Watching Wazito FC is exciting once again. Oh, boy! It’s been a long road in the wilderness to reach this level of optimism. It’s akin to a baby taking his first baby steps. There’s progress. There’s promise. Their first 6 games in this league campaign have been fascinating bar the opening fixture and even in the odd occasion that they lose, they now seem to bring something to the party. So what has changed?
In hindsight, Wazito adopting a project model made perfect sense. Nowadays, successful clubs prosper under a coach who they trust to create a winning formula and deliver success. Wazito wished for the same.
Coaches no longer work at clubs for decades, but they do still stay for three or four years. The club grew tired of paying off coaches after short stints, constantly in search of their Mr. Right Now. Like a guy whose partied in his twenties and now wants to settle down in his 30s, Wazito sought to settle down with something more comfortable. So out goes the short-termist model, in comes the project model.
No matter how good a project model is, what is crucial is getting the right project manager. Get the wrong ‘project manager’ and it impacts negatively on the validity of the entire model. And this is where Wazito have learnt their lesson by roping in the best coach in the business.
As neutrals will agree, it’s worth praising any football team that tries to build up from the back, creating passing lanes into the midfield, overloading the wide positions and creating scoring chances. While the result is important, the means justifies the end. It is this new brand of possession-based, passing football that Wazito FC is serving on its menu in this league campaign.
On Sunday, fans watching the match pitting Wazito against City Stars were treated to a festival of beautiful interplays by the host. The forwards driving directly at goal, midfielders interchanging short and crisp passes when appropriate and fullbacks running inside and around opposition fullbacks when necessary and most importantly, well taken goals. Suffice to say, there were Francis Kimanzi fingerprints all over that convincing win against City stars. The boys are slowly but surely grasping the gaffer’s methods and tactics.
No one is celebrating too early. It’s highlighting the wonderful signs on display along this journey. Perhaps this reveals the shifting facet of confidence. After two draws and a loss in the last 3 matches , the players would have been forgiven to gravitate towards risk-averse football. But it only requires a passing move, a fast attack, a moment of ingenuity leading to a wonderful goal and all the lost confidence floods back. This is the platform from which the seedlings of solid foundations are built.