Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr in the team's training session in Dar es Salaam ahead of the friendly game against Everton
ONONO: Open letter to Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr
By Samuel Onono | Mon 17 Jul, 2017 12:07
Disclaimer: Blogging on Soka is open to the public. The views posted herein do not necessarily represent those of Soka.co.ke

Dear Dylan,

Welcome to Nairobi. You arrive at a time the Kenyan weather is closest to the British weather therefore you should have no trouble settling down immediately. After all, that is what K’Ogalo is all about, immediate results.

Your immediate brief is to make K’Ogalo great again. This will be done through instilling your philosophy in the playing unit and making fans enjoy the game again. The problems you will face are clear but not unsurmountable.  Therefore I will give you a layman’s observation on what needs to be fixed.

The adage goes if it works don’t fix it. Use this as your roadmap. You may want to use the league table as a gauge. It will tell you that you have the least leaky defence and the safest goaltender in the league. Boniface has provided top drawer saves through the season. Sometimes with almost annoying ease.

Also read: Dylan Kerr: My philosophy will take time

Spoilt for choice

You are spoilt for choice on fullbacks. On the right Karim Nzigiyimana has operated like a colossus. Defending strongly and showing little respect when climbing for the drop. The jury is out for the youthful Wellington Ochieng plying the left, but one department he does not lack in is industry and creativity.

The other option in that slot is Godfrey Walusimbi an extremely gifted player who can transition from left full back or wing with the ease of fish in water.

He has the pace, power and precision of a professional. Playing alongside them are rock solid defenders Musa Mohamed and Harun Shakes Shakava, a man who is equally lethal on the ground and in the air.  If I were you, this department would be the least of my worries.

Shortage of goals

A further look at the KPL standings immediately points out two immediate problems you have to address if you are to give the Greens much needed initial shock therapy. First is the shortage of goals. 

Also read: No comfort zones at Gor Mahia, Kerr warns

Rivals Ulinzi Stars are scoring more goals than Gor Mahia yet we have the most expensively assembled arsenal in the country. What with Meddie Kagere, Jacques Tuyisenge, George Blackberry Odhiambo and Timothy Otieno which would be my preferred pecking order for no 9 and 10 slots.

With the exception of Meddie, you have a lot of work polishing this quintet to be on alert to shoot on sight. In fact, save for Meddie and Blackberry who are big game players, you will be surprised at the level of naivety in front of goal. Whether it is due to tactical ignorance, sheer naivety or just incompetence you will decipher before long.

What I find is that your strikers don’t run into space, don’t take responsibility and always look at who to shed responsibility to. No one wants to take responsibility. That should not be the mark of a striker.

Immobile midfield

The other issues is draws. Your goal shy forward line is backed up by an immobile midfield which could do better in terms of possession. You have players with immense flashes of individual brilliance but they do not move the ball from side to side to create spaces at the pace you will like.  Francis Kahata and Kenneth Muguna are influential on a good day. Wendo is a young hard tackler but he must be trained to turn and face forward rather than backward with the ball. In midfield you need to identify an influential player with agility and constant mobility. If you convert Boniface Omondi who your team has just signed from Nzoia Sugar to that role, your problem will be over.

Infrastructure

Off the ball, this is Africa and don’t expect much in form of football infrastructure. Do with Camp Toyoyo or Tok Komwanda aka City Stadium. The club has no dietician and it takes great luck to ask a player to take grilled salmon and auberigine vegetable for dinner while we are a country that imports maize from Mexico.

Lastly, have your return ticket to Heathrow ready. Just in case K’Ogalo does not win the title.

All the best.

Samuel Onono
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