Monrovia-Liberia Football Analyst Wleh Bedell has Congratulated   Ansumana Keita for his appointment as Head Coach of the Senior National Team of Liberia the Lone Star and believe the new Lone Star coach can give Liberia the needed result.

By: Wleh Bedell

The tactician joins the long list of indigenous coaches who have served at the helm as coaches of the Lone Star which includes a plethora of respected coaches taking care of technical matters for more than three decades.

The likes of Josiah Nagbe Johnson, Walter Pelham, Wilfred Tijani “Green Banana” Lardner, Victor Sieh, Patrick Teah, Manneh Peters, Kadalla Kromah, Dominic Vavá George, Frank Jericho Nagbe, Thomas Kojo, Joseph Kaetu Smith and James Salinas Debbah have all come and gone as they contributed to the team in various competitions.

Arguably the most outstanding

were Josiah Johnson leading the team to win the 1979 six-Nations tournament at the expense of Gambia Scorpions at the ATS, Wilfred Lardner led the team to its first Afcon finals at the 1996 edition in South Africa and the duo of Dominic Vava George and Frank Jericho Nagbe with the aid of Technical Director and linchpin George Weah in the thick of things that qualified for the Mali 2002 Afcon, the second for the Lone Star.

The Canada based coach Keita has shown he has the technical nuance by evidence of his exemplary work with the national U-15 and U-17 with the latter playing style catching the eyes of football connoisseurs in and out of Liberia. It was a risk Keita took to come home to embark on such a Herculean task of venturing into youth football as there was literally not a well structured youth set up, but proved he is a proponent of scintillating style football as his lads entertaining performances won the hearts of many.

Progress for Keita

The qualm that Keita should stay with the U-17 cannot hold water as people transition, make progress and the appointment of the coach is welcoming and is in the best interest of football development.

Let us not forget that FIFA World Cup  2022 winning coach from Argentina, Lionel Scaloni was promoted from the National U-20 as caretaker coach and ended up winning the Copa America and the World Cup. Also, Spain has appointed the former U-19, U-21 and U-23 coach Luis De La Feute as a replacement for Luiz Enrique on the senior national team as everyone yearns to make progress or be promoted.

Support is Key

While the appointment of Coach Keita is welcoming, one key issue is the much needed support from government which would serve as an impetus for good performance. Funding must not be held back on grounds of various excuses as where there is a lack

of adequate funding for the team which would serve as a motivation for the players and technical crew, the expectations should not be too high of the team grinding the much needed results.

Players Must Earn Selection

With Keita doing the hardest work of working with the youth team, he must ensure the players on the senior national team  earn their selection or call-up. Their form, performance and other factors must make them to be in the fold as there should be no untouchables.

Embrace Criticism

Over the last few years, Coach Keita has shown tolerance and has a thick skin as he has endured and embraced criticism, same that should continue in his new role as head coach of the senior national team. Argentina’s coach Scaloni upon being appointed in 2018, was heavily criticized by the legendary Diego Maradona who said he was only “good at directing  traffic”but not to coach the  Argentina national team. The coach was quiet as he allowed his work to do the talking.


Like any coach, Keita is not coming with a magic wand, but With time, the much loved “Tao-Tao” possession style football will work as the coach must be allowed to Instill his philosophy into the team. We look forward to the team having an identity with the best players at home and abroad bought in for the results as South Africa come knocking in March for the second group ticket for Ivory Coast 2022 Afcon. Making the team more competitive is vital.

Third Afcon Berth Not Impossible…But

Keita could lead the Lone Star to their Third Afcon final but support in terms of finance is key. No money, just forget it.

All the best coach Keita and all the best to the rest of the technical crew.