Simba, Yanga ‘talking football’ our deathbed


AFTER a lot of talking about raining goals on one another, Simba and Young Africans last Saturday ended their derby in a one all draw.

It was Simba who opened the scoring through their Mtibwa Sugar import, Shiza Kichuya, a goal that lasted three minutes before foreign import, Obrey Chirwa equalised.

If you are soccer loving foreigner who has just arrived in Tanzania at a time when Simba and Yanga fans are locked in what they know best, ‘talking football’ as they prepare for their derby, you would be forgiven for equating the two local clubs to any English premier league club.

For the way fans from two clubs describe their clubs and players, you would think they are the best players in the world.

In the past, both clubs had global stars in their lineup from Maradona to Keegan and from Garrincha to Pele and from Canavaro to Zico until someone told them to stop giving their players names of foreign stars they don’t match in any way.

Indeed, if you liken a player to Italy’s Canavaro then it would only make sense if your club has done what Canavaro did for his Azzuri, winning a continental soccer trophy. Yet we all know that our versions of Messis, Canavaros, Garinchas have never won anything!

The point is, Simba and Yanga fans talk too much about their clubs’ non-existent success. Yet on the ground, their players do very little and this explains why they have always failed to produce worthy performances.

It is for the same reason that Taifa Stars, will never succeed in the qualification for the Afcon or Fifa World Cup finals as long as the bulk of its players is built around the two clubs.

The situation however, becomes more serious when the bulk of the players in Taifa Stars is made up by those who do not only come from the two clubs, but they also consider the two clubs as the Alfa and Omega of football!

Therefore our clubs or the national soccer team can only succeed if their players are ambitious, players who consider their clubs as stepping stones to bigger things and dreams.

If players in our clubs consider their clubs merely as stepping stone for bigger things, they would automatically put better performance in each and every match knowing that they would be spotted by international scouts.

But when you see a player moving from Simba to Young Africans and vice versa, then consider such a player as the type that see either of the two clubs as Alfa and Omega of football and such a player cannot bring anything good to the national soccer team.

Players that ought to be considered in the national soccer are those who improve with each passing match. We need players whose attitudes are such that they always fight to do better than they did in the previous match, players who are always out to impress whoever has keen interest on them.

Simply put, we need in our clubs and our respective national soccer teams from U-17 to the senior national soccer team the Simon Msuva, Mbwana Samatta and Thomas Ulimwengu’s calibre players.

The foregoing players would not have been where they are today, had they failed to impress international scouts during their trial matches. For a player to catch the attention of an international scout, such a player ought and must show consistency in his or her performance.

A player who shows con sistency in his or her form would always be picked, and this explains why most Tanzanian soccer players who have gone abroad for trial matches have always failed.

Returning home means a player in question has failed to impress a club due to his lack of consistency in his or her form, hence the rejection. For instance, Samatta would not have been picked by the Belgian club if he could not show consistency in his form during his tour of duty with TP Mazembe.

After joining the Belgian club, Samatta has turned around his form to a point that the Samatta we see in the Belgian premier league is quite different from the one who won the African player of the year award last year.

The latest Samatta is not only more aggressive, but he is also more hungrier for goals than the Samatta we had known in the past, and that is the stuff that professional soccer players are made of.

Therefore when I say Simba and Yanga players will not help us in strengthening Taifa Stars that is what I mean. To the Taifa Stars chief coach, Mayanga, it is time to build the team by picking more players from Serengeti Boys, Ngorongoro and European based soccer players.

That is the only route that would take him further up.

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