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Arnold Origi blasts Wazito FC coach Medo after threats to sack all defenders and keepers

06:45 GMT 13/11/2019
Wazito FC coach Melis Medo.
The former Harambee Stars keeper takes issue with the coach after he publicly threatened to sack all defenders and keepers

Arnold Origi has a problem with the way Wazito FC coach Melis Medo openly criticised his players after they lost to Sofapaka in a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match last Sunday.

An agitated Medo, who had just lost his first match since replacing Fred Ambani, tore into his players especially the defenders and keeper blaming them for the 2-1 defeat and went ahead to threaten he will sack all of them because ‘they don’t deserve to play for my team.’

“All of them [defenders], all of them must go, including the keepers, you want the naked truth, all of them including the keepers will go,” Medo told reporters after the match played at Narok Stadium.

“You cannot be a keeper without talking, you cannot be a bus driver without the steering wheel, all of them will have to go, I am just saying it out and that is the truth.

“We have issues in the defence and some people actually need to go home, we have been ready, have been practising [on straight forward things] and I get mad when we commit mistakes from what we have been working hard and training on. [We] gave away two easy goals.”

The outburst by the American coach has received heavy criticism from Origi, who feels the coach was wrong to point out the mistakes of his players in public.

“The level of unprofessionalism and disrespect showed to Kenyan football players on a constant basis, by people who are supposed to be and have the responsibility of being role models to them when it comes to professionalism, respect and championing these issues for them in the local game, is absolutely appalling,” Origi wrote on his official Facebook page.

“This display, in all honesty, has a huge potential of destroying the careers of these young goalkeepers at Wazito before they even start, and for a lack of quality or skill that is your [coach] responsibility to help them master Mr. coach, is an act of cowardice and a show of lack of leadership.

“90% of young goalkeepers in Kenya lack the skill and quality in communication when in goal, not because they do not know they are required to communicate, but because they do not know what they are supposed to communicate. I am convinced this is the case because the number one question I always get when I interact with them is ‘what should I say to my defenders during a game? So most of them, are quiet when in goal because they just simply do not know what to say.”

Origi, who currently turns out for HIFK Fotboll in the Finnish Veikkausliiga adds: “So instead, of going at them [players] in this manner and in public, why not help them develop this quality or skill?

"By giving them the exact information of how you want your team to look like defensively when you are without the ball, and how you want your team’s shape to look like when in possession of the ball, so you do not get hurt when you lose it.

“When defending the box from crosses, who should be where and how should the situation look like in the box, during corners do you want to defend zonally and if so which zones do you want to be defended and by who? And if it is man-marking who do you want to be marking and who should they be marking.

“By doing so you equip your keepers, with information on all phases which may occur in a match and you’ll end up having goalkeepers that will be in constant communication with their defenders trying to have things the way they are supposed to be. By the way, this process will take a maximum of 20mins only before a game or better yet, you can get them involved in training when you are training these things.”

Origi continued: “Bashing them in the media doesn’t and won’t help them. As a coach, and as a leader it’s your responsibility to help your players not only win football matches but also develop and become top football players. You are not supposed to destroy them, especially not the young ones.”

Despite spending over Sh9million to sign new players before the new season kicked off, Wazito have struggled to fight for the top position and are currently lying 12th on the 18 team table after collecting 10 points from nine matches.