National team manager Sebastien Desabre will not look back at the past week of international friendlies with fondness. He lost them all to pile to make worse a record that has set most football fans upon him like blood hounds.
Let’s us get one thing clear. One win out of nine isn’t the kind of start to inspires confidence. But let also us put matters into context. Only three of the nine games were competitive games coming from the African Nations Championship (Chan), a tournament that collects locally based players and can hardly be called the real thing. We are right to demand results at all times, but it is just six months into the job and hardly a competitive game with the senior team. So, to me our impatience seems more like a confession that we harbour a deep-seated fear about Desabre’s competences.
It is like at the merest hint of struggle, we shall always ask ourselves does his managerial nomadic past reveal much about his qualifications at this level? We can only speculate whether his restlessness is about demonstrated incompetence or un-met ambition.
At this point in time though, and like the selection committee that narrowed down on him last December, I would like to gamble on the latter, and judge him not on a friendly against Chad in which we are experimenting with uncapped players, but on the results in the business-end games in September and October versus Lesotho Tanzania and Cape Verde.
And should all that not suffice we must remember that we signed him on a three-year contract.
This is the steep learning curve we always knew he would have to navigate. If we all appreciate that club football never prepares you for the crush into a wall of skewed national expectations conditioned by years of near success or how to contend with ‘political’ interference from ‘careerists’ who choke the efforts of team managers, we will understand that the skills to handle such are learnt on the job and take time.
No need for panic
Patience is all that is needed at this stage. Panic won’t get us anywhere. Nor by the way will keen reminders from ex-national manager Militun ‘Micho’ Sredejovic, who says he could have carried us to the World Cup.
Well that is hypothetical and if Micho would like us to believe he is behind Uganda 200% like he says, I implore him to drop his strange need to compare his achievements and Desabre’s.
We wish him well at Orlando Pirates, but we haven’t forgotten that he came in on a wing and prayer with only an abysmal record for Amahoro Stars (Rwanda) to show for his national team management competencies. But he got a chance and he proved himself.
The least we can do is offer Desabre the same. And like the man himself said, why don’t we judge him when Tanzania Lesotho and Cape Verde come along?
Besides why are we acting like he is past his sell by date when we gave him Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2019 and Qatar 2022 as ultimate targets?