Uganda not prepared for Liberia
Posted Saturday, March 16 2013 at 02:00
The frame of mind of Cranes players in Monrovia will not augur well with the team’s chances
Next Sunday we shall be in Monrovia taking on Liberia in the 2014 Fifa World Cup Qualifiers. We are second in group J behind Senegal which is quite unsurprising because we traditionally start strong and fall away towards the business end of the qualifiers. Even if we are quick to attribute this to ill-luck, it is actually ill-preparation that eventually undresses us.
This lack of preparation will expose us even this time round and in case you doubt me take a look at this.
We are playing in seven days time so you would expect at least a good football team summoned and in camp and an advance party already in Monrovia sieving through hotels closest to training grounds and the venue. This same party would also try to establish logistical and psychological bottlenecks like transport, food and the weather.
Have we done this? My bet is as good as yours, and let me just start off by saying that what we have summoned as a team is majorly a loose collection of free agents, bench warmers, novices and under-motivated players like this newspaper reported last Wednesday – basically people who are only footballers in name.
You can expect this as well. We shall board at Entebbe, make the switch in Nairobi and do the 4 hours cross-over to West Africa arriving with a day to spare because well it’s cost effective. Then with virtually no time to acclimatize, the coastal weather and its near 100% humidity will dehydrate us. And with no food and chef, the fishy diets will put off men who have been bred on Matooke and groundnut paste. All the while we will be entirely reliant on the hospitality of our opponents for decent suitably located Hotels and training grounds like they owe us!
It may sound all trivial but it is on such small matters that games turn. The thing is that you can’t play a decent game of football if you are not in the right frame of mind. Yet every campaign we head out (pun intended) in similar circumstances.
And when we fail as is often the case we attribute it to misfortune. Well Fufa had better take responsibility for our ‘ill fortune’ as well. We cannot afford to have leaders who only bask in the glory of our limited wind-falls and pass on the buck as soon as the clouds gather.
So instead of citing fate and saboteurs, Fufa should take time off its recurrent rows to ensure that we are in a position to maintain the momentum generated by the adrenalin of a new campaign and the chances to make amends of past failures it offers us.
For starters they could pick players who actually play (they don’t have to be based abroad). Then surely one air ticket to an advance party to take care of the ‘small matters’ is not beyond their reach is it?
Fufa actually need the detergent of a good campaign to wash its sordid image so one would imagine they would invest all their energies in this one. But on current evidence, they could not care less and we should all prepare for that stumble to the last game of the campaign and its mathematical implications.