I have nothing against Wanyama, says Migne

Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama tracks down DR Congo’s Neskeens Kebano during an international friendly match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on march 26, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 12 – Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne has insisted he has no problem with midfielder Victor Wanyama, saying the Tottenham Hotspur man is still his skipper and a vital component of the national team set up.

The French coach was irked with the absence of the captain and other players who couldn’t make it to camp for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) Qualifier against Ghana due to injury.

Migne was of the opinion that the players should have reported to camp for assessment with the national team doctor.

“My feeling was not against Victor (Wanyama); we need to be clear because he is my captain and the best player in the country. He is a good guy; I met him in June but it’s the spirit I want to give for my team, for the high level,” the tactician told Capital Sport.

He added; “Before Ghana it would have been interesting to have your captain at least one or two days with the team to share the spirit and for motivation. I am not happy not against him, but the fact that I didn’t see him. In June he was not there, he was injured, now again but I want to see him soon.”

Migne has also insisted that moving forward any player who is called in to the team but is reported injured should travel to the country for assessment with the national team medical unit, whether local or foreign based.


Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne during a past training session at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“We have built a new medical department with the president where when you have a player injured, we need to check,” the coach explained.

“There is a new rule in this national team that when someone is injured he needs to come and we check. When a local player doesn’t want to come, then maybe he can be banned by FIFA. During the FIFA period, you need to respect the national team. It’s not always the club first. This period, national team is boss,” the coach further opined.

After the two matches though, the tactician says he has an idea of his best 11, but has warned that the team might change ahead of next month’s third AFCON qualifier home and away against Ethiopia.

“I have some answer but in this team, it is a new process every time. The door is always open for players to come and go, even after this game. We have one month before Ethiopia and I will watch every player in their respective leagues and maybe we can have some new players,” the tactician said.

Harambee Stars coach Sebastien Migne giving instructions during the 2019 AFCON qualifier against Ghana at the Kasarani Stadium on September 8, 2018. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

Ahead of the Ethiopia game, Migne will have defender Brian Mandela back from suspension while Paul Were and Wanyama will be ready after picking up match fitness following injury spells.

Johannah Omollo who was called up but missed both games against Ghana and Malawi will also be ready to play against Ethiopia.

“He was a little bit injured and we could have fielded him for the Malawi game. But if I did that, that would be risking because we might lose him for another three weeks and the Ethiopia game is in four weeks. Now he is okay, he might play for his club this weekend and in Ethiopia, he will be there,” said the tactician.

Meanwhile, Migne says the team should now forget about the Ghana game and focus on the two vital ties against Ethiopia which he says will be crucial in realizing the team’s dream to the Cup of Nations.

“I don’t care about Ghana because it is in the past. What is interesting is Ethiopia. It was fantastic against Ghana but it’s finished now. We need to see what is infornt of us and dream. We have to put all effort and be ready in one month then probably play a final against Sierra Leone in November,” Migne said of the African Cup of Nations dream.

Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne during a past training session at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

He has now called on fans to turn out in large numbers in those two games against Ethiopia and Sierra Leone to give the team a push, saying he was disappointed playing the Malawi friendly in a near empty stadium.

“We need to bring the fans with us to be there because if we have one chance to be in AFCON, it will not be alone with the players and my president. We need the fans and I hope against Ethiopia we will see a full stadium. Against Malawi we played in an empty stadium and it is not interesting. Also, against Ghana only 17,000 fans came and it was not enough,” the coach opined.

Timothy Olobulu :A lover of sports who seeks to tell the African story in an African way. Top ten finalist of the Abu Dhabi Sports Media Pearl Awards. Be it on the pitch, court, track, pool or course, the story will be told. On twitter @KakaTimm