THE ‘BORBOR’ EFFECT: How Liberty Professionals Are Turning Their Season Around
As the Ghana Premier League — 2020/21 edition — rolled to half-time some weeks ago, it looked as though Liberty Professionals were on their way back to the Division One League after more than two decades of top-flight action.
There had been some frights in recent years, but the latest seemed worryingly real. Liberty had picked up just three wins and 15 points from 17 games, having also lost head coach David Ocloo, and hope was fast running out.
The turnaround sought, not long into the second round, has certainly come, following the appointment of Sellas Tetteh — a man who thoroughly understands Liberty’s DNA and the ‘science’ that once made them tick — as head coach.
Tetteh has seen and done it all, even winning a FIFA World Cup, and would have fancied the task at hand. Thus far, Tetteh — in his third stint at Liberty — is doing very well, steering the team to three consecutive victories and to 14th place on the league table.
It isn’t a huge leap, but they’re heading the right way, and there has been an undeniable resurgence among the squad.
But just how, exactly, are Liberty — and Tetteh — doing it?
Tetteh, without a doubt, has brought a new sense of determination and motivation to the dressing room that has reflected in recent performances and the accompanying stats.
The blueprint for Liberty’s newfound success has been a rigid 4-2-3-1 formation which has made them incredibly compact and difficult to play through.
Liberty’s spine — comprised of Yahaya Adramani, Evans Owusu, Samuel Amofa and Razak Simpson — is now firm, no longer flimsy, and does the basics at the back; just ahead, the pairing of George Amoako and Prosper Ahiabu provides another layer of solidity.
Abraham Wayo is being used to maximum effect on the break, while the pace of Amadu Adamu — has a nice ring to it, eh? — was employed in repeatedly exploiting Berekum Chelsea’s lateral channels in Saturday’s 2-0 win.
Those tactical tweaks have worked a treat, a nod to Tetteh’s tactical nous, but the high level of discipline he has injected into Liberty’s game has definitely helped, too.
It was evident in how hard Wayo worked to track back for the team against Chelsea, with the fashionable yet effective Owusu seemingly reinventing himself as an imposing left-back.
That combination of personnel makes Liberty not only a dangerous counter-attacking side, but also a difficult proposition to beat in the air or on the deck. That, they’d hope, might just be the formula required to fully bring Liberty back from the brink.
The progress made, even if only across a handful of games, suggests Liberty had more fight in them than anyone could have anticipated — and they might just have some more in the reserves to complete a stunning reversal of fortunes.