The general expectations had been for the Portuguese tactician and his lads to win the Ghana Premier League. He worked tirelessly to meet those expectations, as against strong competition from opponents such as Accra Hearts Of Oak, Accra Great Olympics and other potential league winners.
His team strived to keep the momentum for the league trophy, even though the team has had to honor their home matches outside their favorite Baba Yara Stadium. It must be emphasized, that cannot warrant a cogent argument for almost missing out on the league title.
Before playing Accra Hearts of Oak, Coach Mariano Barreto had played 11 Premier League matches, winning 6, drawing 4 and 1 defeat. 16 goals were scored while conceding 6 goals.
After sharing the summit of the league table, coach Mariano Barreto failed to beat Accra Hearts of Oak in Accra, a game which appears to be the last straw that broke the camel’s back, as some supporters vented their spleen on the tactical approach of Mariano Barreto.
In the midst of heavy criticism by a section of the Kotoko fraternity, Asante Kotoko board member Kwadwo Boateng Genfi leapt to the defence of the Portuguese tactician;
“When you want to use one match to assess a team or the technical aspect of a team, I think it not too far, the reason been that Kotoko, as we speak, is at the second position with 56 points, others (hearts of oak) has done well that is why they’re on top." He told Kumasi FM.
“This doesn’t mean your team or technical handlers is poor, no. Then, those that he won over them, what would they say about their coaches, there are 18 clubs battling for the league title, and we are at the 2nd position, so we have done well, we would have been happy if we are at the top spot and do anything possible to win our remaining matches same as our other opponents, so one cannot say the technical team is poor and must be sack based on the assessment of one match, we have to be fair to them as well."
After Losing To Accra Hearts of Oak
Following the defeat in the super clash, coach Mariano Barreto appears to be on his way out of Asante Kotoko, as he may be pushed out for losing out the league trophy to sworn rivals Accra Hearts of Oak.
If Mariano Barreto is being pushed out of the club, will Asante Kotoko be going after the services of an expatriate coach or comb through the list of local coaches who are capable of leading the club to glory?
Some fans are already calling on management to appoint a competent local coach if the Portuguese leaves at the end of the season. They argue that a local coach knows the dynamics of the domestic league, and can easily win it for the club.
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