Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Forewarned is Forearmed

Zdravko Logarusic. I first heard of him shortly after he was presented as Gor Mahia FC’s new coach a while back. In an interview that aired on prime time while I lazed on the couch, he complained bitterly to a swarm of sports journalists about the quality of players he found at the club. “Some players can’t think and run at the same time,” he said, clearly underwhelmed by the players affected. The way he said it, angrily and with an air of disgust, I fully expected an avalanche of rolling heads at the club.

But the guy shook me up a bit. I sat up. You see, in those days, I still dreamt of playing soccer at international level, or national league level at least (a boy must dream!). But along comes Mr. Logarusic, foreign coach with high credentials, complaining bitterly about soccer players who imagine themselves to be established. About these ones, Zdravko is saying “when they run they don’t think, when they think they don’t run.” What scared me most: that was the first time I ever thought about my in-game running in terms other than speed/pace. The instant he said that, I perceived that he was a tactician of such a high order that he even expected tactical running from his players, rather than people just taking off like lately beheaded chickens let loose. Anyway, thanks in part to his unabridged criticisms of the players he found at Gor Mahia, I began to work on my tactical game even if I am only playing soccer recreationally at grassroots level.

The acrimonious manner in which Logarusic parted ways with Gor Mahia FC was an anticlimax for me. I liked the guy from afar (which is not to say I have anything against current coach Bobby Williamson). But I’ll be listening keenly for whether any valuable criticisms that I can apply to my game will be forthcoming from Bobby.

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