The accepted argument is that the heat is on Harambee stars coach Francis Kimanzi and that he should be held responsible for the disappointing results in the 2014 World and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Even Football Kenya Federation,FKF have laid the blame squarely on the coach after a draw at home against Malawi, a 1-0 loss away to Namibia before suffering the same fate a week later to Togo, which laid to rest Kenya’s dream of a trip to South Africa next January.
FKF have questioned his tactics and faulted his selection criteria.
“I cannot criticize the players that I picked,” argued Kimanzi when he returned home early Tuesday from Lome. “It is normal for players’ form to dip time to time. But a single individual cannot affect the performance of a team.”
Coaches are always blamed for a team’s poor form and results and that is not lost on Kimanzi, who’s job is now pegged on a convincing and comprehensive result that would sway his case with his bosses at FKF who have threatened him with the sack.
“As a technical bench we get disappointed even more than the fans with the results we expect don’t come. As a country we need to look at our league and ask ourselves whether we have the quality that can help our national team,” offered Kimanzi who was appointed the national coach last November.
His line of reasoning bent towards absolving himself and his assistants Francis Baraza and Yusuf Chipo from blame.
“It is not easy for me as a coach to introduce young players in the team because no one will give them a chance to grow. We have become a very negative society.”
He was sent off in the dying minutes of their game against Togo, a decision he feels was totally uncalled for and clearly underlined the biased officiating.
“I am glad he decided to send me off instead of one of my players otherwise we would have been humiliated on the pitch,” said Kimanzi.
He may have made his selection errors and failed to get a better performance out of his players who are principally coached at their clubs as he seeks to give them shape prior to matches.
The coach too had his own assessment of the game.
“We have learnt some great lessons from this two losses and one of them is we must do everything possible and win our matches. We are still working on the midfield and the striking force but the truth is we need more depth upfront.”
From this we have an idea of what will form part of his defense in the technical report as he seeks to protect his job.
FKF in the meantime have all the time to get it right with the team with the CAN qualifiers out of the equation, Kenya’s next major assignment will be a world cup qualifier against Nigeria in March 2013.
But Stars will have a chance to redeem themselves as host of the regional CECAFA senior challenge cup later this year, an event the country last won in 2003.
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