It’s been a long six weeks or so for Kotoko, but at last they have their new manager in place.
Dr. Prosper Narteh Ogum is the man tasked with leading the Porcupine Warriors’ next chapter, and he has quite the job on his hands.
The task at hand would be enough to scare off even the most battle-hardened of managers. So, there are understandable reservations over whether Ogum, with no experience of managing a major club before taking the Kotoko job, is the right man to steady the ship.
Ogum’s journey to the top of Ghanaian football and the hipster’s choice is unique. Of course, just working for WAFA and Karela United doesn’t qualify you to work for Kotoko, but it’s important to understand why Ogum never lifted a notable trophy.
He is noted for his dynamic, thrilling play focused on high pressure, quick passing and ball retention. His obsessive attention to detail goes beyond moving in tandem; meticulously preparing his players for their individual opponents and mapping out set pieces.
It’s not just individual performances that need lifting at Kotoko. The players seriously need a confidence boost after a season of Mariano Barreto’s relentless criticism. Constantly telling the players they will “suffer” at the hands of opponents and that more signings are needed to compete undoubtedly weakens his players. But, as a sports psychologist and a university lecturer, Ogum’s competence and nous will surely lift the value of the players and their self-confidence.
You don’t have to dig too deep beneath the surface of his career so far to learn that the Ogum years could be a fun ride. He prioritises attacking football and taking risks, and this philosophy bled through at WAFA, who were one of the best teams to watch in the Ghanaian top-flight league during his two-year tenure.
His career has had highs and lows, he’s learned from the depths of amateur football. Will he succeed at Kotoko? That’s an impossible question to answer until the season starts.
What we know for sure, however, is that Ogum is an exciting, adaptable young coach who is still learning the job. He’s also a fearsome character who takes no prisoners in all aspects of his life.