Is Chris Hughton the right man for the Black Stars?

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Former Nottingham Forest head coach and the immediate past technical advisor to the ex-Black Stars coach Otto Addo, Chris Hughton has been named the head coach of the Black Stars. This follows months of wait for a new leader of the team after Otto Addo stepped down from the role following the Stars exit from the World Cup in Qatar.

But nearly two months after his exit, his right hand man, Chris Hughton has been given the role. The Irrish-Ghanaian has an immediate task at hand, first to win the trust of Ghanaians that he can do the job and be independent of influence by unknown hands when it comes to player selection. This is a must for most football loving Ghanaians, after all Chris Hughton was part of the technical team that dropped Jeffrey Schlupp and Joseph Paintsil from the ensemble to Qatar despite they being among the few most consistent and in-form Ghanaian players prior to the tournament.

His next task will be to overcome Angola in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying double header in March. Victory in both games, first away and then at home will give him a big impression in the face of the fans. Though many Ghanaians rooted for him to be given the role prior to the World Cup before he was made a technical advisor to Otto Addo, he does not command the same degree of respect from the supporters following the disaster of the team at the tournament. He was part of the technical team.

Even more on Hughton is the decision of the GFA to maintain George Boateng and Didi Dramani as assistants. The two together with Hughton worked under Otto Addo to guide Ghana past Nigeria in the play-off but the underwhelming performance of the team at the tournament did some damage to their reputation.

However, it is a clean sheet for them to write their own history and their decision-making especially with regards to player selection will be key. The team has three matches till June and their performance in those matches and qualification to the AFCON will be a key determinant in how the supporters will warm to them.

Ghana currently lead the pack in Group E with four points, the same as their next opponent, Angola and with Madagascar and the Central African Republic not doing so well, the Black Stars are expected to seal top spot with good results against the Central Africans. But it will not be over until over and Christ Hughton won’t be welcomed with open hearts until he proves he desevers it.

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