thumbnail Hello,

Losing to South Africa in what was the Frenchman's first match in charge was excusable but recent show away to Taifa Stars as raised eyebrows

It’s been one and a half months - and counting - since Frenchman Henri Michel was unveiled as Kenyan national team coach.

His job description at that time was, simply put, to turn around the dwindling fortunes of Kenyan football.

Six weeks later, the jury is still out, but majority of fans still need convincing that indeed, the development of the senior national soccer team - at least - is on the right track.

In all fairness, no major changes can be expected on the football pitch in six weeks.  More so, the experienced tactician opted to arrive at a solution by using the long way.

After a trip around the country watching several top flight league fixtures, the Frenchman chose to build up his own squad from scratch.

The defeat to South Africa in what was the Frenchman's first match in charge was excusable. After all by local standards, South Africa is a 'big wig' of African football and some of the Kenyan players who lined up during that match had never met before.

However, the recent 1-0 defeat to Tanzania in Michel's second match has raised eyebrows. After all, argue the supporters, Tanzania are ranked below Kenya on the Fifa rankings, and comparably, the Taifa Stars have no 'big name' players in their squad, unlike the Harambee Stars.

At this point in time, Michel will be seeking formulae to make the team tick. It is worrying (for him) that most of the surprise selections to the team have so far failed to justify their appointment.

On this subject names like Wesley Kemboi (Western Stima), Francis Kahata (Thika United) and Christopher Wekesa (Gor Mahia) come to mind.

The jury is still out on Patrick Osiako (Israel), Jerry Santos (Coastal Union, Tanzania) and Patrick Oboya (Slovakia).

Also, the Stars coach hasn't done himself any favors by publicly - not once, not twice – down playing the importance of the upcoming annual Cecafa tournament.

The competition might not be recognized by Fifa (hence the unavailability of top players), but it offers the best platform for the upcoming stars to showcase their skills.

What's more, a handsome token (by East African standards) is available for the competition winners.

Talk of Kenya fielding a weakened side (at the expense of the African Nations Championships - Chan) qualifiers are therefore, not necessary.

The rumour mill has also been drive that the squad is taking time to warm up to Michel's tactics.

During the Tanzanian match, Michel played Kemboi as a lone striker, opting for a conventional - but defensive five man midfield - a cautious approach.

Interestingly, James Situma a right footed defender, started at right back with the natural left footed Chris Wekesa consigned to the bench.

Whatever the case, the former Ivory Coast, Morroco and Cameroon coach will soon find out that the patience of most Kenyan fans wears out quickly.

Kenya has slumped eight places lower on the Fifa rankings during the time he has been in charge.

Any other defeat may not be tolerated in equal measure.

Related