Exclusive: Hearts part ways with Herbert Addo ‘by mutual consent’

first_imgHerbert Addo has parted way with Hearts of Oak by mutual consent, according to several Joy Sports sources within the club.The embattled coach has seen his stock drop sharply for months now, especially in the wake of the exits from the Caf Confederations Cup and the MTN FA Cup.”An official statement will be given in the coming hours, but I can confirm that Herbert Addo will not be our coach when we play our next game,” one source said.Another source added: “We had high hopes for the team but a combination of factors have led to this point and we had to agree that this is best for both sides.”Hearts have had a disastrous season, having never been more than 8th position this entire campaign – and they are staring down the relegation barrel with nine matches to go.Joy Sports had reported a three-match ultimatum for the coach early last week, a story the team’s hierarchy had rubbished at the time. His appointment David Duncan had been sacked, Mohammed Polo had taken over and that affair also lasted just six months.The scale of the hatred between fans and the dribbling magician rendered the relationship untenable, so Polo had to go and his deal was not renewed.A period of scouting was done quietly and Herbert Addo was mentioned as Polo’s heir. A colourful unveiling was done on July 31 at the premises of Metro TV (above, pictured). “This is evidence of where we want to take Accra Hearts of Oak to, we want to win the upcoming league and more that’s why we have gone for the best coach in the land,” gushed Togbe Afede XIV, the team’s board chair.“We want to establish Hearts of Oak as an international club way beyond Ghana and Africa. Coach Addo, it’s a great honour for us to have you. We look forward to working with you and we look forward to celebrating victory after victory, glory after glory.“We want to return to the days when we were ranked the 8th best club in the world and we believe you can do it. The sky is the limit.”In the end, Herbert could not even reach for the clouds.The beginning Addo, notoriously picky with those he works with, was given the laxity to get a back-room team. They were introduced together with him that Thursday afternoon.Sabahn Quaye made a return to the club as Team Manager, Edward Ansah also came back as goalkeepers’ trainer, with Dauda Lutterodt as youth coach and Stephen Abugri as assistant coach.His immediate past record after an impressive season with Inter Allies had put him in a good position, after charging them up the league table into the top six when relegation was looking certain for the Tema-based club. Herbert even got them to the FA Cup final, where they lost to Kotoko.Pre-seasonBetween the time Herbert took over and when this season started, Herbert had the luxury of five months to build a crack team. Before the season started in January this year – due to the protracted court case between King Faisal and the Football Association – Addo had been one of the coaches excited about the extended period of inactivity.“For me the fact that the league has not started is quite positive because it gives my team the chance to play a lot of practice matches as we seek to know each other more.”His comments came in the wake of the massive player overhauling Addo supervised in the hope of building a winsome Phobian side for the future.He brought in close to ten players, including Foovi Aguidi, Issah Mumuni, Soulama Abdoulaye and Kwame Kizito. Others were Hamza Mohammed, Leonard Tawiah, Seidu Mutawakilu and Isaac Oduro as well as Vincent Atinga. Hearts fans expected an exciting season. What they got was plenty heartache.The seasonHis remit was simple: to better the Phobians’ third-place finish from last season, when Polo had allowed Hearts to be bettered by Kotoko and Heart of Lions.The dream to restore the Phobian glory started well, as Herbert led his team to a 1-0 win against WAFA. But soon, the knives were out.Critics started pointed out that the coach was tinkering with his side too many times, as he regularly failed to trot out starting lineups fans agreed with. And most of the time, the fans were right as his teams failed to gel, or to win. Indeed, his savior in the first ten games or so was Gilbert Fiamenyo whose red-hot form earned him the name Lewandowski. By the end of March, the bulky striker had eight goals, which gave Herbert some reprieve.But soon, the goals stopped. And the murmurings became louder.  The quality of the football was not impressive, too. “Even trapping and passing the ball in a sequence is a problem,” reports Joy Sports Benedict Owusu.But the coach has remained adamant on many occasions that his team needs time to find a rhythm and the veteran has regularly taken his players to the cleaners for their poor showing.Key momentsThe defeat to Esperance was probably a crucial tipping point.The coach severely wounded the pride of his club when, after a 5-1 aggregate thrashing in the Caf Confederations Cup to Esperance, he declared Hearts unprofessional.A day later, board member Frank Nelson was in the Joy FM studios defending him.  “Herbert  Addo was giving a judgmental statement based on what he saw in Tunis,” said Nelson.All this was after the team had successfully beaten three teams to reach the cusp of the money zone. But it proved a step too far and in many ways, was the beginning of the end.High pointsHerbert will be remembered for beating Kotoko in the league and winning the Presidents’ Cup on July 1, also against their archrivals.He was hailed after finishing AS Police, Olympique d’Ngor, and Djoliba on his way to meeting Esperance.The low points Major sources of critique included league losses to Hasaacas and Edubiase. The Hasaacas loss was the first time the Sekondi side had won this millennium in Accra while Edubiase, who have had a poor season as well, surprised pundits with the 2-1 in Accra.Also of interest was the exit from from the FA Cup at the weekend, which was the final straw.SuccessorJoy Sports had reported earlier on Tuesday that former Amidaus boss Tony Lokko had agreed personal terms, and at the time of this report, it looked likely he would succeed Herbert at Hearts.No official response from the club has been forthcoming on that story.RecordPlayed: 38 matches, Wins: 16, Draws: 12, Lost: 10–Follow Gary on Twitter @garyalsmith. Get more with the #JoySports hashtag on Facebook/Twitter.last_img read more