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Looking beyond Al Hilal defeat – Jerome Otchere

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There isn’t any need to worry about Asante Kotoko losing 5-0 to Sudanese side Al Hilal in preseason. The loss shouldn’t even hurt, knowing the essence of the game. The rough edges of the team are being sharpened, and the team is shaped adequately for assignments in the upcoming season. We are thus likely to suffer to gain if that axiom works in football as it works in other aspects of life.

I wish fans see the exercises in Sudan as part of the building process to having a competitive team which is considerably new. The tasks or hurdles confronting the team in the upcoming season and how challenging they would be are nothing new. It would be beneficial to lose heavily in a friendly game and get the team defects corrected to perform better when the season starts.

We’ve to be honest; two fundamental aspirations of fans in the new season would be the retention of the Ghana Premier League title and a group stage berth in the CAF Champions League. It makes greater sense, therefore, to be exposed in friendlies by a likely opponent in Africa than to have this same opponent humiliate you in matches that count. We’ve to get that straight.

There are real issues. Our financial situation at home vis-à-vis player exodus means that retaining quality players wouldn’t always be easy. We would’ve to sell, but that also means losing our quality. This partly explains why we’ve been unable to do anything meaningful in Africa for decades.

We must continue experimenting with the model of buying and selling our quality players, among other sustainable club investments, to the point where we can assemble and parade a team that will favourably compete in Africa. This is the reality that stares at us, and it’s also the reality that must inform our expectations of Kotoko in Africa.

Fans must have low expectations. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t support the team. We’ve recruited new players with a new coach as well. The GPL and preliminary round fixtures of the CAF Champions League are out. For me, the early clash with Hearts of Oak and the Africa matches, any way you look at them, would define our season.

If fans have energy for anything, they should be preparing to support the team well to win and not fret and fuss over the big loss to Al Hilal in pre-season. If this defeat in preseason is anything at all, the technical team still has time to work on the team.

Source: Jerome Otchere

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Harry Maguire accepts Isaac Adongo’s apologies

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Mr Adongo, however, apologised to Maguire in Parliament on Tuesday, saying the Manchester United defender now performed better for his club than Dr Bawumia, whom he said had repeatedly supervised the country's economic incompetence and had subsequently gone to the (IMF) for a bailout.

Harry Maguire, a Manchester United defender, has accepted Hon. Isaac Adongo’s apologies for dragging him through the dirt.

The Ghanaian politician previously rated the former Leicester City captain as the worst player recruited by the Red Devils.

Adongo was discussing the budget when he likened Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia’s economic management to Maguire’s on-field performances.

Mr Adongo, however, apologised to Maguire in Parliament on Tuesday, saying the Manchester United defender now performed better for his club than Dr Bawumia, whom he said had repeatedly supervised the country’s economic incompetence and had subsequently gone to the (IMF) for a bailout.

“I was very quick to compare my big brother Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia to Harry Maguire. Mr. Speaker, I now apologize to Harry Maguire…Today Maguire has turned the corner; he is a transformational footballer. Maguire is now scoring goals for Manchester United.”

“Mr Speaker, Harry Maguire is now a key player for Manchester United. As for our Maguire, he is now roaming at the IMF with a cup in hand,” he stated.

Following the apology, Maguire stated on social media, “MP Issac Adongo apology accepted.” “Hope to see you at Old Trafford soon.”

Meanwhile, Everton will play Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday at Goodison Park.

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Argentina’s World Cup-winning coach, Lionel Scaloni, has hinted that he may resign

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Messi on fan-police clashes: "There could have been a tragedy." After a brief stint in command of Argentina's under-20 team, Scaloni took over as manager in August 2018. Argentina's 2021 Copa America victory was their first major championship in 28 years, and it qualified them for the Finalissima against European champions Italy in June 2022, which they won 3-0 at Wembley. Later that year, they won their third World Cup in Qatar, and first since 1986.

Argentina’s World Cup-winning coach, Lionel Scaloni, has indicated that he is considering stepping down after five years in charge.

Scaloni made the stunning statement following Argentina’s 1-0 World Cup qualifying win against Brazil on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro.

Before winning the World Cup in Qatar last year, the 45-year-old guided Argentina to the Copa America in 2021.

“Argentina needs a coach who has all the energy possible and who is well,” said Scaloni.

“I need to stop the ball and start thinking, I have a lot of things to think about during this time.

“It’s not goodbye or anything, but I need to think because the bar is very high and it’s complicated to keep going and it’s complicated to keep winning.

“These guys are making it difficult, so I need to think about it for a while. I will talk to the FA president and the players afterwards.”

Messi on fan-police clashes: “There could have been a tragedy.”

After a brief stint in command of Argentina’s under-20 team, Scaloni took over as manager in August 2018.

Argentina’s 2021 Copa America victory was their first major championship in 28 years, and it qualified them for the Finalissima against European champions Italy in June 2022, which they won 3-0 at Wembley.

Later that year, they won their third World Cup in Qatar, and first since 1986.

“We are sure and hope that Scaloni will continue,” said Argentina and Tottenham defender Cristian Romero.

“Let’s see now he will have time to think, he didn’t say anything in the dressing room about it. We will try to convince him.”

Argentina’s victory against Brazil on Tuesday was their first-ever away win over their rivals in World Cup qualification, and it took them two points clear at the top of the table.

The game at Rio’s Maracana stadium was delayed for 30 minutes due to a scuffle during the national anthems.

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2026WCQ: Chris Hughton under pressure after Black Stars defeat in Comoros

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Ghana could have grabbed an early lead in Tuesday's encounter when Inaki Williams set up Antoine Semenyo for a goal, but the Bournemouth striker hit the crossbar.

Chris Hughton’s Black Stars suffered their first competitive loss as head coach, falling 1-0 to Comoros in the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers.

Myziane Maolida’s first-half goal was enough to give the hosts their second straight victory over the Black Stars.

Ghana is now in fourth position, three points behind early group leaders Comoros, who have won both of their initial qualification games.

Following a tense, late win against Madagascar at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi last Friday, there was some hope that the Black Stars may capitalise on Mali’s slip-up against the Central African Republic to grab the group lead.

Ghana could have grabbed an early lead in Tuesday’s encounter when Inaki Williams set up Antoine Semenyo for a goal, but the Bournemouth striker hit the crossbar.

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