Ten players Harambee Stars missed

Monday, November 23rd, 2020 01:09 |
Patrick Matasi.

The ignominious loss by Kenya to a team lower in Fifa ranking left tongues wagging among fans most of who attributed the same to poor team selection by the Head Coach Jacob “Ghost’ Mulee. Curiously, the school of thought is that the national team selectors overlooked players who deserve to don the national team colours. People Daily’s Charles Thuku looks at some of the players who netizens feel should be drafted to the team before March when Stars play Togo in their next qualifying match.

1. Patrick Matasi

Arguably, the best safe pair of hands currently and it is surprising how the man who tended Kenya’s posts at the 2019 AFCON in Egypt escaped the eyes of the national team selectors.

Pato, as he is fondly referred to, is one of the most reassuring Kenyan glove-men who is pretty hard to beat in a one on one situation.

Matasi is also agile with long balls and many fans believe that he would have saved at least two of the three shots Arnold Origi conceded in Stars’ first leg against Comoros in Nairobi and reverse fixture in Moroni. Comoros.

2. Jesse Were

Were is a goal-poacher per excellence and this can be proved in his prowess when he won the Golden Boot with Zambia’s Zesco United two times.

Although he has been criticised several times for not replicating the stellar performance in Stars, many think that coaches have not been patient with him.

Were is one player who is touted to may have solved Stars striking woes both in Nairobi and Moroni in the absence of Michael Olunga who was ruled out of the game due to travel restrictions at his base in Japan where he plies his trade with Kashiwa Reysol.

3. Aboud Omar

The left back who plays for Greek Super League Two side Lonikos has outstanding abilities in the rearguard and it is little wonder that he has been regularly been considered for national team duties. 

A sublime talent who would deserve a place at the pinnacle of the list, Omar has enjoyed an outstanding season with Lonikos and would have been a good option for coach Mulee.

4. Ovella Ochieng

Based in Sweden where he plays for Vasalund, Ochieng’s pace is terrifying and is a terrific goal scorer who knows how to read the game well besides the fact that he is almost tireless throughout the match.

Ochieng also has a pace which would have unsettled the opponents defence and coach Jacob “Ghost”Mulee should seriously give a thought to the youngster ahead of the Egypt and Togo assignments.

5. Micheal Olunga

The Kashiwa Reysol indefatigable striker has been leading from the frontline in Stars goal line and to say that he was missed by Kenya in the two-legged match against Comoros would be an understatement.

Micheal Olunga.

Agile, innovative and imaginative, Olunga proved to be an for Stars during the 2019 AFCON in Egypt and was the missing link in Stars frontline that lacked ideas.

He has been the cornerstone of Stars and perhaps it would make a lot of sense for Stars handlers to look for him in every nook and cranny to help the team to turn round the dwindling fortunes in the qualifiers.

6. Clarke Oduor

The Barnsley fullback captured the imaginative of many when he notched the all important goal that helped the English team to evade relegation. Oduor’s individual impact was even lauded by the technical bench of Burnsley.

Having starred for Stars in the 2-1 win over Zambia in an international friendly prior to the AFCON qualifier against Comoros, Oduor should have been considered for national team duties. This should serve as food for thought for Mulee.

7. Philemon Otieno

Kenya has nurtured talented footballers among them the Gor Mahia wonder-kid.

Micheal Kibwage.

There is absolutely no apology to make when one says that he deserves a starting list in the national team and especially in the much involving AFCON qualifiers since he is a natural right full back and should be preferred instead of using a makeshift replacement.

8. Micheal Kibwage

The defender who Sofapaka acquired from Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) is powerful and skilled and who has something up his sleeves to help the national team.

He is strong and astute and is best remembered to have been a pillar of KCB defence and suffice it to say, he can be an asset to the national team if given a chance.

Kibwage can make things difficult for attackers with his strong tackles and acrobatic moves. He does also not shy away from confronting physically bigger strikers.

9. Timothy Otieno

The former Gor Mahia and Tusker FC man is a skilled and resilient striker who is capable of turning a game on its head.

The NAPSA (Zambia) striker is known for his menacing runs at the opponents box and can convert half a chance into a goal as witnessed during his times with Gor and Tusker. His presence in the Stars attacking would have been vital. 

10. Oscar Wamalwa

The Ulinzi Stars goal-poacher is fast turning out to be an out and out striker. If he can continue with his upward trajectory, Wamalwa will be the next big thing in Kenyan football and especially the striking department.

He showed glimpses of a natural striker while donning Kenyan colours during the 2019 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Uganda and who knows?

Perhaps he would have wielded the magic wand were he given a chance in Stars squad for the AFCON qualifiers.

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