Why clubs need to think before sacking coaches


THE coach sacking season for clubs taking part in the Vodacom Premier League may sooner than later start, the dismissal of rumours linked to such tidings by some clubs’ spokespersons notwithstanding.

Coach sacking is usually resorted to by clubs once they start performing poorly in the league. And going by what we have witnessed in the on-going VPL, poor performance by some clubs is very much evident.

The first clubs to resort to coach sacking are usually those which spent a fortune in recruiting new players. Managements of such clubs are usually troubled by their clubs’ poor performance when they compare to the heft sum they spent on recruiting their new players.

More often than not, such clubs tend to believe that the problem lie with the coach and not with the kind of signing they had done. What is sometimes worse, especially in In Tanzania, sometimes coaches are not involved in the signing exercise.

This is especially so when a coach who had been closely involved in the signing of new players is sacked. The new coach would then be expected to take over a team whose players he was not, in any way, involved in their recruitment.

You can now try to put yourself in the shoes of this hapless coach who is now expected to transform the team he has just been handed over into a winning outfit.

Again, more often than not, the new coach would be handed the team when it has already lost a good number of matches and lying down in the relegation zone.

Therefore the pressure that had been experienced by the coach who had just been sacked, is now automatically transferred to the new coach. And chances are that the club may end up sacking more than two coaches in a season before it finally succeeds in getting the coach who has the right chemistry for the team.

I have narrated the foregoing scenario that afflict both foreign and local coaches because I find our clubs too much obsessed with sacking of their coaches sometimes to the point of shooting themselves in the foot.

Take the case of Simba Sports Club as a case in point. Their assistant coach, Mayanja has just left them, allegedly to attend to family matters. I would personally like to believe that what the Ugandan and the club have said over Mayanja’s departure is true.

But if it’s not, it would be a costly mistake for them for two main reasons: One, Uganda is the leading soccer nation in the eastern Africa and the Pearl of Africa has attained that status through the likes of Mayanja and Basema, another former Simba coach presently involved with Uganda national soccer team, The Cranes.

As rightly noted by the Daily News this week, Mayanja has left illustrious history in the club after being roped in by Simba following the relegation of his team, Tanga’s Coastal Union.

Of course, one may be tempted to say how can I allude to Mayanja as a good when his team was relegated? I have already answered that question when I spoke of coaches which are roped in after a previous coach who had been involved in the recruitment of players has been sacked.

Mayanja’s case with Coastal Union was similar to the narrative I have already given above. The same thing can be said about other coaches who coached Simba but were later unceremoniously shown the door.

These includes coaches like Abdallah Kibadeni, Basena whose Cranes he has been managing almost qualified for the 2018 Russia Fifa World Cup next year and many others. That is why I have said I would like to believe what Mayanja and Simba are saying about the Ugandan’s departure.

For if that is not the story, then Simba would be creating the same problem they created with Basena, namely, showed the man the door and now he has been turning around the fortunes of The Cranes.

But as I have times without number said in these columns, Simba and other clubs in the VPL, cannot succeed no matter how highly qualified coaches they bring in, as long as their raw materials (players) have not gone through properly constituted and scientifically run soccer academies.

Our teams, from Taifa Stars to clubs, fail to click, especially in international soccer tournaments mainly because our players are not schooled in basic football; they have very poor foundation in the game.

In fact, the few Tanzanian professional soccer players who are doing well in the international circuit like Mbwana Samatta, Thomas Ulimwengu and lately, Simon Msuva, may be due to the foundation they have had in the game as they grew up.

I’m saying that, especially for Msuva, because a player cannot change and cope up well in the game as he has done with the Moroccan club if his background in the game was not good.

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