Why short-fused King David lost his groove at URA

Gone. Former URA head coach David Obua lasted only 20 games. PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDDE 

What you need to know:

Usually, the Tax Collectors have been a team built to withstand catastrophe, but that patience for a club that reportedly runs on an annual Shs1.5bn budget,  has waned forcing management to seek a redeemer. 

David Obua's arrival at URA last November was supposed to herald a new era of stability at the beleaguered club after a period of unprecedented turbulence and agonizing trophy drought. 

Instead, the club administrators are  reportedly on a serious man hunt for a more authoritative and tactical gaffer  less than five months after granting Obua his first managerial assignment.

Usually, the Tax Collectors have been a team built to withstand catastrophe, but that patience for a club that reportedly runs on an annual Shs1.5bn budget,  has waned forcing management to seek a redeemer. 

The turmoil at the club began in earnest at the start of the second round when Obua, alias King David, sidelined experienced players in favour of rookies while experimenting with his alien Obua-ball (focused on building from the back, possessing and transitioning into attack).

The gradual decline in performance was quite understandable as the four-time league winners sank to ninth in the table with 31 points from 23 matches and lost to even lesser sides without ever fighting back.

To be specific, Obua has been in charge of 20 games across all competitions, winning eight eight, drawing four and losing eight times - which can be rated at 40 percent.

It's even dimmer when you focus only on the StarTimes Uganda Premier League where he has won six times, drawn seven and lost four in 17 matches.

Clash of egos

Whereas the former Kaizer Chiefs, Express and Uganda Cranes deft forward was viewed as one of the next generation coaches, his insatiable ego and bossy demeanor, carried on from his playing days, is put paying to his stay at URA.

A senior player at the club intimated to this paper how Obua always threw it to their faces that he was a better player than them all, a 'king'  and one who never took orders on top of reportedly using expletives in tense moments during training sessions.

"He sidelined us and when we reported to management he closed them out too from team sessions. The coach would unleash a new style everyday and ended up playing most players out of position claiming he is building a project," the player revealed.

Obua's coaching tactics were glaringly exposed in the round of 16 ejection by KCCA when he chose to bench all strikers and opt for midfielders when the tension-filled match at Lugazi needed just a forwards' killer instinct to attain victory. 

Abdallah Mubiru's KCCA prevailed 1-0 which left URA on course for another trophyless season for a tenth year.

After losing to troubled Express 1-0 at Wankulukuku recently, Obua came close to admitting that the URA had been increasingly bigger than him. 

"We need to close the gap because we are eighth on the log, we want to come up. That's the pressure we are under. We have not always gotten the results we wanted, but we need this game. I always tell the boys to be hungry. URA plays good football but we need killers who can win the game for us," he said.

Obua reportedly stepped on some people's toes when he barred administrators from accessing training and his over reliance on school boys like John Kisolo and Geoffrey Ssekibengo left a divided dressing room with senior players plotting for his immediate exit.

URA were set to return to normal training yesterday afternoon at Gayaza but the news of the club potentially returning Alex Isabirye who won a league and cup double at Vipers last season  raised adrenaline levels and ecstasy level in their camp.

At this rate, there is a genuine fear that URA could even drop further into the red zone in the next six matches against NEC, Busoga United, Mbarara City, KCCA and SC Villa which has precipitated management to act. 

URA's last four matches

08/03/24: URA 1 - 1 Bul
14/03/24: Kitara 3 - 0 URA
30/03/24: URA 0 - 2 Vipers
06/04/24: Express 1 - 0 URA

URA's next six matches

16/04/24: URA vs. NEC
01/05/24: URA vs. Busoga United
07/05/24: Mbarara City vs. URA
11/05/24: URA vs. KCCA
14/05/24: SC Villa vs. URA