As the 2012 TPL season draws to a close and the penultimate round of ties just a fortnight away, the table standings look more of fiction than reality; more so to the majority of K’Ogalo fans and I am no exception.
Taking a trip down memory lane, The Green Army was bursting with expectation, especially after the high profile signings that had been made in preparation for the gruelling ran. Everyone thought that this was the proverbial 17-time lucky, and lady-luck would come knocking.
However, this was not the case; the team was missing but the big-name players were ever present. The coach and the entire technical bench were shown the door and in came one Zdravko Logarusic. The rest, as they say is history.
One question continues to linger in many opposing coaches. What magic did the dramatic Croat work on this team? What African Research did he apply to ensure that he gets the best out of the players left in the stable? I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that opposing tacticians have been spending sleepless nights to try and decode the winning formula employed by the master tactician.
This is because in the second half of the league, teams have been burnt, no, wilted by the well-oiled K’Ogalo machine. I remember one incident at the City Stadium, which has turned into a slaughter house, where one coach haplessly watched as his team conceded four goals. His players were busy chasing shadows for the better part of the match.
Those who lucky enough have not had their egos bruised or damaged extensively since they have managed to concede the painful solitary goal. The even luckier ones have managed to get away with hard-earned draws; these however have been the exceptions rather than the norm.
The secrets are many, but one distinguishing factor is the nature of players doing duty for the team. At the beginning of the season, the team lacked fluidity and ideas; more so at the center of the pack. The engine needed an overhaul; and that is what Logarusic injected. Each player in the midfield is a ball player and at the same time, a ball winner.
It is similar to having a pack of wolves; they all attack and defend in equal measure. The stand-out characters in this department have been the ever dependable and consistent Akumu, the unpredictable Moses Odhiambo, the cheeky Kevin Omondi, the deceptively slow Ali Abondo, and the omnipresent Njuguna aka Pablo… the list goes on.
Not to be left behind, the defence is loaded with goal getters and players comfortable with the ball on their feet. A notable figure in this case in Ivan Anguyo, who isn’t shy of advancing forward; and the forays have not been in vain since he has appeared in the score sheet on more than one occasion.
Christopher Wekesa, best known for his no-nonsense marshalling of the left back position has been known to embarrass wingers with his exploit along the touch line. These guys are so complete that they don’t mind switching positions when called upon.
Do you remember Owino aka KDF marshalling the midfield like a seasoned and cultured midfielder. The attack on the other hand is another headache for the opposing teams. How many times have we seen Rama mesmerizing all with his mazy runs?
What about Sserunkuma’s determined forward runs attacking defenders without fear? When in the pitch, Lavatsa is a constant thorn in the opponents flesh. The bench is packed with similar talent only that football rules limit the number of substitutions a team can make in a competitive match.
With this amount of talent, Gor has no business parking the bus as other teams have done, especially at City Stadium. The opposition has been playing for draws, goalless draws at that, when faced by the K’Ogalo crasher.
We have witnessed teams once renowned for playing open football literally parking the proverbial bus when playing Kogalo. A good case in point was the match against SOFAPAKA at Kasarani. So there it is; I have let the cat out of the bag, but I am also sure that the opposition can do nothing much about the current situation.
They can take consolation in the fact that they are losing to a superior opponent!