We all at one time or the other fancy us as armchair football managers. Whenever things aren’t going too well on the pitch, whether it’s your club side or the national team, a little voice inside our heads – our inner Brian Clough – pipes up. ‘I can do a better job than that clown on the touch’, it says.
I am a victim of such I must admit, especially on a day like today when the Kenyan Premier League is set to award the best of the best- those who’ve made an impact all season long and even those who seem promising- all albeit in the hope that; “will perform wonders tomorrow”.
Today, world over- there is an entire industry devoted to satisfying the managerial cravings of wannabe Wengers, Mourinho’s, Simeone’s name them. It’s further exciting to note that unlike the olden days when Play Stations, Real Football all consisted of players we term ‘European’ it’s now much easier to find the same with players we can easily identify. Our passion is ever and closer getting to fulfilment but the reality is- let fantasy remain as it is.
Watching online views over the past few days or so- not so many fans seem excited with the list of KPL awards nominees- some for reasons thoroughly understandable, others for own reasons- just want to dismiss them.
It’s even further interesting to note, before the critics of the KPL Awards nominees could finally rest their fingers behind their computers- the list for the players that would represent the country at the CECAFA Championships was unveiled. Another chance to slaughter the coach and oh my world- even the players (who I think have no choice when called upon).
You know we live in a really ‘democratic’ society- where using your phone you can pick who goes home on Tusker Project Fame, you can contribute to news broadcasts through texts and mobile phone video clips, you can ‘generate’ user content for Wikipedia- but for heaven’s sake, this is football.
Shall we all be in a country where if ‘our own’ doesn’t get what ‘we think’ they ought to get, then the whole process is a sham? surely not.
Watching the National team play today- the fans, so united in victory but for a single error, a player’s club origin seems to get picked for the blunder. While I wrote in this blog a while back (how football helps explain our society), we can only pray that for the sake of the CECAFA Senior Challenge cup that kicks off in a weeks’ time- club rivalry be put aside.
Not all players we want on the team can surely make it and not all we want out of the team can be thrown out. For reasons best known to each one of us, the coach and the management feels, each player has a task and a responsibility to don the colours of this great republic. The same way we embrace our own at club level, let’s learn to circumfuse the players in the colours of this nation.
So tonight, as the players/referees walk up to receive their various awards, let’s applaud and accord them all the respect they deserve. In the same way too, as players and coaches walk down the tunnel for the CECAFA Championships, let’s all in one accord- trust them with protecting the pride of this country on green grass, chasing after a ball in the hope that, our trust, our unity, our support will never fail us but will forever depict the unity of this nation.
If you and I were to vote today, we might never have a national team- maybe we would never even have a team. For in Unity, strength lies and in discord our greatest weaknesses unmasked.