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Before the walls come tumbling down





AFC Leopards is a great club. It’s gone through a few tough periods over the past decade or so, but it has risen from the ashes to attempt reclaiming past glory.

Recently management tussles have taken centre stage again and it appears to be affecting what is happening on the pitch, which isn’t pretty. Something needs to be done and fast.

I am an Arsenal fan and if you ask any Arsenal fan which was their best league season in the last ten years or so, it will be the 2003/4 season – the unbeaten run; watching the “Invincibles” at work and enjoying lifting that Barclays Premier League trophy at the end of the season. In fact it’s that particular season that keeps me loyal to the Gunners even through these hard times.

I remember 24 October 2004 like it was yesterday. That is the day Manchester United crushed our 49-game unbeaten run. It hurt but I guess, at the back of our minds, as Gunners, we knew the fantasy wouldn’t last forever. Soon after that game Arsenal went through a string of draws before losing to Liverpool about a month later and Manchester United again a week after that.

What I’m getting at here is that, once the joy ride ended, it was like a brick wall stood in front of Arsenal and things have never been the same since. An FA Cup that season followed by a silverware drought so long I’m beginning to wonder what it feels like to actually win something in the EPL. Okay I’m getting mad here; cool down Radull.

Saturday 21 April is a day I’m sure many Ingwe fans won’t forget any time soon. It’s the day their 23-match unbeaten run in the league came to an end following a 2-0 loss to Tusker in Mombasa.

That loss was followed by a draw with Karuturi, a point that they were very lucky to get. That has since been crowned with a 3 – 0 drubbing from City Stars.

What is happening with the side that we all expected to do so well this season? It seems just like the English AFC; when things began to go wrong, they went very wrong.

AFC Leopards have always been victims of what is happening in the boardroom, and now the courts. That has always waylaid the focus of the players. It’s easy as an outsider to say focus on the pitch and not off it but, unless you’re in that situation, you’re not the right person to advise them.

Still I would hope that a foreign coach, in Jan Koops, who isn’t affiliated to the political sides of AFC Leopards, could be able to motivate the players despite the management issues.

Technically, players could be tired and injuries are beginning to creep in, but every side in the league is going through that. Every side has the same rigorous schedule and injuries to contend with, so why is Ingwe taking its foot off the peddle at a time when teams like Sofapaka and Tusker and pressing hard.

There are just two matches for each team to play before the halfway break in the 2012 season and the psychology edge that will be gained if a team goes into the break on top is huge.

Ingwe have suffered over the past few years from a year of no football to picking themselves up and struggling through the Nationwide League, to promotion to the KPL only to fight tooth and nail not to be relegated again. Since Koops joined in July last year, the team has slowly begun to resemble the Ingwe of the ‘80s and ‘90s; the same Ingwe that have lifted the trophy 12 times. They finished an impressive fifth last season and have been leading the 2012 standings almost since the word go.

Arsenal have never quite recovered from losing that unbeaten run and it would be a shame if AFC Leopards were to go their next seven years trophy-less!

It would be such a shame if the management continue to drag this issue of leadership out in public.

I don’t even want to dwell on who is right and who is wrong. My view is that if either of the warring parties really care about the club, they will put it first before “the walls come tumbling down!”


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