Koopman’s sack; price for talking too much?
• Martin Koopman – fired
Embattled former Accra Hearts of Oak Head Coach, Martinus Koopman, made an emphatic statement on Sunday after playing a goalless encounter with Legon Cities in what proved to be his last adventure in the betPawa Ghana Premier League at the Accra Sports Stadium.
It was his sixth drawn game in the 10-week old championship and as usual, fans indicated their remonstration over the outcome.
And, habitually at his very vocal and no-holds-barred post-match conference, Koopman clearly indicated that “I don’t fear the sack.”
Two days later, the axe fell on him heavily; becoming the 13th coach to be hired and fired by the Phobians since 2011.
A lot of commentaries have since followed his dismissal.
Some indicated that it was a decision which was inexplicably delayed by the management of Hearts after a series of relatively poor results.
Out of 10 games, Koopman boasts six draws, two losses and two wins, scoring a total of six goals and conceded five; leaving them with just a goal on the league log.
With such a result for a very ambitious club as Hearts, it was very certain that Koopman’s continuous stay in the helm of affairs would be determined by a change in outcomes.
Interestingly, management was very patient with him, having convinced the club with a wonderful preseason display that saw them score goals at will.
There is also a school of thought that the decision for the sack was self-inflicted.
This is because in spite of the performance, Koopman kept talking tough, stating some obvious truths and blaming management for some of the problems but never himself.
Before the ‘I don’t fear the sack’ comment that is believed to have broken the camel’s back, Koopman had enumerated a number of issues affecting the team which he was not responsible for.
After drawing with Dreams FC in Accra, Koopman told the media that he was yet to identify his best starting team and blamed Congolese striker Kashala Wanet for the team’s failure to win games because he missed their chances.
He again told the media after drawing with Samartex that neither he, nor his technical staff nor the playing body should be blamed for the lack of goals which he said was a general problem with Ghana football.
Then from nowhere, Koopman guided the Phobians to upset Medeama 3-1 in Accra and gave an assurance that the team would soon overcome the goal drought.
Coming from the back of that authoritative feat over high-flying Medeama, fans had high expectation to sustain that performance with a second consecutive win over the Royals.
However, they failed to score from the several chances they created as the fans intensified calls for his sack.
That may have prompted the boldest call of not been scared of a sack.
Definitely, Koopman’s exit, which Hearts explained as a move to restructure the team’s technical department, will surely prove whether he was right or wrong with his calls.
If he is proven right or wrong, it would still not erase the thinking that the sack was the price to pay for opening his mouth too wide.
However, it exposes Hearts as a team with the notoriety to hire and fire at will or a club living to the tagline associated with the coaching job.
By Andrew Nortey