Mixed luck for former Kogalo coaches in Ghana

Former Gor Mahia coaches Zdravko Logarusic and Frank Nuttall were hired by the two most storied Ghanain clubs: Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak.

Logarusic had a superb start and was even rewarded with a brand new pickup truck by the club chairman.

However after 11 matches, he was fired following an outcry by fans. The club had won 5 games, lost 2 and drew 2. The primary fan complaint was the lack of goals. Something that plagued Kogalo under Logarusic in 2013. Though they were leading the league, goals were hard to come by.

Kotoko have faired poorly since Logarusic departed. They have gone from second to eighth place.

Frank Nuttall is fairing much better. His side is currently third in the standings.



Former Gor Mahia coaches united in Ghana

Frank Nuttall and Zdravko Logarusic have been appointed to coach the two most prominent Ghanaian teams. Nuttall was appointed to coach Hearts of Oak a team that has won the Africa champions cup in 2000 and the CAF Confederations cup in 2004.  He took to his social media pages to announce his new position.

”Very happy to announce that I have been appointed as Head Coach at Accra Hearts of Oak in Ghana. Looking forward to the challenge ahead!” he said.

Logarusic for his part was appointed to coach Asante Kotoko which is perhaps the most famous Ghanaian club. They won the old Africa champions cup in 1970 and 1983.


Nuttall gave me hell says Rachier

Nuttall with Zdravko Logarusic who was also a handful for Kogalo officials to deal with

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier has hinted at havinga  difficult relationship with former coach Frank Nuttall.

“I am happy he left Gor,” said Rachier to the Standard.

“We wish him well in his future endeavours, but the truth is that Nuttall gave me hell at Gor, we were never at peace working with him. He did not tell us when he was leaving, like a thief, he left at night without notice,” added Rachier.

Rachier further went on to say that Nuttall was the most difficult employee he has had to deal with. Which is saying a lot considering that he also had to deal with Zdravko Logarusic.

Matters came to a head when Nuttall stormed into Rachier’s office demanding his back pay.

The chairman recalled the events that led to Nuttall’s sudden departure.

“It was during a postmortem, after falling miserably to Ingwe, that a local journalist called in to inform us that Nuttall was already in Cairo, Egypt and had signed a contract with the former African champions. It was a big embarrassment to the club and the entire board of executives.

Rachier however neglects to mention that Nuttall worked under difficult financial situations yet he kept players and staff motivated. And asking a coach to take a 50% pay cut is not reasonable.

Nuttall for his part considers his brief stint at Zamalek successful .

“At Zamalek, we qualified for the quarter finals of the CAF Champions League and we had an 83 per cent win record. I have gained lots of experience and knowledge about players that will come handy in my next assignment,” he told The Nairobian.

Asked why he was fired, Nuttall said: “Mr (Alex) McLeish (the club’s manager) left, so as his assistant, I went with him.”

Its not so rosy for Bobby Ogolla either

Gor Mahia club legend and former assistant coach Bobby Ogolla, who left the club to pursue a head coaching position at Nairobi City stars, is also having a torrid time. Ogolla is threatening to leave the club along with the players who are on strike due to non-payment of their salaries for two months.

“The players refused to train on Tuesday and Wednesday because they have not been paid. I don’t know why they have not been paid. I don’t pay them, I only train them,” said Bobby Legend to the Standard.

Ogolla started the league very well and even drew with Gor Mahia and beat AFC leopards. But the players have lost motivation due to non-payment and their performance has slumped. They are now in 15th place.

“Everyone knows how we started the league and had a good performance, but this has been affected by our money problems. Personally, I am considering my future with this club.

“I will only stay if I am sure it will not be the same story in the second leg. It looks like this has been the trend every year. It is not fair though. Not the way things ought to be done too,” he said.



Nuttall and entire Zamalek tech bench sent packing

Nuttall, and Mcleish pictured soon after they joined Zamalek

Former Gor Mahia coach Frank Nuttall will be looking for a job once again. This after Egyptian side Zamalek dismissed all their coaching staff including Alex McLeish who was the head coach and Moussa El-Habashi.

Zamalek Chairman Mortada Mansour has been unhappy with Zamalek’s performance. Zamalek are currently second of the league table with 45 points, 11 adrift of leaders and arch-rivals Ahly.  He initially asked Mcleish to fire Nuttall and El Habashi and McLeish duly obliged But 24 hours later, Mansour also fired McLeish.

Mcleish joined Zamalek in February and had a record of five wins, two draws and two defeats. Nuttall who is friends with McLeish, also joined Zamalek in February following the acrimony he experienced with Gor Mahia officials over his refusal to take a paycut

They have been replaced by Gamal Abdel-Hamid and Mohamed Helmy, who were appointed as director of football and first team trainer respectively.


Thank you coach Frank Nuttall

Coach Frank Nuttall took over as Gor Mahia coach in August of 2014 just when coach Bobby Willianmson had left to take over a new role as Harambee Stars coach. His impact was immediate, not only did Gor Mahia maintain its lead in the league standings, but Nuttall drastically improved the scoring output. Whereas George Odhiambo Blackberry and Dan Sserunkuma were previously not in sync, Nuttall crafted a new tactic, deploying Blackberry on the wings where the latter thrived in his new role as a supplier of quality balls to Sserunkuma and others. The net result was that the Gor Mahia scoring ouput increased significantly.

In 2015 under coach Nuttall, Gor Mahia won the league unbeaten and went on to set new league records for scoring goals, points, wins and goal differential. They are records that are unlikely to be broken any time soon. Gor Mahia also won three titles and almost won the CECAFA cup and GoTV shield in what was the best domestioc season the club has had.

Nuttall also worked under difficult conditions with delayed salaries, players on strike and go slows, and demoralized technical staff. Despite all this, Nuttall was able to keep the playing unit focused and successful. He would end up being voted KPL coach of the year 2015.

Nuttall’s role in Gor Mahia’s success in 2014 and 2015 can therefore not be gainsaid. He was a fan favourite as evidenced by the reaction of fans when they found out that he was being fired. The bone of contention was the Chairman’s demand that Nuttall take a 50% pay cut. No self-respecting professional can accept a such pay cut when a contract was already signed. If he knew his salary was going to be halved, he may not have come to Kenya in the first place. Therefore this was an unreasonable request.

Due to Fan pressure he was promptly re-instated albeit temporarily and continued to work professionally amid a frozen relationship between him and the club executive committee. But the situation became untenable and Nuttall had to leave especially after the club’s poor start to the 2016 season where they went five matches without a win under Nuttall.

Nuttall eventually left for Egypt where he came assistant coach for Zamalek under his friend Alex McLeish.

On behalf of GORMAHIA.NET aka Gor Mahia online supporters branch, we would like to thank Nuttall and wish success in his future endeavours.


Ze Maria to take charge as Nuttall finally speaks

Club official Ronald Ngala has confirmed that the Brazilian Ze Maria will take charge of the team starting this weekend.

“He will be on the bench for the next match against City Stars on Saturday,” said Ngala to mediamax. Gor Mahia EC settled on Ze Maria after recommendations from a highly-regarded football agent whose identity the club won’t disclose.

Other names that had been mentioned as potential replacements are Bobby Williamson who still has living quarters in Kenya and former Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche.

Nuttall speaks on reasons for leaving

Immediate former coach Frank Nuttall has cited numerous reasons for leaving the club.

Additional Reporting from the Standard
Nuttall, who has since joined Egyptian giants Zamalek as an assistant coach, has accused the club of owing him winning bonuses dating back to November 2015. The tactician was also unhappy with K’Ogalo bosses for delaying to facilitate his medical insurance and acquiring him a car. “As a director of football, I am not involved in hiring, releasing and disciplinary of players and assistant staff. This has affected the performance of the club,” Nuttall wrote to the club’s management. Other grievances cited by the Scott include unprocedural termination of his contract on February 4, a decision that was later revoked. “Lastly, the executive committee has continued to make negative and undermining comments in the media, including those relating to team selection. In the circumstances, I believe the club is no longer able to make my work and performance possible at the club,” he said.

On his part, club chairman Ambrose Rachier accused the Scott of having planned his depar ture in advance.

“We received Frank Nuttall’s resignation letter on Tuesday after reports surfaced that he flew to Egypt to join Zamalek. ln the letter, he mentioned a number of reasons and it’s clear he had planned to leave many days before and without telling anyone,” Rachier told the club’s website. Rachier said they will get a replacement soon and several coaches have applied for the job. “After reports went out that Nuttall has resigned, we received many applications and hopefully, the club will get a good coach in the next few days,” he said.
Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/sports/article/2000194361/why-i-quit-countless-frustrations-forced-nuttall-out-of-gor-mahia


Profile of Jose Marcelo Ferreira aka “Ze Maria”

Some reports indicate that former Brazilian fullback Jose Marcelo Ferreirra popularly known as Ze Maria is a strong candidate to replace departing coach Frank Nuttall.

The club has not officially made the announcement yet.

“We have received several applications following the departure of Frank Nuttall on Monday. The latest to show interest to handle this great team is Brazilian Jose Mercelo Ferrairra. We are not going to make any announcement soon but maybe before Friday, we will have an answer.” said Ronald Ngala to goal.com

Ze maria’s coaching career started at Città Castello which is the team he last played for before hanging his boots in 2008.  Città Castello was in Italy’s fourth tier known as Serie D. In 2010 they finished sixth in group E of Serie D. Later in 2010, he became coach of Catanzaro which was in Italy’s third tier known as Lega Pro Seconda Divisione. This was his first professional job as a coach. He was appointed alongside Congolese Malù Mpasinkatu who became Technical Director and Filippo Di Pierro who became assistant coach. Malù became the first black person to be technical director in Italy. Ze Maria’s His stint there did not last beyond October 2010. The club was facing acute financial difficulties. Even traveling to away matches required assistance from fans.

“We live every day an untenable situation – said Ze Maria – and it’s not easy to go on like this, even today we came to Lamezia by car because the bus does not work. It required the personal effort of 3 members, Ruga, Catalan and Santagiuda to allow us to reach Lamezia” said Ze maria at the time.

Difficult working conditions indeed. By the end of his contract, Ze maria and Di Pierro sued Catanzaro for non payment of wages.
Perhaps demoralized by the experience at Catanzaro, Ze maria did not coach again until 2015.

In January 2015, Ze Maria resumed coaching, taking the head coaching job at Ceahlul in Romania’s top tier. By April he was fired due to a poor run that left Ceahlul 15th in the table. It was reported that Ze Maria had been dismissed after refusing to make substitutions, ordered by the club’s flambuoyant owner Angelo Massone during a home goalless draw against relegation-threatened Gaz Metan Medias. A day later Ze Maria was rehired by Massone who decided to give the coach another chance, but a 2-0 defeat in the next game persuaded the Italian to part with the 25-times capped Brazilian once more. He had been fired twice in one week. Before he was fired, the players had gone two months with no pay and had been on strike several times. Massone described the strike as a slave revolt and threatened to send the players to a discipline camp to punish them.

“There was even a time when we didn’t even have enough money to buy snacks,” he said. “I know that some of the players got their February wages yesterday and the rest are due to be paid in the coming days, but I’ve not had any money for a month and now Massone’s sacked me, threatening me to leave the hotel, leave my car and belongings behind. He didn’t even want to pay for my flight back home, while he said he would ‘wait and see how I behave’ before paying my outstanding wages. At least in the end he paid for my flight back on Saturday.” said Ze Maria in 2015.

As opposed to his coaching career, Ze Maria had a stellar playing career. He was capped 25 times for Brazil. He won the bronze medal with Brazil at the 1996 Olympics, playing in all six games. He also won the 1999 Confederations cup and 1999 Copa America. He played for numerous top tier Brazilian sides including Flamengo, Palmeiras and Vasco Da Gama. In Italy he played for Perugia, Parma and Inter Milan.

It is not clear if he speaks English or how good his English is. His coaching record is basically non-existent.  His poor recorded can be attributed to poor working conditions or the lack of tactical knowledge. It is impossible to tell at this point. Is Rachier willing to gamble with the 2016 season? He already gambled by jettisoning Nuttall. But hiring a coach with no record is a large gamble. On the other hand, sometimes hiring a young coach who is motivated to succeed can work well for a club.

Nuttall’s Departure

The departure of Nuttall caught club officials by surprise. But it emphasizes the fact that the relationship between the club brass and Nuttall had deteriorated to the point that Nuttall did not even see it fit to inform club officials.

“We were shocked by Nuttal’s move but as a club we cannot leave a vacuum at this important time of the league that is why we quickly identified a suitable coach that can steer the side ” said a club official to goal.com

Club official, Ronald Ngala told the Standard that the club would report Nuttall to FIFA for absconding duty.
“He has not spoken to anyone in the club as we have only read that he is in Egypt. In case that is the position then we will report him to Fifa for breach of contract and deserting duty. After we failed to agree on a new contract with him, we agreed that we continue operating under the old one and this is therefore enforceable,” .
Chances are that FIFA will take a dim view of the club considering that FIFA always urges clubs to respect contracts.

Chairman Ambrose Rachier for his part appeared elated that his plan to force Nuttall out had worked.
“It is difficult to talk about this matter because I do know what the official position (on Nuttall) is because there is no official communication. I could not reach him yesterday. I also checked at the training ground and he was not there. It makes me happy that he’s gone without us sacking him. You don’t just wake up one morning and fly out. It means he’d planned all this. I’ll call a committee meeting to discuss the matter.” he said to the Nation.

The Nation report further states that The bad blood between them, according to sources, began in December last year when the coach stormed Rachier’s law firm demanding his salary arrears.

And matters turned ugly when he had an altercation with senior players, notably Boniface Oluoch, Karim Nizigiyimana and Musa Mohamed.

His patronizing demeanour and bust-up with players made him lose the dressing room and it reached a point where the players were no longer listening to him.

The relationship with the players continued to deteriorate after his much publicised bust-up with Oluoch in the wake of the 2-1 home defeat to CNaPS of Madagascar last month at the Nyayo National Stadium.


Reports: Coach Nuttall leaves for Zamalek

Gor Mahia coach Frank Nuttall has finally been hounded out of his job. Nuttall has headed to Egypt where he will be an assistant coach at continental giants Zamalek.

“Nuttall left immediately after the derby and as we speak he has arrived safely in Cairo. He will be unveiled on Tuesday but his first assignment will be this weekend when Zamalek takes on Union Douala in a Caf Champions League fixture,” says blogger / agent Francis Gaitho

Nuttall has been under pressure to slice his monthly salary in half.  Matters came to a head when he was detained by the management of Serena hotel due to unpaid bills. Other reports suggested that he was not even on speaking terms with club management and perhaps with certain players. Such a situation is untenable. Nuttall reached out to current Zamalek coach Alex MacLeish with whom he has worked before.

Ronald Ngala confirmed that Nuttall is indeed in Egypt but said he has not officially resigned.

“Yes, it is true that we have been informed that Nuttall has left for Egypt to sign a contract with a top team but we are yet to receive an official communication from him on the same.” said Ngala to goal.com

With Nuttall gone, Frank Ouna will likely take over on an interim basis.



Gor Mahia ready to go to war

Facing a tall order in Madagascar, Gor Mahia will need to play the match of their lives to overcome two away goals and a 1-2 deficit. Experienced Central defender Musa Mohamed understands the task ahead.
We must put up a great fight and secure ourselves passage to the next round. We have been here before against this same team (CNaPS) and we have the believe that we can do it again,” he said to the club site.

Musa was in Madagascar last year and should not be overawed by the raucous crowd in Mahajanga. Working in Gor Mahia’s favour is that this time the crowd will be much smaller. The main stadium in Antananarivo which hosted the match last year is not available. As such the match will be played in Mahajanga whose stadium is a 10,000 seater. Still Musa understands the depth of the task ahead. Gor Mahia will need to conert the chances that come their way while maintaining defensive discipline.

“The situation is however different this time. They have the advantage over us unlike last year and we must be clinical to make our chances count. We have had a good preparation for this match and the team morale is high. We have been in that stadium and we know what the atmosphere there will be and just like last season we can score goals there.” he continued.

Indeed defensive discipline is important: Madagascan sides have proven over and over that they can use their speed to capitalize on defensive lapses as BTM did in 1988 when Jean Claude Rabeamanana capitalized on a loose back pass to score. Luckily Gor Mahia were still able to win 3-1 on aggregate.

Coach Frank Nuttall while acknowledging the steep task ahead, is still optimistic that his side can turn the tables
“We are going there with one mission, to win big and hopefully make it to the next round,” he said.
“The first leg was a disaster for us, but at least we have a goal. We know it is not going to be easy but we will give it our best shot. We have not lost hope yet,” he told the Nation.

One player who could help resolve Gor Mahia’s goal-scoring woes in Ali Abondo who recently returned from trials in South Africa. Abondo scored in Madagascar last year. However by Thursday evening, it was not even clear if Abondo would travel.

“He was expected to return on Sunday and we expect him to join the team for training tomorrow (Wednesday). Unless the coach has a problem we shall travel with him because we are yet to receive any information about him signing for another club and we need him.” said Ngala to goal.com

It would be advisable for coach Nuttall to bring Abondo and assess his ability to fit with the rest of the team on Friday. His fitness is not in question since he has been training in South Africa for four weeks.


Nuttall optimistic ahead of return leg

Nuttall with Enock Agwanda on Saturday Image courtesy of Boniface Osano

Despite losing the Africa champions league preliminary round first leg match at home to CNaPS, coach Frank Nuttall is optimistic that Gor Mahia can turn the tables on their Madagascan challengers.
“Having lost the first leg makes us the underdogs and we understand it will be a tough match. However, we also know that there is a good chance we can win and so the players will be giving their best,” he said.

“It will be a tall order for Gor Mahia. They have scored two goals in the last four matches.Nuttall admitted that the team is having difficulties converting the many chances they create and will need to work on it ahead of the weekend match.” said Nuttall to the Standard.

New signing Jacob Keli has yet to show the spark that made him a hot commodity two years ago. Which is surprising considering that he has been playing well for the national team. Perhaps the return of Ali Abondo who is scheduled to resume training on Wednesday will boost the team

When asked about the rift between him and goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch, Nuttall would not commit.

“He trained very well today and is fine. Like all CAF registered players, he remains in contention for selection this weekend,”

Jerim Onyango played well in his place and could very well be preferred between the posts in Madagascar. His return to the starting line-up has further motivated Jerim who spent most of 2015 on the bench.
“Its always good to be out there playing. I am happy with my performance in the two matches. But the most important thing is to have team work. It is not every day that we will all get playing time. Of course one gets disappointed when not fielded but for me it always gives me a challenge to work even harder to get better while at the same time it makes me learn from what the other keeper has done right” said Jerim to the Nation.