SAASIA: High turnover of coaches hurting local football
Every time news emerge that a coach has been sacked in the Kenyan Premier League(KPL) I always ask myself; what if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, former Arsenal tactician Arsene Wenger or even David Moyes were coaches in the local scene?
Let’s start with Wenger, of course not because I am an Arsenal fan
The tactician never won a single trophy with the North London side for over a decade. Years of pain, struggle and heartbreak saw the Gunners drop to ‘Top Four contenders’ while their trophy cabinet fast gathered dust.
Moving on to Moyes, the Scotsman found Manchester United at the top when he joined from Everton, a club he had coached for 11 years.
The Red Devils were champions of England, an unmatched side with the retiring Sir Alex Ferguson having made the team the most successful club in the country in his 25-year long stay.
Suddenly, they finished seventh on the English Premier League log that season.
While fans expressed their displeasure with the poor results the team posted the management “firmly backed the manager”.
Wenger would not have survived his second trophy-less season if he was in Kenya, worse still, Moyes would be jobless after five winless games.
The two, holding on in their jobs that time, showed the huge contrast between the European model and largely, the African model of club management. Patience is the key virtue.
Moving on to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the thrilling 2-0 defeat at home against bottom placed Watford was a topsy-turvy affair, both on and off the pitch, and for Solskjaer’s prospects of remaining in the Old Trafford hot seat.
The Red Devils have fewer points from their opening 20 games than in any season since 1988-89 but Ole till holds in his job.
Coming back to Kenya, up until match day 19 of the 2019/20 season of the Kenyan Premier League, Sudi based Millers Nzoia have changed coaches three times; money bags Wazito has followed suit and so is Bandari who fired head coach Bernard Mwalala earlier today.
Medo Melis (Sofapaka)
The Egyptian-born American Medo took charge of the 2009 champions in November last year after a stint with Mount Kenya United, formerly Nakumatt FC.
He however became the second coach to part ways with his team in the Premier League after Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo was axed by Posta Rangers.
At that time, Batoto ba Mungu had a spluttering start to the season managing just a single win, four draws and two defeats in seven matches.
Medo joined Wazito but resigned just barely a month into his job.
John Stewart Hall taking over at Wazito
Stewart previously coached AFC Leopards, Sofapaka, Tanzania’s Azam and St Georges of Ethiopia, among other teams but is now working round the clock to steady the Wazito ship.
Nicholas Muyoti(Nzoia Sugar)
The former Harambee Stars captain had a short stint with the millers. He ditched Nzoia for Kakamega Homeboyz citing poor working conditions at Sudi.
Godfrey Oduor(Nzoia Sugar)
The former Kibera Black Stars tactician joined the millers as head coach in April only to resign few months later as he opted to work as the deputy to Zedekiah Otieno at KCB.
Nzoia has since hired Collins Omondi; he previously worked with Mathare United, Nairobi Stima, KCB and Mathare Youth Sports Association( MYSA) all in his coaching career.
Bernard Mwalala (Bandari)
After two-and-a -half year stint at the Coastal outfit, Mwalala was shown the door today ending his association with the outfit.He guided the Dockers two runners-up place in the league in two succesive seasons but resulst proved hard to come by this term, joining the long list of coaches who have faced the purge.
Others facing the axe:
William Muluya (Kariobangi Sharks)
Popularly known as ‘Kanu’, the Kariobangi Sharks coach is a man under immense pressure after seeing his team manage just two victories from their opening 17 matches, leaving them 12th on the 17-team Kenyan Premier League table with just 13 points.
For a team that beat English Premier League side Everton at Kasarani Stadium in July, this is an all-time low for the Nick Mwendwa-owned team and has left Muluya on the brink, unless results improve.
POOR CONTRACTS TO BLAME
First things first; do these coaches have contracts? It is a pity that some of our football brains are sacked overnight via text messages! Case in study, former AFC Leopards coach Nandwa was informed of his sacking en-route to Mumias, while in the team bus!
Teams and coaches need to respect contracts. I still wonder if there is any exit clause that protect coaches in their contracts. Are they advised or they just put pen to paper not knowing whether they are tying the hangman’s noose on their necks?
It is high time we put an end to this culture of hiring and firing coaches if indeed we are serious in professionalizing the league.
We all agree that the league is very competitive and results are of essence. However, we will never develop by only putting emphasis on short term results!