Prior to Saturday’s CAF Champions League thrashing at the hands of Algerian side CRB Belouizdad, a fan had predicted in a Facebook Group that Gor Mahia would lose the match by a three-goal margin.
The fan was swiftly removed from the group. We can only imagine his celebration when the Kenyan side was flogged 6-0 in Algiers.
Football is an emotional game and Gor Mahia has the most passionate fans in the world. They say their club is the ‘husband of teams’. They spread fear among their opponents. But that is only on social media, kwa ground vitu ni different.
The writing was on the wall that the team would be lucky to come out with anything from Algeria. Belouizdad has not lost a home game since September 2019. They were unlikely to lose against a team that arrived in North Africa barely 24 hours to kick-off.
However, nobody expected such a humiliating loss. The husband of teams conceding 6-0? No! That is is simply not acceptable.
Football has evolved into a multi-billion dollar global business. For you to win a game, leave alone a title, you need a strategy. And by strategy, I don’t just mean on the pitch. It should be a multi-faceted strategy that will deliver not only results but profits. Unfortunately, this is non-existent at K’ogallo.
Gor Mahia fans expected things to change when they voted to elect new club officials in August. One of the mandatory requirements to hold office was that you had to have a college degree. The people at the helm are supposed to be elites!
However, four months after the elections and we still have the same old problems. In-fighting among officials has not been done away with, as the Secretary-General Sam Ochola is currently on suspension after a fall-out with Rachier over Startimes deal.
The boardroom fight has found itself to the playing unit as players are going for months without payment.
There are rumors that players were on a go-slow over unpaid salaries and did not train for a week prior to the Algerian trip. In fact, a club official told a local news outlet that senior players had threatened to boycott the trip. The official said the club would travel with willing players.
In the end, a squad of 18 demotivated players made the trip but ended up being humiliated.
Unlike most people, we don’t want to question where Rachier is taking money because we understand that they are not generating enough revenue.
However, we wonder what the chairman and his team are doing to make the club self-sustaining. The biggest asset for any sports enterprise, is its fans. Gor is the most valuable sports brand in Kenya, why hasn’t the club converted this into economic gains?
The club needs both short term strategies (like selling merchandise) and long term strategies (like owning a stadium, which is not beyond reach).
Is Rachier interested in moving Gor Mahia forward or he is contended with begging?
A coach on loan?
Gor dramatically announced that Posta Rangers coach Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo would take charge of their continental assignments after CAF disqualified Roberto Oliveira over lack of qualifications.
It is not clear how the two FKF Premier League sides announced reached such an agreement. Fans expected that Pamzo would only steer the team in the two-legged pre-qualification tie against APR of Rwanda.
But that did not happen as the coach also took charge of Saturday’s tie. The million-dollar question is did Pamzo spent enough time with this team ahead of the tie? The answer is no, as he had commitments with Rangers.
Could this defeat have been avoided if the team had a stable coach? we can’t tell because Gor Mahia has had 10 coaches in eight years. But we know that the defeat couldn’t have been worse.
Is this the worst Gor Mahia squad in years?
Gor Mahia’s defense was shambolic in Saturday’s match. The center-back pairing of Joachim Oluoch and Charles Momanyi was no match for the sleeky-home attack which scored four goals in the first half. It also seems like Philemon Otieno will need time to rediscover himself following last year’s career-threatening injury. As for Geoffrey Ochieng, he is simply not good enough.
In the past three years, Gor has lost Musa Mohammed, Haroun Shakava, and most recently Joash Onyango. Things could have been so different if any three were still at the club or the team had sought better replacements. But that cannot happen as they left for free, meaning the club got nothing from their departures.
In midfield, Ernest Wendo offered nothing especially when it came to fielding his defense. It seems his best years are behind him, which makes you question the decision to let Harambee Stars midfielder Lawrence Juma join Sofapaka. It would have been easier to offer Juma a new contract than replace him.
Benson Omalla is a promising striker but he can’t shoulder the club’s scoring responsibilities at the moment. He is yet to score his first goal for Gor Mahia, yet he was trusted to lead the line against Belouizdad. Gor are yet to replace Jacques Tuyisenge, who terrorized scored goals at will.
On paper, club captain Kenneth Muguna (who missed Sunday’s match with an injury) is the only world-class player at K’ogallo. This club will struggle to defend the league they have won in seven out of the last eight seasons.
Gor Mahia Fans deserve better…