first_imgMany countless prophets in this country will have to send a message to sports administrators that success in football encounters does not depend on the application of luck.They also must be encouraged to bring a further message that quality in life and all things is not by accident but by planning and adequate preparation.It is a truism in life that those who win are those who prepare to win. The above observation is important because there seems to be an element of apathy when it comes to national team’s preparation.The national soccer team, Lone Star, is scheduled to play against their Lesotho counterparts on May 18, at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.It was only yesterday that the team started their preparation. But perhaps, football authorities are counting on Liberian professionals abroad but starting training in such a short time for such a prestigious encounter is nothing more than preparation to fail.A source has hinted me that some officials of the LFA believe that ten days are enough to prepare a team for any assignment. However, I am yet to see if any of our coaches can support that ‘opinion.’Football authorities have known since last October that Liberia would play Lesotho to qualify to join Group C for the preliminary rounds of the Afcon 2015 and yet nothing was done.Now playing the first leg at home, a good win is the only way to ensure a successful second-leg match in Maseru, Lesotho.Liberia has not had encounters with Lesotho so both countries may be playing in a blind. A brief history of Lesotho football does not reveal much for Liberia to worry about.The Lesotho national football team, nicknamed The Crocodiles, got a first taste in international action in a 2-1 win over Malawi in August 1970. They celebrated their biggest ever win (5-0) over Swaziland in 2006 and suffered their biggest loss 0-7 to Zaire and Ghana in 1993 and 2012 respectively.A small country in Southern Africa, Lesotho has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup and neither qualified for the African Cup of Nations. The team made their biggest breakthrough in football when they finished as runners-up in the COSAFA Cup in 2000.A quick comparison indicates Liberia is ahead of Lesotho but that is no way to remain apathetic in preparing to meet them, since surprises in football makes it necessary to prepare well and ahead of time.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgNewcastle boss Steve McClaren looks set to lose his job after defeat to Bournemouth last weekend.The former England boss has had his press conference cancelled this week as the Newcastle board look to secure a replacement.The Magpies are currently in the relegation zone, one point from safety and, despite having a game in hand, are in serious danger of kicking off next season in the Championship.Should Mike Ashley cast McClaren aside, the two names being mentioned as potential replacements are David Moyes and Rafa Benitez.But who would suit the job of St James’ Park better? talkSPORT investigates.Premier League pedigree:Moyes:While at Everton, Moyes became the third-longest serving manager in Premier League history as he took the Toffees from relegation candidates to Champions League qualifiers. He built teams while on Merseyside and would almost certainly still be there had Manchester United not come calling. But they did, and his time there was nothing short of a failure with Moyes struggling with increased pressure, scrutiny and media attention.Benitez:Benitez has a great pedigree with both Liverpool and Chelsea, finishing second in his penultimate season as Reds manager and third in his only one at Stamford Bridge. His battles with Sir Alex Ferguson ultimately got the better of him at Liverpool as he finished seventh and was swiftly dismissed. Immediate impact:Moyes:Moyes took over Everton on March 14, 2002 with the Toffees in the relegation zone, very similar to the situation Newcastle find themselves in now, and guided them to safety. However his start at Manchester United was the worst in the club’s history.Benitez:Benitez had a slow start at Liverpool in both the league and Champions League – before famously going on to win it – and also at Chelsea. At the Blues he didn’t win his first league game for a month with his first three results ending in two goalless draws and a loss.Verdict:Moyes has the chance to do at Newcastle what he did at Everton with the club in a nearly identical position to that of the Toffees 14 years ago. However, it could all come down to who would work better with Mike Ashley, and Benitez has the experience of difficult bosses than Moyes is lacking. Last job:Moyes: Moyes was sacked after 364 days at Real Sociedad after making the brave decision to go abroad and learn what he could from La Liga. Did okay in his first season, beating Barcelona 1-0, but was dismissed after a poor start to his second season. He also failed, hilariously, to master the Spanish language.Benitez:Despite a strong start at Real Madrid (undefeated in ten) fans and players – most notably Cristiano Ronaldo – were not impressed with his style of play. That pressure eventually grew too much after the 4-0 defeat to Barcelona and trigger-happy president Florentino Perez sacked the Spaniard.Ability to work with a difficult owner (Mike Ashley):Moyes:Moyes has been fairly lucky with his chairmen and enjoyed a fantastic relationship with Everton owner Bill Kenwright during his time at Goodison Park. It was not as smooth at Manchester United due to Ed Woodward being new to the role and neither man able to persuade star signings to join them at Old Trafford.Benitez:Benitez has had experience with working with the most difficult owners/presidents in football in Tom Hicks and George Gillett at Liverpool, Roman Abramovich at Chelsea and Florentino Perez at Madrid. Madrid was the only obvious failure, as was his time at Inter Milan when he was sacked after five months after Massimo Moratti chose to sack him after Benitez’s ‘back me or sack me’ plea. Moyes and Benitez are old rivals from their time on Merseyside 3 3 3last_img read more