SIMBA SUPER SOCCER 22/09 Highlights

AFC Leopards are broke

The National Executive Council of AFC Leopards met on Tuesday this week and among other things that show us the ugly side of the club is that they are now broke. We have talked a lot about the running of AFC Leopards and almost every other club. We need not waste more ink, or in this case, keystrokes on the matter, so let them sort themselves out. As Mike clearly pointed out, you know something is wrong when you have signed 18 players then sack them before their contracts end. More grave is the fact that they are now on their third coach. The panelists suggested that FKF should crack the whip on club who don’t subscribe to club licensing rules. But my question is, what moral authority does FKF have to do this if they haven’t complied with the Sports Act? Let’s just leave it at that.

Sundowns vs Zesco 2nd Leg

Zesco beat Sundowns 2-1 in the first leg of the semi-final of the CAF Champions League. They face each other in the second leg this Saturday. Of most concern for Sundowns and their supporters is the fact that they have been playing too many games and their federation isn’t concerned with helping them. The teams form going into this match favor Zesco, as they are unbeaten in the last 12 matches. Owing largely to Pitso’s squad rotation, Sundowns have been shy on goal, scoring 2 in the last 4 matches. Zesco’s problem however hasn’t been in scoring goals but in conceding too many. They have conceded in literally all games since the group stage  even in those where they were leading comfortably as was the case against Al-Ahly both home and away. It’s a semi-final one can’t afford to miss.

Starlets 2nd in CECAFA

Harambee Starlets lost to Tanzania in the CECAFA women’s final. The panelists all blamed mental strength, attitude and overconfidence for that loss. Everyone agreed that their toughest opponent to the final was Ethiopia and after they beat them 3-2, they thought they already had one hand on the trophy. Among other things, the panelists were against the printing of t-shirts inscribed the word “champions”, the luncheon the ladies were treated to on arrival and the road show. I see no problem in appreciating our team who finished second in that manner. Mike however pointed out that it was wrong for FKF president Nick Mwendwa to say that the team was nothing before they took office and rightly so because Nick’s team has only improved the logistics of the starlets. Everything else including the staff remains unchanged.

The panelists proposed that the team remain in camp till November and play more friendlies against Kenyan teams. Starlets are in Group A with Nigeria Ghana and Mali in the AFCON and will face Morocco and Cameroon in friendlies in preparation for the tournament.

ION

It was great to see Claudia and David ‘Calabar’ Owino on Soccer Africa last night. Think age cheating is bad in Kenya, how about a 23-year old Nigerian in Victor Emenayo who has a 14-year old son. The guy looks 50.

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MUST WATCH FOOTBALL SHOWS

Playback

Hosted by Chiko Lawi, the show airs every Monday night between 8 and 9pm on Super Sport and focuses on matches played in the Sportpesa sponsored Kenya Premier League over the weekend. The regular panelists are Jacob Ghost Mulee who needs no introduction and Gilbert Selebwa, former AFC leopards and Congo United coach and the current Kakamega Homeboys U-20 coach. The third is normally Musa Otieno, current assistant coach of the national team, an invited guest or a coach in the KPL.

Monday Football

Hosted by the trio of Mike Okinyi, Bernard Ndong’ and Wahiga Mwaura, the show airs every Monday on Citizen T.V. from 1.30pm to around 2:30 pm. Involves all matters football from international level to local grass-root football. They host local football clubs in studio and at times even go to their stadia, example when they became the first show in the country to use a drone in airing a live show at Oserian FC. They’ve even been to my back yard at Camp Toyoyo grounds when they interviewed players and staff of Jericho All Stars. It is, in my opinion the best football show in the country.

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photo courtesy of palosfc.com

Mchakamchaka

Hosted by Ali Hassan Kauleni, this show offers you insightful thoughts on matters Kenyan football in Swahili. It airs on Tuesday night.

Simba Super Soccer

If you want to know the happenings of Kenyan football and their footballers off the pitch then this is definitely the show for you. Also hosted by Chiko Lawi, the show airs every Thursday from 8-9pm. Regular panelists include Mike Okinyi and Arnold Kanyang’onda with Kwalimwa and alternating. It’s without a doubt the most informative football show in the country. #SSKPL

Monday Night Football

The show airs every Monday night and analyses all the matches played over the weekend in the English Premier League.

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photo courtesy of dstv

Soccer Africa

This is the Simba Super Soccer of African football. Hosted by Sizwe Mabena, with Jeff Katala, TK and Idah Peterson, one couldn’t ask for more experienced and qualified panelists. They share plenty of jokes too especially Jeff and the pastor. It covers the PSL, CAF Champions League and any other major football news in the continent sharing invaluable opinion on the trending topics. This show has definitely introduced me to African football.

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photo courtesy of palosfc.com

Click!!! Click!!! Bang!!!

Jeri Lost to Kayole. What went wrong?

On Sunday, Jericho All Stars took to the field against Kayole Asubuhi in the overly dilapidated City Stadium grounds in what was the highlight of the successfully publicized Super 8’s Super Sunday. Owing to the blackout, KPLC made it easy for us to choose between our loyalty to the national Harambee Stars, who were playing Zambia, and our home-based team, All Stars. There were simply no excuses to miss the match.14183779_10210907176854846_8761398498500191172_n

Led by the legend Spark mwenyewe, Jeri needed a win to stand a chance to secure the coveted title. The Mashemeji derby and KSSSA football finals, it was arguably the biggest game Kenya has seen in a while courtesy of operation Fagia Base. Yes the games in Extreme Sports attract large crowds enviable by Nick and all KPL teams but this was definitely the climax of it all.

As you already know by now, Jeri lost the game by a solitary goal scored in the first half. Both teams had chances but couldn’t take them notably Pompee who would have at least bagged two goals. Apart from good performances from Makbul and Messi, there weren’t anything exciting about the game. But could Jeri have done better? What were the reasons behind their dismal performance?

Tola Starts

As soon as the teams took to the pitch, everyone who’s followed Jeri this season was shocked to see Tola in the starting line-up. Last I saw him play a league game was against Shauri in the first leg and if my memory serves me well he played as a six. I’ve never seen him play for Jeri again at least not in the league. He features mostly in friendlies. I don’t necessarily doubt his quality (for this level) but I think it was unfair to play him in such a hugely significant game especially with other options available. Apart from a few interceptions he had a really bad day. (It can only be compared to Calum Chambers’ performances against Liverpool last season at the Emirates only that he, Chambers, improved in the second half.) So much that Okong’o decided to sub him; Ninety replacing him and Oreso moving over to right back. The game and mostly the substitution has definitely taken Tola’s confidence to a new low.

Poor team selection

Save from obvious questions over Tola starting one would wonder why he decided to play O’Neal. Yes he scored in the previous games against Masa and Kiambiu Youth but his performances have been below par. I think Ndiwa would have been a better more convincing option. O’Neal is not by any means a natural winger. After his short stint at KCB, he returned to the team to find Pompee as the undisputed number one striker so he has since been reverted to a winger. While I have no problem with that, I just don’t think that he’s a good winger. For obvious reasons, I tend to favor wingers who aren’t afraid of taking on defenders. O’Neal, with all due respect doesn’t do this and this weakness was greatly exposed. It is important that coaches play to the strengths of a player and not impose a specific style of play that doesn’t suit a player.

In defence, seeing that Omosh was ineligible to play in this game owing to a suspension after picking up red card, why Okong’o didn’t choose the young Chale at right back with Eddy and Ninety playing and CB. In my view Chale has had a great deal of mentorship when playing alongside Ninety. BTW what happened to Koki?

Subs that couldn’t make a difference

Brayo who came in for O’Neal tried by all means to make a difference by trying to take on his defender but all the criticism will be leveled on Bruce aka Look-man. As he waited to get into the fray, he was greeted with great applause which got to him so much that he waved back to the fans acknowledging their acknowledgement. (What the hell? Kwani was it his testimonial? No one does that? The thing with such showmanship is that it can be really embarrassing if, as was in his case, if you don’t back it up with performance.) He then entered in classic Barezi fashion but couldn’t live up to the hype. He is definitely good in spreading the ball wide but one of his major letdowns is that he “thinks” too much when he’s in possession, which was evident in a pass that could have put Messi through on goal but was intercepted because he was a second late in delivering it. He had a chance to make a difference with a free kick but could only see it hit the wall.

I think these reasons counted. All in all those in close contact with the club definitely know better. I only speak as a mere spectator. I now that Tola will rise for the dust. I know that Jeri will learn a lot from this game but they have definitely made it worse for themselves. They would have won the league by now but a series of losses and draw denied them this chance. They now trail leaders Kayole Asubuhi by two points and T.U.K by a point. All they can hope for is that the two drop points.

Update

It was sad to hear that Jeri lost their player, Mackie later on that Saturday. My condolences to his family and to the entire Jericho All Stars fraternity. There will be a match on Sunday 11th to raise funds to grant him a decent send-off. Kindly plan to attend.

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Photos courtesy of Antony Ndung’u