Happy new month everyone, good to have you all back and safe for September. The first full weekend of September will be a FIFA weekend and what does that mean? The World Cup qualifiers are here. Thoroughly known to you at this moment is that Kenya is out of the running to qualify for the Brazil festivities next year but you’ll be all glad to note Namibia will be visiting and a chance to watch the lads perform at Kasarani again.
Coach Adel Amrouche already called to camp 27 players for the assignment but expects to drop a few as foreign based players’ troop into the country. The last time Kenya played at the stadium a lone Ahmed Musa goal broke Kenyan hearts and hoping the same doesn’t happen again this time round, the fans should be in for a real treat of football. COSAFA 2013 must have been a good chance for the coach to watch the Brave Warriors- Plate semi-finalists themselves, it’s no mean assumption- they will be up for a fight.
Drops and Dennis
Earlier above as mentioned, a few players will be dropped but as is norm- foreign based players seem to always find their way into the squad. In the past, fans from across the board have bemoaned this type of squad selection as it gives ‘overrated and unfit’ players a chance above those who’ve already jelled into the training system and whose only crime might be they play in the local league.
It’s interesting that in the wake of Oliech’s return to the National team after the suspension that left him out of the team against Nigeria- Wanyama will lead the squad out, a situation that is somewhat unfamiliar for Dennis in the current National team setup. Will Amrouche go a step further and drop Dennis to the Bench or even leave him out of the squad all together when he names his final list?
Let’s not lie to ourselves, No striker in this country seems to have the ability so far to replace Oliech. While we may all want to point out the lack of our league/country to be able to nurture outright finishers, it’s also wise to note that not several chances have been given to other players. Either as free roaming assistants to Dennis or outright number two’s to ‘the menace’.
You can imagine that while we have replaced virtually every player that took part in the only AFCON competition Oliech has ever taken part in, we have never replaced this one man. Some would argue he was only 18 then but how long does it take to polish up a striker to fit his shoes? 9 years it’s been and even if we went for the lowest measure of player age, a 9/10 year old then is proudly now seeking a position into a first team in a club somewhere.
Captaincy, Leadership, Mentorship
Probably the greatest import right now Kenya has out there, the national team captain Victor Wanyama must be revelling in all the publicity he is receiving not just at home but even abroad. Not a bad start for his Southampton Career, he would be seeking to replicate the good form against Namibia for Kenya.
Dennis must have had his time surely, enter Captain Victor. So many years ahead of him, shown so much discipline so far, must be glad to be captain at only 22 but so much rests on his shoulders. Kenya is a funny country, the federation even funnier. The captain is the leader of the pack and everyone looks up to him. So many times for sure he is gonna be called up to deal with issues of players, the federation, coaches, discipline just to mention a few- all that need level heads. With a few seniors in the side, how he handles them will be key to a smooth transition from one era to another while for the younger- wise counsel would come handy as firm actions define his captaincy stint.
Rnkings released on 8th August placed Kenya at a whooping position 129 dropping 6 places from the previous 123. Worrying moments for the country and the coach and with a FIFA date passed without the country taking part in a friendly- Amrouche will be under pressure more than ever.
Only God supports the Harambee Stars
Not a fair statement from the coach in all honesty- So many people, so may corporates would love to help but his employers make it agonisingly hard. Can’t be the first time we complain about kits, about money for the national team, can’t be (READ MBAO NA BAO)
Football fans in this country must be suddenly having that sickening feeling again when we talk rankings, a loss might push us even further to the 130’s- a draw might not do much change- so in all fairness the best option currently would be a win. But just yet before you and I celebrate the win, are we ready, are we prepared?
See the FIFA World Cup Qualifier Group table below;