Last week Fufa mutually terminated the contract of head coach Micho Sredojevic after the national team fell short in the 2023 Afcon qualifiers.
The Serb’s departure was always going to be inevitable once Uganda Cranes missed out narrowly on making next year’s tournament in Ivory Coast and the federation is now on the search for his replacement. Here are the five key areas that the new man will have to address to return the national team back to the biggest tournament on the continent.
This has become a recurrent theme when analyzing the shortcomings of the national side. The blatant truth with the Uganda Cranes is that there is hardly a consistent, deliberate style to how the team approaches games. No one can tell with finality whether Uganda are a passing team or an attack-minded country.
Do we play catenaccio football, where we focus on nullifying the opponent to prevent them from scoring? Are we a country whose strength and identity is physicality? The new man must be tasked to figure out what Uganda’s football culture is. Presently we do not have one.
PLAN LONG TERM
The idea that a coach is appointed today to start doing wonders in five or seven months must be ditched. The new coach must push to be offered a long-term contract that will afford him room and time to achieve his desired methodologies.
Generally, the football society in Uganda has been thinking and operating in the short term. There are no miracles that will be achieved in a space of months or one year. The new boss must be granted time.
GO FOR YOUTH
In team sport, it is a cliché to emphasize youth over experience. But ultimately there has never been harm in biting the bullet to entrust the future of the team with youthfulness.
The Cranes have been served diligently by an established group of players like Emmanuel Okwi and Joseph Ochaya, among others. But the reality is that their time in national team colours is done. The new man will have to open a new chapter; a clean slate to start the revamp.
The current crop of young players like Kenneth Ssemakula, Rogers Mato and Aziz Kayondo must be supported and promoted along with others of their age bracket.
Those around the national team know how things are done. The backroom staff, the habitual list of 40 names summoned for every major qualifier, the tried and tested practice venues and schedules, and so forth.
Perhaps the new man will do well to acquaint himself with how things have been done previously. It would inform him on the appropriate fixes to be done to register the changes in mindset that will transform the standards in the short, mid and long terms.
What is clear is that whatever has been done in recent years has not worked. A paradigm shift is necessary. Radicalism may not be a bad thing, after all.
BE HIS OWN MAN
The next Cranes coach must be his own man. He will be hired on the strength of what his CV has. Not on the strength of how he listens to others. Great coaches are famed for making tough decisions. Tough decisions are not always popular.
In fact, more often than not, hard decisions are most unpopular. Ultimately the office of the national team coach must desist from the dependency syndrome.