Right call by FUFA to delay Micho sacking

Cranes head coach Milutin Sredojević (L) and Fufa spokesperson Hussein Marsha (R) upon arrival from Tanzania recently/FUFA IMAGE

FOOTBALL Right call by FUFA to delay Micho sacking

Ndyamuhaki J Emanzi 18:06 - 30.03.2023

In the meantime, FUFA can be credited for not pushing the panic button to fire Micho because the public is calling for his head.

At the end of the Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers, Fufa should find another tactician for the Uganda Cranes.

To many Ugandans, that might sound like a lot of time given to current head coach Milutin Sredojević, who has done little to win their hearts since returning to the Cranes' top job in July 2021.

His safety-first approach to football means that fans are biting their nails most of the time when the Cranes play.

The team is set up to avoid defeat rather than try to win games. And for football fans, that can be some torture.

That the Cranes, under Micho, have just scored their second goal in four games of the qualifiers can only surprise those unfamiliar with the Serb's tactics.

Rogers Mato scored a superb goal against Tanzania on Tuesday to silence the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam after Farouk Miya's magnificent pass put him through on goal.

Milton Karisa scored the team's other goal of the qualifiers in the 1-all draw with Niger.

Uganda is capable of that and more. That was simply a moment of magic created out of nothing.

But there is talent to produce such moments regularly. So the team needs a coach to nurture that talent and empower the technically gifted players to express themselves in the final third.

At Micho's disposal currently are some of their generation's best players, yet they remain on the fringes and cannot break into the team consistently.

Allan Okello and Travis Mutyaba are both easy on the eye. They can manipulate small spaces and can be unplayable if well utilized.

But they cannot thrive when you have a coach fielding seven defensive-minded players with two left-backs patrolling the same flank and two holding midfielders who are limited in possession.

Two left backs, Abdu Aziz Kayondo and Joseph Ochaya, were deployed in the same line-ups in the two games against Tanzania.

Ochaya played further forward, ahead of Kayondo, but provided little, if any, spark going forward.

Isma Mugulusi was the one player that brought life into the two games, coming off the bench in the first clash and starting the away match in Dar es Salam.

It is players like Mugulusi, Mutyaba, Okello, Ibrahim Kasule, Marvin Nyanzi, Bright Anukani, Steven Sserwada, Titus Ssematimba and the likes that the country must pay close attention to.

Uganda has always had defenders; the biggest problem is in the final third. We struggle to create and score goals.

A coach who is intentional about possession-based football should be what Fufa are looking for.

French tactician Sébastien Desabre, in his short spell with the Cranes between 2017 and 2019, showed that Uganda could play good football and pick results.

The talent is available. It simply needs a tactician that will believe in it, nurture it and allow it to flourish. And that is not Micho or anyone like him.

In the meantime, FUFA can be credited for not pushing the panic button to fire Micho because the public is calling for his head.

Whoever hired him must have had an idea of what to expect, it is the same coach that took Uganda to the AFCON after three decades of waiting, but even then, his football was always challenging to the eye.

With Uganda back in business in the fight to qualify for the 2023 AFCON with that late Mato goal in Tanzania, Fufa is right to allow Micho to complete the qualifiers.

But whether the Cranes negotiate the last two fixtures of the qualifiers to make it to the finals, one thing is for sure, Micho is not the man for the long term.

Let him finish what he started and move on!