Harambee Stars: Chance for coach Stanley Okumbi to prove his mantle

Goal Kenya.
Harambee Stars will play two friendly matches against Comoros and the Central African Republic on Saturday and next Tuesday

Coach Stanley Okumbi has been under pressure since day one at the helm of Harambee Stars.

The defeats against minnows Guinea Bissau both home and away by a two goal aggregate score, reduced fans' confidence on the former Mathare United coach to almost zero.

Okumbi answered the critics by registering arguably good results that saw him go twelve matches unbeaten. The run included impressive victories against Congo, Congo DR as well as a draw away to Zambia.

However, it turned out to be an ugly change of events in October last year after falling to Iraq and Thailand in other friendlies and the outcome sealed Okumbi's fate. The tactician was demoted to assistant coach role with Paul Put taking his place.

Harambee Stars coach Paul Put.

    Put resigned after three months

The Belgian led Kenya to the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup title for the first time since 2013. With Ghana coming in, Put was seen as the man to help Kenya qualify for the Afcon for the first time since 2004.

Put was also seen as the coach to take Kenya to the World Cup, but all hell broke loose, after he resigned three months to the job citing personal reasons.

Put's exit has given Okumbi another opportunity to rectify his undoing - despite the fact that FKF have earmarked Dutchman Ruud Krol as the new coach for the team. Ranked 132nd and 121st respectively, Comoros and CAR might not be the ideal teams to play Kenya; nevertheless, it is an opportunity for Okumbi to sanctify his name.

With the best of players at his disposal, Okumbi has a chance to apply perfect tactics and lead the nation to victory or else, fans will mount more pressure on him to step down from any national team related activities. So, what can Okumbi do to ensure he gets favourable results in the two matches?

Harambee Stars coach Paul Put and Stanley Okumbi

   Okumbi is incharge of Stars

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Analysis from the previous matches shows Okumbi loves to approach matches cautiously, regardless of the opponent he his playing against. Playing with two holding/defensive midfielders sometimes does not work.

It is the same with the counter attacks; they will not always work for him. The best way to get goals is through attack, even former coach Put used that method and it worked.

Key to victory will be the selection of the starting eleven. Reports have always claimed that Okumbi does not have a free hand in team selection but if he has to get results, there are no two ways about it, and he has to rely on his judgments. A perfect blend of youth and experience will see his team through.