The Hearts second half magic! – Real or imaginary?

Coach Papic -what's the secret?
Coach Papic -what's the secret?

Accra Hearts of Oak are already enjoying a very good run of form in the Glo Premier league.

The Phobians lead the league standings after the seventh week with 16 points.
But a cursory look at their goal scoring abilities this season reveals that most of their goals were scored during second half performances.

Hearts have so far scored eight goals out of a total goal haul of 10 during their second half performances.

When asked what might be the cause of the team’s second half resurgence, Hearts coach Kosta Papic gave two possible reasons – team spirit and sheer coincidence.

Indeed, admittedly, the team has gradually gathered steam after a shaky start in  the season. Despite not playing the best football they still managed to score and eventually end up as winners.

Well, that is characteristic of a good team because teams do not necessarily have to play that well week in week out to win matches.

There are stories being told about how Papic inspires his team especially after drab first half performances and in the process gets the best out of them.

But could it all be by sheer coincidence?

The victories won by the Phobians have a common attribute.  The opposite teams are presented with several goal scoring chances which they fail to take advantage of and in the end they lose.

Serbian coach Kosta Papic has complained on countless occasions in post match interviews about the attitude of his players despite winning matches.

Simply put, the players were at a loss as to what the Serbian was trying to impact into them but yet still managed to defeat four teams at the Ohene Djan stadium- including Sporting Mirren, Kessben FC, and Gamba All Blacks.

Their best away performance to date has been the 2:1 win over RTU in the week seven encounter at the Tamale Stadium with the only blemish being the comprehensive 2:0 loss to league debutants Bechem Chelsea at Sunyani

From afar, Papic seems to be the type who likes the patient approach to games. He usually wants the attack to be developed from the full backs with occasional breaks down the middle.

But try explaining that to any Phobian supporter who has been to any of their recent matches and I’m sure you will be given a weird look!

The truth is Hearts of Oak has failed to gel for a long time since the team placed a disappointing 8th in the last league season.

The midfield gelled for long periods during their last home encounter against Gamba All Blacks but they lacked width. Hearts were generally narrow in the attacks.  No wonder left full back Michael Donkor’s provided the two passes  that led to the two goals.

Well, it is only time that will reveal the true nature of the character behind the output. It is yet to be seen if there is indeed a secret behind “Hearts’s second half miracle”.  It is yet to be seen if the big games against Liberty Professionals, Tema Youth and Kpando Hearts of Lion would give a clue to that.

By Kofi Amozi

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