Harambee Stars; Importance of building team around an idea not an individual

It’s almost a week since the Harambee Stars lost to Nigeria- it’s almost like everything has gone back to normal, it’s also like ‘everything’ too has popped up and now the media enjoy playing with it forgetting the main ingredient of the National team- which is every individual involved.
It’s fast becoming a reality that institutions in this country- football included are based on individuals and not ideologies and thoughts of growth. It’s a shame that when the Harambee Stars team sheet is read- a few names must make it or the media/certain individuals will roast the coach.
Amrouche might have been hired on the promise that he will change this fact and turn our fortunes for the better. Right now it’s hard to judge whether he’s achieved or is on the road to achieving that but one thing for sure is- two matches into the job, it isn’t easy.
Let’s not blame the coach for the striking woes that have dogged the team or even point fingers at his advisers; the fact that we have over-relied on one man for so long without grooming another haunts us.
Others haven’t stepped to the plate some would argue- true as it may seem, it still returns us to the point I was talking about- lack of an idea that runs the team and not an individual. How are new strikers ever going to get a chance at the National team when the same individuals who run the team always call on one player to lead the fray when duty calls? How are other strikers ever gonna get a chance when the same people who look down upon them are still called in as advisers to any new coach who’s got no knowledge of the local players?
In short, we have made Kenyans believe one man is indispensable and even a new coach with the same old advisers would face so much criticism for trying to do the same.
For the case of Dennis Oliech- I wouldn’t be sure of what to say but the accumulation of yellow cards that led to his suspension by CAF from the Kenya v Nigeria tie didn’t come at the best time- actually no suspension comes at a good time.
 For the country- the consequences well laid out at Kasarani on Wednesday 5th June while for him, something that was temporarily gone to another star in the name of an armband might just never return.
The situations we look at here are both tricky and need lot’s of level head when addressing.
Dennis is a star for the National team and has led the strike force of this country for close to a decade now. Lot’s of things have taken place over the past few years but his commitment to representing his country forever stands out. A matter of him absconding duty for the national team shouldn’t even be in the cards but if- and a big IF then something must be the matter.
Secondly- the armband as it is believed represents the leader on the pitch and even off it too. Dennis in all respect- has proven this over and over again and it’s not the fact that Kenyan couldn’t score against Nigeria that proved this but it’s there for everyone to see. Wanyama is equally a good player- young- still so many years ahead of him and also a good leader on and off the pitch.
Amrouche might argue that he wants to build a team around the young crop of players coming up but soon the fact that even young squads are built on a few seniors around them. Dennis represents an entire crop of seniors and doing away with him completely would herald a new beginning but at the same time start the seniors’ v juniors’ war.
Coaches who have made it the world over have been noted to know the balance between ego and performance. Amrouche is a top coach I believe and should know this too well. At a time when the country has no dependable striker- a fact he has noted himself and with two stars who I guess have very good relation with each other, it would only be wise to have selected a captain in the presence of both of them.
Dennis wasn’t available when Victor was selected captain, Dennis might want in all sincerity to try and make his way back to the team but the camp might not be welcoming with all these issues that have played in the media and even the federation threatening with a punishment.
Let’s not condone misbehavior and indiscipline but let’s also never come to conclusions that quick.
For a team that might never make the 2014World Cup but hope to make the 2015 AFCON tourney- every player needs to feel he is star not just a few. Structures that make the team more competitive and that rules out a few automatic names in the first XI needs to be implemented by the coach.
The moment a few names are deemed automatic- it gets into these players heads too. Can we make our players believe any of them can be dropped; any of them can be overlooked for another talent. That way, all this hullabaloo will come to an end.
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One Comment
  1. A good article, we have a wide base of getting sports men and women in Kenya, but our methods are not right. the national school games and sports can easily draw a formidable team for our countries in all disciplines

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