Amrouche is stealing his way into Kenyan hearts but should watch it

Wasn’t the toughest of assignments, but all the same the pride is in that the Harambee Stars still have a chance to make it to Morocco 2015.

The storyline before this was ‘what if’, however as soon as an Ayub Timbe free kick finally put the difference between Kenya and daylight, the narrative quickly changed. The high-fives weren’t perfect, some bent, others raised- they all didn’t have to be the same, after all the score line like in Nairobi a fortnight ago was similar in a certain sense.

The level of relief amongst the fans wasn’t heavy and understandably so taking into account Comoros’ pedigree (with all due respect), however the baby steps towards the prevention of the same in this fixture was bent on a good first half; one that albeit scrappy was eventually attained.

You can’t fail to start having a liking for Amrouche despite the many frustrations supporting the Harambee Stars has put us through over the years. It doesn’t have to be convincing, being over the first hurdle erased the pain of the 180 minutes.

If in January 2011 you happened to watch the Kenya 1-5 Egypt in the Nile Cup, you would thoroughly agree, Kenya has come a long way into being tactically a sound side even though ‘sound might be far from perfection’.

Like written in the previous blog today, this match was meant for two things

  1. To underline that Amrouche was the coach and that he believes and knows what he is doing.
  2. To chart a path for the future and to make it known to the players it’s more collective rather than individualism.

If at the end of the 90 minutes none of us was convinced, I think the first seventy-five minutes should have done enough in confirming the same.

The last fifteen minutes that might never be accounted for as is also the last five minutes away in Calabar (incidentally both have been away from home and resulted into a goal conceded each) perhaps is one deficiency our coach needs to work on.

Coaches like players tend to lose themselves in the moment, striving for perfection and more than ever losing their heads.

The fans will always be critical about the outcome of such events especially if they cost the team in one way or another; in spite of such, the contrary is a beautiful story that needs to be written more often; it might be the fear of imperfection and the need for a perfect record away from home.

Referees are always going to be at the centre of things; however their story should remain on the pitch, not on headlines especially in matches involving the national team (passionate is what they are).

Amrouche needs to understand that, just like his players from whom he demands lots of perfection and discipline, the referee demands the latter from him just as he demands fairness (near perfection) from the man at the centre.

Amrouche has certainly warmed our hearts, given us hope and made us believe again- he however must not push it too hard, perhaps use that energy- in pushing the players further, he and them need it.

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