By Roland Mulbah
The senior national team of Liberia, Lone Star, under the tutelage of former international ‘miracle man’, James Salinsa Debbah as coach, is expected to play a two-legged tie, home and away against Guinea Bissau on October 8 and 13, 2015 in the preliminary round of the 2018 world cup qualifier.
The Lone Star, after a 1-0 win over the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia on September 5, 2015 in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, must invite more players for the two leg qualifier against Guinea Bissau.
Though the team that beat the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia is respectable, Coach James Salinsa Debbah is urged to maintain the current squad and scout for few talents to make the team a formidable one that will compete not only against Guinea Bissau in the two legs which will be played in five days, but to compete for silver wear as far as football is concerned.
Liberia’s Lone Star technical staff led by Debbah must invite more players to avoid fatigue and injury on the part of the players who will be engaging Guinea Bissau in five days in such a crucial competition.
Dioh Williams, who plies his trade in Sweden with Allsvenskanside Gefle IF will be a crucial addition since he is very experienced and has more goals and assists to his credit as far as playing for the national team is concerned.The last time he played for Liberia was in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Namibia in a 1-0 win against Namibia at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.
Another great addition could be Patrick ‘Ronaldinho’ Wleh, who plays as a striker for PKNS F.C. in the Malaysia Premier League.
The burly striker, who was a delight to watch against Liverpool when he featured for Malaysia XI and scored against the Premier League side, was excluded by the Debbah-led technical staff in the first two matches of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Togo and Tunisia which the Lone Star technical staff was seriously criticized in many quarters.
Born in Monrovia, Liberia, Patrick Wleh started playing football in his local community, Logan Town where fans quickly named him Ronaldinho for his physical morphology and his dazzling skills.
Marcus Macauley,who showcases his talent with Al-Ahli in Jordan, can add zest to the red, white and blue outfit in the middle of the park as well as the striking role as he is versatile.
He can feature as an attacking and defensive midfielder and can also operate as a striker with a fantastic goal scoring ability.
The last time Macauley played for Liberia’s Lone Star was against Angola where he scored the country’s lone goal in a 4-1 defeat.
In fact,of the currently generation of Lone Star, Marcus Macauley holds the record as the player with the best average goal per match as far as playing for Liberia is concerned.
He has played fewer games for the national team of Liberia, but scored five times equaled with Francis ‘Grandpa’ Forkey Doe and Dioh Williams.
The technical staff must be reminded that if Liberia qualifies against Guinea Bissau in both legs, the next will be against a formidable side like the Elephant of Ivory Coast in November.
If the technical staff sticks with the current squad and injury or suspension come to the fore, the red, white and blue outfit will be in serious trouble.
Like Liberia’s foremost football analyst, Wleh Bedell said, every good team needs a good or strong bench, something the Lone Star must be keen on. The substitutes must be as good or almost good as the starters, and there is a serious need to encourage more competition to enable the best come out of every player. Thus, more players of quality need to be invited.
Lastly, the technical staff must also invitea genuine playmaker who could provide the defense splitting pass, the final ball and penetration for the strikers to get the ultimate. An influential playmaker is greatly needed if Lone Star wants to make inroads in the various competitions.