Ghana Football Association is thinking of replacing Chris Houghton, per reports in the local media.
Chris Houghton has been in charge of the Black Stars since February 2023. The 64-year-old English-born former Irish International has been in charge for almost 9 months.
Here, SPORTSWORLDGHANA digs deeper into why he should not be sacked before the AFCON.
Before his appointment
Ghana under interim coach Otto Addo won one game at the Qatar 2022 World Cup and lost two games which led to their exit from the group alongside Portugal, South Korea and Uruguay. Ghana finished bottom of the group. As a result of the poor performance in Qatar, changes were needed at the helm of the Black Stars coaching department.
Otto Addo honourably resigned as the head coach of the team after elimination.
Chris Houghton’s Appointment
On 12th February 2023, Chris Hughton was appointed as the main head coach of the Ghana national team after serving as a head coach alongside Otto Addo until December 2022. The FA didn’t hesitate to appoint him as he was the clear option for the job
The ex-Tottenham defender is in his 9th month as the head coach of the Black Stars.
How the team has fared so far
He has been in charge of 7 games with three wins, two draws and 2 defeats. He has a win percentage of 42.86%.
In charge of his first game, Ghana undeservedly won 1-0 against Angola with the winner scored by Antoine Semenyo at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi in the 3rd game of the 2023 AFCON qualifiers. A return fixture in Luanda saw Ghana improve in the second half after going down by Lucas Joao’s penalty kick in the 51st minute. Osman Bukari’s Equaliser secured a point for Ghana.
In MD5, Ghana uninspiringly drew 0-0 in Mozambique and won 2-1 in their last match vs Central Africa Republic after bouncing back from a goal down. Mohammed Kudus scored the equaliser and Ernest Nuamah won it in the 88th minute.
Ghanaians bemoaned the performance of the Black Stars that day. They feared the worst for Ghana if the team played against decent opponents.
Next was a 3-1 victory over Liberia in a friendly game at the Accra Sports Stadium.
In came two descent opponents in North America. USA and Mexico destroyed Ghana by 6-0 combined. Mexico won by 2-0 with Ghana not having a single shot on target while the USA showed how inferior Ghana is in 4-0 thumping within 39 minutes.
In the seven games played so far, much improvement has not been seen with Ghana struggling to create chances and also score. Seven goals have been scored and 9 conceded.
Inaki Williams continues to struggle simply because he is not getting the chances from the playmakers; Mo Kudus, Jordan Ayew, Kamaldeen Sulemana, Ernest Nuamah, Thomas Partey, Antoine Semenyo, Osman Bukari and Joseph Paintsil.
Our defence continues to be our Achilles heel. Daniel Amartey, Alex Djiku and Victor Aidoo have been Chris Houghton’s reasonable favourite choices. Salisu Mohammed has not been regularly available due to injuries. The Opoku’s partnership against the USA was suicidal.
9 Goals have been considered which is very poor for the team.
The problems with the fullbacks have not been solved with Alidu Seidu, Baba Rahman and Gideon Mensah still his favourites. Tariq Lamptey has been very inconsistent due to many injuries.
Salis Abdul Samed, Thomas Partey Elisha Owusu and Edmund Addo have not formed that formidable double pivot the coach expects.
The team has not fared so great at all under his tutelage considering so many factors.
Why the FA must not sack him
71 days before the biggest showdown on the continent in Ivory Coast, no serious team will touch its coach. The favourites are all sticking to their manager albeit they have been doing well recently than Ghana.
Senegal, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Cameroon and Tunisia are thinking about the way to win the trophy but not to sack their respective managers.
Chris Houghton must be the man to take Black Stars to Ivory Coast because any new manager will struggle to put the pieces together and end our 41-year wait for the coveted trophy although Chris Houghton is not expected to win the AFCON 2023. No need to touch Chrish Houghton because the competition is in 2 months.
Ghana is in group B with Egypt, Cape Verde and Mozambique. Ghana will commence their campaign with a fixture against Cape Verde on 14th January 2024 on matchday 1.
Egypt and Mozambique follow in the group stage on the 18th and 22nd respectively.
AFCON 2024 officially begins on 13th January 2024 with the host Ivory Coast playing against Guinea Bissau.