He did not demonstrate the leadership required on the bench to inspire the team to deliver as expected
Out went Kefa Kisaala on Tuesday, in came George Semwogerere as new head coach of Express Football Club.
The sacking followed Express’ disappointing 2-0 defeat to Police FC at the Betway Muteesa II home stadium that left the Red Eagles in 10th position, 19 points behind table leaders KCCA and just nine points above the relegation zone.
Kisala’s sixth defeat with 13 games left to end of season dictated the board’s summary decision.
At the start of club chairman Kiryowa Kiwanuka’s reign, he made a promise; “Our target is to finish in the top four” this season. They are currently seven points behind.
Watching Express throughout the first round, I got the feeling that they are much better than their results and news surrounding the club suggests.
Tony Odur, Eric Kambale, Ibrahim Kayiwa and Michael Birungi are for me, the second best attacking quartet behind KCCA’s best foot forward.
The frustration throughout has been their failure to convert the numerous scoring chances created in every game. Their potency is without doubt but it lacks a clinical edge.
This is a coaching problem. And this was before the arrival of the proven goal getter Bryan Umony.
In Badru Nsubuga and Jonny Revita, the Wankuluku based team has two of the season’s outstanding midfielders.
Nsubuga, for me, the best box-to-box midfielder and Revita, the best passer with movement and game intelligence that rival’s KCCA’s Allan Okello and Vipers’ Moses Waiswa.
Now, they have added ‘Zaga’ to the mix. At left wing back, Disan Galiwango has been as impressive as Onduparaka’s Okocha while the promise of center back Isaac Mutanga, mistake prone though he is, can’t be overstated.
Kisaala miserably failed to harness this talent by getting the tactics and game plan wrong many times while he also fumbled with team selection.
From the moment former team captain Julius Ntambi was axed early in the first round by the board for indiscipline, the writing was on the wall for the rest of the staff and players – the new board is in charge and on a mission to take Express back to where it belongs.
No longer is this club managed or influenced by fans or public opinion. It has leadership; professional leadership.
Several of the new board members at Express are my peers with lots of things shared in common including passion for football and the clubs we support, knowledge of the game, loyalty, professional ethics and educational background.
As a KCCA die-hard, I was the first to worry the moment this new administration was announced. They love Express to death and they know too much football.
I can almost predict every next step at Express going forward and this is all good stuff for the club I loathe from the stands.
The new Semwogerere led technical team that also includes James Magala and Hassan Mubiru (notwithstanding the contradictions with Katwe FC) is one straight from the text book.
Each of them represents a different generation of Express players of the past decades but the successful ones.
Semwogerere is the most successful Express captain in the club’s history, also the longest serving while Mubiru represents the last robust generation that recruited many young fans as supporters of the club.
Magala was not a superstar in goal, but he was always reliable and a loyal servant.
After securing an adrenalin driven board whose loyalties and passion are without question, this board has now set about bringing the same passion to the team itself beginning with the technical wing.
Wearing the red shirt is now going to mean something for each and each one of these players.
Kisaala has not been sacked for incompetence or questionable loyalty. The board was prompted by the big picture which now has sponsors, fans and Premier League.
A winning Express strengthens competition at the top, gives value to sponsor brands, provokes other sleeping giants and creates more value for domestic football.
Kisaala did not demonstrate the leadership required on the bench to inspire the team to deliver as expected.
The board at Express is fully functional.