Week three of the Kenyan Premier League action was a great week for the puckish charms of football and its ability to confound hubris that nobody should kid themselves.
Even before we get carried away with the potential of the current Wazito side, we must first ask if football is a profitable business in this country.
With walkovers, unpaid referees, sore state of sports facilities, constant bickering and chest-thumping from various stakeholders of the beautiful game, it is clear we have a lot of things to sort even before we land at the doors of Wazito.
The Kenyan Premier League will probably have the same champion this year in Gor Mahia or Tusker or Mathare United, or…. or…AFC Leopards; a clear indication that, no matter how much money will be pumped by any team this season, football will still have the last say.
Giving A Blue Print isnt a Bad Thing
Having money isn’t a bad thing and efforts to improve the standards of football in the country should be encouraged. Wazito is doing well in this front and they require all the support needed. In 2009, Sofapaka owner Mr Elly Kalekwa instigated a move that saw players paid some hefty sums, many clubs followed suit and they had the ability to lure some of the best foreigners when the idea was bought. In turn, we had a very entertaining league.
Wazito has started well in encouraging owners/investors to think positively about football in this country and whether the blueprint works for other teams or not, at least they will be happy that they tried something new in this side of the world.
But money can be deceiving and it was clear when their new owner stepped in. There has been some sense of arrogance that trickled in the team. Teams were bullied in the last transfer. They got everyone and everything they wanted. Money, they said, run things around them and in the process roped in more than they needed.
But Money Isn't Everything
Money is proving not to be everything going by their first three games. Their tune is slowly changing from calling for the league title even before a ball was kicked to ‘it's too early to call’ and 'the league is a marathon'.
Dissecting their current tunes, there are no guaranteed signs that Wazito will transform into a proper side as the league progresses. Against Nzoia Sugar, they were lucky, the same applied in the game against Western Stima where they had their keeper to thank and in the just concluded week, Leopards once again reminded them of their 'blown' potential.
There is no guarantee of tactical coherence too and while teams packed with gifted players can getaway at one time or the other, the same cant apply every day. With a change of team each match day, finding the right mix amongst the array of talent at the club’s disposal will take time something they have to accept. Living in denial has been their major undoing.
In part, it’s true, that they lack a proper technical bench to manage that lot but we have seen inexperienced coaches do it before; Muluya at Sharks is a perfect example. The problem for that group of tacticians is the unrealistic expectations that are placed on them by the owner and the constant bickering of their five fans on social media.
Wazito will probably win the league one day; money can give you that when you toss enough brilliant players together but football is never going to lose the war against greed. Not now. Not this season.