With uncertainty still surrounding the head coach position, it is time for another team to spoil the dominance that has been exhibited by the Green Army in recent seasons.
Last Season: Champions
It will be exactly one month since coach Dylan Kerr officially parted ways with the club when Gor Mahia takes on Bandari at the Mbaraki Sports Club on Sunday 9 December. The Briton set the bar dauntingly high for whoever is to replace him and the measure of this season’s success will depend on how well the new man in charge can surpass the former Simba SC coach's outing.
There is a general feeling among fans that the team might break this season owing to the number of games they have played in the past ten months. The new season might have come a little bit too early for them with the club chairman Mr. Ambrose Rachier admitting that fatigue might play a role this season; this after their narrow win over Nyasa Big Bullets in the CAF Confederations Cup and their loss at the hands of Kariobangi Sharks in the Super Cup.
But with the squad that almost achieved everything last season what should the new man in charge do if they are to retain their title? First the signings (who haven’t convinced thus far) must fire from all cylinders to ease the burden on the shoulders of those who were there in the past season.
In the playing unit, the team looks to have successfully replaced Kaizer Chiefs defender Godfrey Walusimbi with his Ugandan counterpart Shafiq Batambuze at left back but that can’t be said of every position across the field. The team has been a bit short in attack since the departure of Meddie Kagere to Simba and his replacements Francis Mustafa and latest entrant Erisa Ssekisambu haven’t convinced either. The persistent injuries to Rwandese Jacques Tuyisenge hasn’t helped the course either and they will have to keep him fit if the goals are to come on a regular basis.
The eminent departure of Francis Kahata will leave them short in midfield and that was evident in their both legs in the CAF Confederations tie against Nyasa. His replacement, the talented Kenneth Muguna, is bereft of match fitness and will need time to adapt something their impatient fans might not want to wait to see. Despite saying that the departure of Karim Nizigiyimana won’t be a blow, I feel that they are lying to themselves. There has not been a better right back in the Kenyan Premier League since Nizigiyamana graced this league.
Innocent Wafula is on his way out and this leaves them short in the right side of the field. There is only one natural right back in Wellington Ochieng with Pascal Ogweno and Philemon Otieno, who have been billed to fill the void left by the former Chemelil man all makeshifts in the same position.
The feel good factor under Kerr who had all his players play for the badge is gone and the sooner they find a perfect replacement the better for the team if they are to repeat last season’s heroics.