In football or any other related sport, victory has a thousand fathers but defeat is an orphan.
KCCA FC coach Mike Mutebi has been at the wrong end of critics following the club’s failure to reach the CAF Confederation Cup groups given that the club had last season made history to become the first Ugandan team to storm Champions groups, a primary tournament for African clubs.
KCCA was eliminated by an inferior Congolese outfit AS Otoho despite winning 2-0 at Lugogo in the second leg – KCCA had lost the reverse fixture 3-0 in Congo.
This tie was all but decided when KCCA conceded three un answered goal on the road, and many pundits and fans have gone on to blame the gaffer for what they believe are ‘poor tactics’ he used in Owando.
Mutebi named an ultra-attacking line up, and employed a three man back-line only to watch his side picked up by a stubborn Otoho side in the first leg.
The manager attempted to extract positives from the defeat and added that the tie was not over, but it was done surely.
“Mutebi got it wrong, how you play at home is not the same way you play on the road,” noted one Journalist on a Weekend Sports Talk show recently.
Did Mutebi employ the wrong tactics?
When asked that very question in a briefing after Sunday’s game, he said that he will always use and stick to his philosophy – attacking style.
We must have an identity and we shall insist on playing our way and there is no question about that,” Mutebi was quoted.
The coach revealed that he doesn’t have anything like Plan B,
It is always A and may be all we have to do is perfect that A. That is the difference between a mediocre club and a big club. We just have to play with caution and discipline like we did against AS Otoho at home where we did not concede a goal at home and won 2-0. If only we can reciprocate this home performance when we travel for games away on the continent then we shall have perfected the philosophy.”
You can agree with all what he is saying, after all it has somehow worked with some big clubs across Europe.
Teams like Barcelona have dominated, and will continue to dominate, European football like no other club. They enjoy this success, brought on by a unique possession style of football, because they have got the right players.
Nothing is wrong with sticking to your tactics and football beliefs, but do you have the right players that can suit your style?
Playing under Coach Mike is very demanding for a player, he will need a centre back who passes like an Iniesta, and when his side don’t have possession, he will command them to press high up the pitch, forcing the opponent into quick turnovers.
KCCA are no where near Coach Mike wants them to be, and I don’t see him achieving his dream if the club can’t get hold of the players for long.
It’s not even two years since KCCA lost to Mamelodi Sundowns in the CAF Champions League qualifiers, but only Denis Awany, Isaac Kirabira, Muzamir Mutyaba, Allan Okello and Charles Lukwago (who was on bench) played that game.
Benjamin Ochan, Denis Okot, Joseph Ochaya, Habib Kavuma, Paul Mucureezi, Geoffrey Sserunkuma, Brian Majwega and (bench – Ivan Ntege, Tom Masiko and Vincent Kayizzi, Akinyemi, Paul Musamali, Robert Ssentogo) have all left.
What made other clubs prosper in what they believe in, is the fact that they can hold on to the players.
Mutebi is copying from the best, he has the right template but the resources at his disposal are still lacking.
The 3-0 loss, was the first time KCCA had conceded more than three goals unanswered in 69 games in all competitions. The last time was on July 7 2017 against Club Africain in Stade Olympique in Rades.
On Sunday, he insisted he will not change his philosophy and approach to football, despite all what was said.
Mutebi refused to blame the Rain for the team’s failure to score before the break, despite the fact that the ball movement was hindered by a water logged astro turf.
He however pointed the finger at the Burundian Referee who refused to award his team a penalty, adding that the officiating was even more poor in the reverse fixture.
Have players also disappointed Mutebi?
Mike called on some of his senior players like Muzamir Mutyaba to always step up on big occasions.
They need to do more and I urge some of you close to them to tell them, you too have a role to play,” he told journalists to send a little message to some of his senior players.
Mutebi’s approach was very brave, but very stupid. Agree?