Kenyan football has been in a rut stretching 2 decades. It’s such a sad state of affairs that has lost the country prospective fans (90s kids) and cycles of players. Tactically, the game is wanting; infact coaches are not really prominent and it translates to the wider scheme of things. None of the media houses has a dedicated tactics-discussion segment in print or otherwise. “Opinion” pieces are popular and of course generic match reports, but I digress.

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The first position I’ll delve in is goalkeeping;
Generally, this is not a cause for concern in Kenya as we rarely are on the end of drubbings. But there’s an unhealthy dalliance with shot-stopping. While it’s the basis of a goalkeeper, there’s need for an enhanced repetoire.

Footwork, for instance, is a problem; most memorably exposed in a past qualifier against Eritrea. I’m not idealising possession football but in the modern game of pressing, the goalkeeper should be an option to allieviate pressure. And on the same breadth, it helps with ball distribution. The huff upfield style that is ingrained in highschool is part of why Harambee Stars looks rudderless. Goalkicks are more often than not 50-50 balls (the 0-0 draw with Uganda where Origi sent poor ballkicks a clear memory) and, despite the lack of stats, Kenya is not famed for aerial superiority (Kenya is actually not number one in anything). The ball should preferably start at the back.

Another lamenting point is penalty saving. This is more of the Kenyan game lagging behind in statistical/video analysis than a fault of the goalkeepers. Usually a keeper has information on the opponents’ spotkick technique/trend and therefore is in a position to make a preemptive dive for the ball. Here, the lack of such sophistication sees the keeper dive after the ball has been kicked; thus relying more on a poor attempt for a save rather than self ability.

Note- thanks to Kimanzi and Bobby Williamson, sweeping has taken a prominent role with their high-line defending.

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