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Stars legends Otieno, Oduor slam mass sacking

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JAMES-NANDWANAIROBI, Kenya, August 4 – Former Harambee Stars captain, Musa Otieno, has slammed Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss for arbitrary firing head coach Adel Amrouche, the technical bench and entire squad saying the move will not cure the problem devilling the team after its early exit from 2015 Afcon.

Otieno spoke as a nation continues to digest another low for the national side that was sent packing by tiny Lesotho 1-0 on aggregate after being forced to a barren draw at home on Sunday in the second round qualifying return leg.

“It’s a big blow and Kenyans are disappointed but it was our fault because we had poor preparation all along since we started the qualifiers.

“Sacking the entire technical bench doesn’t solve the problem, we should have continuity to enable us formulate formidable youth structures, so for the next two years we should put our house in order because Nyamweya cannot run the federation alone,” Otieno who was part of the 2004 Afcon squad in Tunisia told Capital Sport on Monday.

Otieno who played for Stars for 16 years added the elimination was a wakeup call for FKF to start rebuilding from scratch, a youthful team that will stay together for a long time before the next qualifiers in two years time.

He added Kenya’s elimination by Lesotho a nation ranked 36 places below them by FIFA, was hurting but at the same pointed out Stars did not play as a team despite fielding six professional players.

“Losing to a team like Lesotho especially at home was hurting. Our players did not combine well, it was just like watching a local league because looking like most of our foreign based players some of them arrived a day to the match which took them time to adapt considering its an eight hours flight from Europe.

“I can’t blame players because they fought their best to make the nation proud but unfortunately they didn’t get it right so we should put more emphasis on a young squad so that by the time we reach the next qualifiers, they would have gelled, for example the Under 20 team that reached Cosafa finals in 2013, we have never had about them since then,” the former defender who spent better part of his club career at South African outfit Santos explained.

Former Gor Mahia captain and Stars defender Austin Oduor echoed Otieno’s sentiments saying FKF should identify young players averaged 20 years and mould them before the next qualifiers since it’s their collective responsibility.

“I blame the loss to poor management because they failed to prepare the team adequately. Football is a team sport and everyone has a role to play from the officials to the players whose mandate is just to play.

“I disagree with Nyamweya’s move to disband the team and sacking the entire technical bench because he has not solved the problem, it’s obvious the team could have disband as usual since they didn’t qualify, we have never had a constant squad like what we used to have in our days,” Oduor the father of Norway based keeper Arnold and uncle to Liverpool forward Divock Origi underscored.

Oduor who featured in three Afcons (1972, 88 and 90) blamed the technical bench for poor fielding and selection of players that he underlined some were unfit especially foreign based players.

“It’s the responsibility of the technical bench to field a strong squad but on Sunday they totally failed, for example the issue of bringing foreign based players a day to the match was a mistake.

“We gambled in formation where Dennis Oliech was getting the support very late since he was the lone striker, some players should not have started like Macdonald Mariga who has not regained his fitness and Edwin Lavatsa also, they could have started with Paul Were and Allan Wanga who increased the pace of the game but it was too late,” Oduor continued.

He added, “From how our boys played, we were defending and yet we were a goal down, in football fitness has to be high but since we are already out, FKF have to go back to the drawing board and find where we went wrong.”

This is the first time Kenya was bundled out in the pre-qualifiers something that did not go well with the fans who thronged Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium as some accosted the players in anger after the game, requiring police intervention for them to leave the pitch.

Lesotho who had a good preparation have stayed together for a long period since most of the players ply their trade in the domestic league unlike Kenya’s star studded side that saw the Crocodiles coach Seephephe Matete identify their weakness and punish them.

“Kenyan have a good team but the problem is they play as individual, everyone is a star and they don’t hustle for the ball since they wanted to get that stars status. They played well but not as a team and that was their downfall but if they can change, it’s a good team that can go far.

“Lesotho played more as a team and as the coach said in Maseru he identified weakness of Stars where he realized it’s a very good team but they don’t play as a team so the game plan was to win the midfield and to make sure the they don’t get that chance to shine,” Moses Kiamba a Radio journalist who was part of their contingent told Capital Sport.

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