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Wednesday,August 21,2019 05:11 AM

Proud Mutebi example

By Admin

Added 16th May 2019 02:48 PM

The one thing everyone agrees about Mutebi is his resolve, especially regarding football tactics or philosophy.

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KCCA coach Mike Muteb

The one thing everyone agrees about Mutebi is his resolve, especially regarding football tactics or philosophy.

 
 

 BY CHARLES MUTEBI

A fairly urgent assignment leads me to seek an interview with KCCA coach Mike Mutebi at StarTimes Stadium one afternoon.

 
After about two hours waiting for him to complete his afternoon nap and lunch – in that order – Mutebi finally allows me into his office and asks what I want. Barely a few words in, Mutebi lets me know he cannot grant my request for an interview because he doesn’t work like that.
 
“You should have booked with me earlier so come back tomorrow,” he explains, seemingly offended by my intrusion. “My day is planned already.”
 
That, besides the magnificent inflexibility, arguably explains why Mutebi is enjoying consistent success with KCCA.
 
The one thing everyone agrees about Mutebi is his resolve, especially regarding football tactics or philosophy. Rigidly attack-minded, Mutebi is said to have once taken a team full of forwards for the Copa Coca-Cola Africa Cup when he was still working with the programme in a bid to address Uganda’s shortage of quality strikers.
 
Of course, it did not go well but the point is Mutebi was probably the only man capable of such a bold thing. There is a fine line between bravery and recklessness and Mutebi has often left observers uncertain what his coaching embodies most.
 
In the recently concluded season, KCCA fans demanded a meeting with Mutebi to ask him to end the tinkering they believed was endangering their title quest. After failed attempts to disperse the fans by other club officials, Mutebi reportedly came out of the office at 11 pm and met them.
 
That incident highlights the sort of intense reaction often provoked by Mutebi’s coaching approach. There are, of course, many who admire his firmness and insistence on an expressive football style that goes counter to the general defensive mindset of his coaching peers.
 
But ultimately there is no greater verdict about the man than his three League titles in four years, not to mention the entertaining football and impressive victories against some of Africa’s powerhouse in continental encounters.
 
Long considered an out-of-touch football romantic incapable of getting the job done in the real world, Mutebi has now become the benchmark of success in Ugandan football, distinguishing himself from all his local coaching peers as a tactically progressive modern-day manager.
 
There is something surreal about how KCCA challenged Ah Ahly and Esperance in 2018, stunning the former 1-0 at Namboole and racing to two-goal lead away to the latter before losing 3-2.
 
Those games summed up the best of Mutebi, a genuine football purist. Very few other coaches in Mutebi’s position would have dared attack those North African sides let alone managed to get joy out of them.
 
But that is what you get with Mutebi. That is the reason why KCCA are top of Ugandan football.
 
Email: cmutebi@newvision.co.ug

 

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