Harambee Stars travelled to Guinea Bissau last week and got beaten. For the first time, we at least saw them play a coherent game of football with clever passes and their intent visible.
What was lacking was some energy and the will to win the game. Towards the end, they showed their suppressed capability by consistently attacking their opponents who resorted to time wasting tactics.
It is very hard to expect Kenya to win a match away from home. Ours has always been a case of heartbreak after heartbreak.
I can even say that I did not expect them to win at all. If I were the new gamblers in town, I wouldn’t place my money on Harambee stars. When I wrote this piece the return leg in Nairobi on Sunday had not been played.
The new coach, Stanley Okumbi made his decision to drop tested players and instead field youngsters from lower leagues.
The young lads were conveniently extracted from Kariobangi Sharks, a team that belongs to the new FKF boss Nick Mwendwa.
Of course Okumbi has the right to choose any Kenyan with ability to the national team but he shouldn’t expect us to be happy with his “choice” - quote intended.
While he was busy pleasing Nick Mwendwa, the entourage going to Guinea was being assembled. All the lovers of par diem and allowances were doing press-ups in anticipation of freebies.
The officials accompanying the team were as many as the players. If our civil service has people doing jobs like “vertical vehicle operator” (those who open and closes the elevator doors in government buildings) then our sports management went a mile better.
This time round, we even had one Mikael Igendia travelling as “sports science consultant”. That is a mouthful of a title and it may seem very important even though we really do not know what duties he was hired for.
There were two government representatives, two FKF logistics people; the chairman of FKF and someone else who went as the head of the delegation, kit managers, media and a whole lot of useless people breathing in that chartered plane.
All in all, the plane left with 16 players and 18 officials. It was a case of more chiefs than Indians.
Of course we have not heard of the usual hitches of allowances of players not being given and that is something to be happy about.
But if the entourage shall be harbouring more officials than players then we must raise the red flag as early as possible since the plane taking our players is not some Noah’s Ark to be filled with motley animals including skunks.
Now that we lost the match, can all those travelling animals justify their inclusion at the expense of other players? Can they brazenly come out and tell us why they went to Guinea Bissau at all? Did they even raise their voices in support of our lads?
We were meant to lose that game and we did lose it. If those per diem lovers did better, then our team should be progressing. With progress, there shall be more trips for them.