to win 3-2 in Tema.
His relationship however with the board came under the microscope as it was alleged he had a frosty relationship with them. He's been accused of refusing to submit technical reports, charging out of meetings angry when those meetings were half done and sometimes using some language best reserved for the streets.
Then enters Sergio Daniel Moniz Traguil.
He was appointed initially as the head of the club's junior teams (Auroras, the U20s; Royal Oaks; U17s). Kenichi was to be responsible also for scouting and provide technical support to the main team. Many argued this agreement did not make economic sense at it was claimed he will be walking to the bank each month to cash $3500 when Kenichi was paid just over $1800.
A few days later, off goes Kenichi from the senior team then enters (promoted from the junior team before he could start) Traguil, a mere coincidence or a well-planned coup?
Kenichi had initially said he planned out his year and was going to take a course in India lasting 25 days (five matches) and he had factored in the plan that the league would have been over by the ending of June, if the league had started as scheduled. Kenichi was unwilling to abandon his plans and it was decision time for the clubs management.
The new gaffer at his unveiling said that, “ I think pressure doesn’t exist in football in my opinion. I am doing the job that I love so how can I be under pressure, I was born for this,” He further reiterated I'm mourinho style that “Pressure is when the month is coming to an end and you realized you don’t have anything to give your children and family, for me that is pressure."
Finally he concluded by saying “I am here to try my best, whether the youth teams or the main team, I will do my best and get the club to a respectable place.”
Easier said than done ? His first game comes against Dreams FC at home and he will surely want to start on the right pedal after their last encounter ended in a draw.
The management and fans of the continental club masters will be hoping Traguil will walk the talk and put Hearts of Oak into the form they were in the late 90's and early 2000's.
Is Traguil the man for the job? Your guess is as good as mine.
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