To say Gor Mahia is in sensational form is an understatement. Imperious form is a more apt description of how Gor Mahia is currently playing.
To begin with Gor Mahia are much more versatile. The “Patia Sserunkuma” strategy which left Gor Mahia thoroughly dependent on one player is gone. Now the Gor Mahia attack shows a lot more variation and adaptability. Many will mention Michael Olunga and Meddie Kagere as Gor Mahia’s most dangerous attackers. Indeed they are. They will relentlessly pressure defenders and capitalize on defensive miscues as Nakuru All Stars found out. But even more importantly, having two lethal attackers stretches defenses past their limit.
But even when Olunga and Kagere are not among the goals, others will step forward and put the ball in the net as Thika United found out this past Madaraka day. Ali Abondo, the third option has become an efficient scorer. In addition he had added an additional dimension to his game: He is now a dead ball specialist. Has has scored from free-kicks at least twice this season. I will not say exactly how many lest a fellow member of the bloggers jumps down my neck needlessly complaining bitterly that it is 3 and not 2. But none was more important then the free-kick against SoNy Sugar that secured all three points. The coming alive of Abondo in addition to Olunga and Kagere gives opposing coaches sleepless nights as they try to devise a defensive strategy. Now add to that the speedy Innocent Wafula wreaking havoc on the flanks and you realize that many opposing coaches are being left sleepless. Nuttall is proving to be a a genious at devising attacking strategies. No wonder Bobby Williamson wants his assistance with the national team.
Rising to the occasion
And Gor Mahia is a big target for opposing teams. Every team brings their best game when playing Gor Mahia. Every team does extra preparation when playing Gor Mahia. But somehow Gor Mahia is always able to withstand and overcome all opposition.
Coach Frank Nuttall pointed this out on Monday after the Thika match.
“Teams always put out their best performance whenever they are playing us and that makes it a little difficult, but I am happy that the boys are able to display high level of football with every match as we did today” said Nuttall according to futaa.com
A classic example is Muhoroni Youth who played Gor Mahia tough in Kisumu, losing narrowly, only to capitulate 0-3 to KCB in their next match.
Nuttall also observed that other teams apply negative tactics like time wasting and faking injuries as Nakuru All stars tried during the first half of their match against Gor Mahia.
“We cannot have a flowing game when one team is out to waste time. It is unfair to the game and to the fans who come out to enjoy the games,” observed Nuttall. I counted the number of times the Nakuru All Stars would go down at any minimal contact. It seems they had specific instructions to slow the pace of the game by feigning injuries,” he said to supersport.com.
And finally some coaches attempt to referee decisions by playing mind games. None other than Tim Bryett attempted this when he said Thika United were moving the game to Kasarani to reduce the ability of Gor Mahia fans to intimidate the referees. It was to no avail as Gor Mahia flattened Thika United leaving Bryett with no excuses.
In fact nowadays every KPL coach seems obsessed with Gor Mahia will not conclude an interview without discussing Gor Mahia even when not asked. Sam Timbe of Sofapaka was the latest.
“Gor Mahia yes might be on top of us but we are barely in the midst of the season, this is not a sprint, it is a marathon and in marathon the leader does not necessarily win the league.” said Timbe to goal.com.
Gor Mahia has not conceded a goal in nine games. April 12 was the last time anyone scored against Gor Mahia. Many will praise the attack, but the defenders, goalkeepers and defensive midfielders are just as responsible for Gor Mahia’s brilliant displays.
Boniface Oluoch has been solid in front of goal, making scarcely any errors. The play of Shakava has earned him a spot in the national team as has Collins Okoth who is returning to the national team after a significant absence. Musa Mohamed, having been given the captains armband has elevated his play. Perhaps the increased responsibilities of captaincy have inspired him. Dirkir Glay too has been called up to the Liberian national team as has Khalid Aucho for Uganda. Gor Mahia’s brilliant displays are making waves even overseas.
Sibomana, Walusimbi and Nizigiyimana are not just solid defenders but are brilliant at overlapping, sending accurate crosses and generally creating havoc for defenses. All this has also given Gor Mahia additional options in attack.
Fans must play their role
This has been said before on this blog but it bears repeating. Aside from thronging the stadia to cheer the team, fans must put their money where their words are. The club now has multiple avenues that fans can use to bolster the team’s financial status whether it is buying Gor Biro bread or the SACCO, #350100 or membership. Bolstering the club financially will be the key to maintaining a stable squad an avoiding constant departure and arrival.