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Mayday! Mayday! Tusker on a Sinking Ship

Practically all Tusker FC supporters and those who have closely been monitoring issues and events in the Kenyan Premier League the past two seasons agree in unison that their team performance in the first round of 2018 competition is surprisingly bad.

In 17 matches Tusker have won 5, drew 4 and lost 8 a situation which on Saturday forced local football historians to delve into the history books to recall the last time that the club sunk that low in the premiership.

Even the very old Tusker sympathisers scratched their bald heads to remember if there has ever been an occasion when the fabulous lads played that poorly in the national football league. No such a time could be remembered apart from the current form that has seen the team languishing in position 13 on the log in the first round.

In the recent weeks Tusker have lost three consecutive matches at their home ground in Ruaraka with the latest being a 2-0 loss to Kakamega Homeboyz on May 26th under new coach Robert Matano who have been in charge of last five games.

When the ship started to sink

The blame game was on every week since the start of the league before firing of Ugandan coach Sam Timbe, especially from match day three, when the team started recording appalling results.

If it wasn’t a tactically bankrupt coach, it was that some of the players were either not good or simply uncommitted to the club hence their bad performance. For once, the management team was spared the blame.

Interestingly however, high ranking members of the club smelt of sabotage allegedly from the quarters of some of coaching staff members.

Whether true or false, that suspicion of sabotage from past managers of the club gained weight any time the team lost. So was the talk about superstition. In the midst of the confusion about superstition, sabotage and the likes, the real issues laid bare.

Poor recruitment, inadequate pre-season training, deficient technical direction and low player quality and commitment were cited by many as the cause of Tusker’s woes. The club’s awful showing started on the opening day of the season at home when they were held 1-1 by Tusker.

Ever since the state of the club has moved from bad to worse though the management took concern to bring Matano but its playing unit has not been responsive to the new coach tactics.

Will players perform in second round?

In an interview after Kakamega Homeboyz loss, Matano described the performance at home as horrible, pointing out that the players lacked stamina.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“We have to think and think fast so that we can do something to bring life back to the club. I will do some general evaluating in all departments. We have to reinforce the squad. We need to get players who can carry the team somewhere,”[/perfectpullquote]

Matano was quoted by media after Saturday match.

Over the years, Tusker has been held up as the pinnacle of professionalism and a benchmark for other clubs to follow but as per now it seem that is no longer the case.

“We need a keeper who can rescue the team, midfielders who can command. We need strikers who are clinical. Things have to change we cannot continue this way,” he said.

In previous season after a slow start season, the 2016 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions relinquished their title with six games to go and with how things are currently Matano may be left with the promise to only work for a finish as high as possible.

“You will see a better Tusker team in the second leg. After this we go and prepare well for the second leg, we have to take Tusker where we belong, this is a big club,” he added.

At the end of last season the team collected total of 55 yellow cards and three dismissals further showing how the current team performance is influenced by past occurrences that has not gone unnoticed by Matano.

“With the kind of players in the team currently we can’t win any title. There’s no character and discipline in the team, we can win a match or two if we are lucky but not a title,”
he noted.

In 2016 campaign that won them two titles Tusker potency upfront delivered 40 goals, no other team scored more as they ended up enjoying 20 match days at the summit.

“We don’t have any special players that can rise to the occasion and make a difference for the team.”

Whether the 11 time Kenyan Premier League champions will survive the tide and finish in top five positions, I let the management take the team with a reminder to them coming from famous adage in Swahili says [perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]’Upon seeing a sick goat, you don’t need to raise the tail before you know it is sick.'[/perfectpullquote]


Tusker FC players getting ready for training session (Courtesy photo)

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