NAIROBI, Kenya, January 15- “Maybe now he cannot produce nothing, he is just a joker in the field but maybe in two months if he will have the time and with fitness, he can do something but at the moment, even our assistant coach Bobby Ogolla is much fitter than he is.”
That is the damning initial assessment Gor Mahia coach, Zradvko Logarusic painted on Brazilian prospect, Giovanni Rodriguez moments after watching the player in his first training session at the club.
As for the 25-year-old Samba boy, he quickly realised how fast loyalties change at K’Ogalo with the crowd that welcomed him in song just 24 hours earlier took to mocking and admonishing him at the stands at Nairobi’s City Stadium where they dutifully gathered to watch him in action.
It was a harsh a reaction as any he may have faced or watched at his home nation’s best supported clubs, Corinthians, Palmeiras, Santos or even Gremio where he claimed he once trained with none other than Ronaldinho.
With laden feet and clearly out of shape, Rodriguez endured a torrid session and even missed a penalty despite the occasional deft touch as Logarusic gave him only two more chances to prove he is worthy of the famous green jersey.
“Let him prove himself it was his first training. Everyone thinks they can play in Gor Mahia. Gor Mahia is bigger than they think, players from outside need a bit time to feel comfortable but at the moment, it is not necessary to put him under pressure.
“I can’t remember the name of a player who does not produce for me. I shall remember the name of the player when he does what I want to see, we are talking too much about him.
“It does not mean when you come from Brazil you are a player or the country where there is Adele you are a singer, you must prove himself. He is unfit but has the possibility to become a player because I need results but I will give him a few chances and I will inform management about my opinion since I’m the judge,” Logarusic tore further into the player.
Also watching from the stands was Gor chair, Ambrose Rachier, who no doubt got the message from the fans as he slipped away from City.
Those at the stadium were not the only ones unimpressed by Rodriguez as others took to cyber space to vent their frustrations.
“Is the Brazilian a reincarnation of the Artur Brothers in football?” Cris Omondi posed in Gor Mahia’s Face Book page in one of the multitude of comments against the player.
However, others remained optimistic he would deliver.
“Common good people give the guy a break, let’s give time to settle in the niche hamuwes tu (you cannot just) judge mutu (person) by his physique and one training session,” Godfrey ‘Jatelo’ Okoth urged on the same page.
“Put him in a strict and rigorous training regime for three weeks, if he still cannot kick a ball, say sorry and goodbye to him!!!” Sam Jonyo added.
The onus is now on Rodriguez to step up to the plate.