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Sackings season

By | March 9th 2012


Last week, I argued that Andre Villa Boas was either a very bold man or totally blonde. You don’t go courting trouble from ruthless and obscenely rich Russian as Roman Abramovich and expect to live to tell the story. This guy is simply bad news. I suspect his first name has deluded him into believing he is the modern time embodiment of the 20th Century empire by the same name.

So what really led to AVB’s dismissal or,if you are the politically correct lot ‘parting ways’?

For starters, nowadays it feels like delirium that you can score five goals past Chelsea. Once upon a time, you could hardly get a shot on target, leave alone a goal. It was like oppositio strikers would suddenly be struck by invisible terror every time they approached Chelsea’s penalty box.

However, that feels like a long time ago, yet the club continues to change managers as often as you would change your engine oil. As my colleague Peter Ndoria rightly pointed out on his Facebook wall, Chelsea will soon have more coaches in their records, than trophies in their cabinet. So far the ratio of coach to trophy is 9:10, for the last 10 years... and the current coach, Roberto Di Matteo, is on an acting capacity.

In my opinion, AVB had a brilliant chance to become a legend but messed it big time.

Well... a lot has been said about his apparent age mates in the Chelsea’s dressing room. But for me, that would have been a positive aspect rather than divergent energy. If I were AVB, I would have struck a rapport with those ‘pensioners’ at Chelsea.

Beer with boys

I would hang out together with them, do coffee after training, gulp mugs of beer after a win on Saturday, attend their kids birthday parties and occasionally throw them a dinner at some exotic London establishment. This would have ensured that he had the full backing of everyone including the tea girl. But now look at how the guy went out asserting himself.

It appears he made an executive decision to get rid of the old and ostensibly powerful players at Chelsea such as Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Nicholas Anelka and John Terry. He totally mismanaged his phasing out of old players such that a seed of discontent was sowed on the concrete floor of the dressing room.

You can’t treat grown men like kids and Chelsea is not a military outfit where they have to appear ‘on parade’ at 9:30 sharp or else. Or else what? Court martial them? These are professional footballers who can get a payday at most other clubs if they didn’t like the regime under AVB. It seems the regime was somewhat like that — a sort of military type thing.

disciplined show

Talking of the military, Ulinzi also sacked their entire technical bench after they lost to AFC Leopards. I have a sneaky feeling that the ‘March past parade’ goal celebrations might just have had the military supremos uneasy and egged them to sack Benjamin Nyangweso and his cohorts. We do hope that he can rediscover his shooting acumen on the war front in Somalia as Kenya Defence Forces battle Al Shabaab.

Gor Mahia too caught the sacking sneeze and sent the Cameroonian Anaba Awono back in the Congo rainforest. Let’s just hope that K’Ogalo’s future will now be as bright as the new tactician Bob Ogolla’s hair!

Just almost... within touching distance

Facing a daunting four goal deficit against Italian giants AC Milan in the Champions League knock-out stage, Arsenal nearly pulled the improbable that would have re-wrote the history books.

In the past, this column has been unfairly been accused of being too pro Arsenal. That is not entirely the case, but freedom of expression in an indelible right in our Constitution.

However, this time round, I believe there is a general consensus that we need to shine the spotlight on Gunners’ performance on Tuesday night.

praises abound

Lots of exquisite flowery language has been used to describe the near comeback that never was against Milan.

But it was still a glorious night to be a Gooner. Written off before the second leg of the Last 16 clash with AC Milan, Arsenal knew they needed to score five goals of their own without conceding one against a side that had savaged them at the San Siro the previous month.

Milan seemed to think the result from the first leg was a forgone conclusion, and if ever there was a team that played with the handbrake on, they were them.

Perhaps the reason why Arsenal indeed believed that they could overhaul a four-nil deficit is because they themselves have been victims of such astonishing feats.

Last season against Newcastle United, the Gunners were in cruise control having scored four goals inside 30 minutes.

However, the second half was a total different story. Newcastle came back like gale winds and at the final whistle a historic feat for Newcastle and an inglorious culpability for Arsenal prevailed.

They say the bench wins you matches. Well, Arsenal’s on Tuesday lost the game.

Many Gooners’ hearts sank as soon as they saw Marouane Chamakh on the touchline... and then, Park Chu Young.

Sub-standaRd subs

Thing is, there was nothing left in the tank and when Chamakh and Park came on, it was like two players had been sent off, they did nothing.

If there was any reason why Arsene Wenger needs to buy quality players next season, this was it; as soon as the subs came on, the fire went out of the team’s bellies. With 3-0 at half time, this was a game Arsenal could, or should have scored at least four goals.

Despite all their courageous endeavour, Arsenal must now concentrate all of their energy on retaining a place in the top four of the Barclays Premier League to make sure such engaging European nights return next season.

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