The state of Kenyan football is of such immense concern to the masses today that the decay of the national team (clubs included) gives rise to greater outrage than all the scandals in politics, the JKIA fire included.
There is a waste of talent in Kenyan football on a scale that makes it one of the most interesting topics that dominate public discussions .To solve our problems where do we often run to?the foreign coaches of course.
The question being whispered within football circles is whether these coaches offer genuine true excellence or are on a get-rich-quick scheme. The fear is that the football administration do not go far enough to reach the vital importance to the development of Kenyan talent. The coaches.
As Brennen Matthews (East African Destination Magazine Editor) once told me, as Africans we inherently assume that the inferior things belong to us, the best things are for the ‘mzungu’. We have been brainwashed into believing that everything European is superior—and which is why local coaches in the premier league are not given the requisite support they deserve to succeed. Some foreign coaches have been “recycled” and come to our beautiful continent with the sole purpose of enriching themselves financially because they do not make the grade back home (Europe).
Tacticians like the late Fabisch (may his soul R.I.P.) and Gerry Saurerare the caliber of foreign coaches that we should employ to pass on their technical know-howand develop our game, rather than the “fly-by-nights” (Antoine Hey) who we regularly import like those cupboards on wheels (Probox, 1000 apologies if you own one).
Club owners are guilty of refusing to invest in local coaches and revert to stale excuses, claiming that our coaches are inexperienced. Where are they going to get the experience from if you do not give them a chance?
I am full of praise for Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi, the man (Nigerian) who led Nigeria to glory in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations( AFCON). A man who has stood firm and refused to give credence to the perceived superiority of all things European. Hassan Shehata (Egyptian) has also demystified the myth by leading Egypt, the most successful nation in AFCON history to glory on three occasions.
This is certainly not to say that Europeans do not add something to our game. They have changed the eye soaring culture(kick and hope football) of players sprinting down the wing and then pumping crosses into the box in the hope that someone will bundle the ball into the net. Earlier, football had no rhythm, no soul, no excitement. The game was one dimensional and boring and fans either would stay away or would rather spend their time elsewhere than fill the stadiums.
How things have quickly changed, and with whose help you may ask? The foreign coaches of course. They sometimes seem to possess a miraculous antidote that heals any fledgling squad. Look at Luc Eymael’s AFC Leopards; they were the flavour of the month. So all those passing snide remarks (me included), about him being stranded in Egypt after absconding his managerial duties must be feeling a little bit awkward. The smug Croat, Logarusic, led‘Kogalo’ from the pits of mediocrity to the land of milk and honey. That is the power of knowledge.
Nonetheless, I would rather have them (foreign coaches) as football administrators whose job is to develop the technical capacity of local coaches. Their mission will be to train grassroots coaches and give them the opportunity to make a better version of themselves with the knowledge they have gained. The coaches will in turn pass on the decent football knowledge to other apprentices. It is called the trickle-down effect. It is a product of growing our technical expertise to the point that it can be multiplied several hundred or even thousand times over and in the end,remedying our coaching deficiencies. Knowledge, like money, to be of value it must circulate, and in circulating it can increase in quantity and hopefully, in value. Thank you for reading.