Good morning everyone.
Post is a bit late today. My apologies. I’d tell you why, but I have always been a bit of a tease, so it’s more fun for me if you try to guess.
Kept one ear cocked in the direction of the CAF Champions League semi-final first legs last night. You know how you break up with a really attractive lady, and then you spend some time stalking her social media accounts, biting your finger and wondering what might have been? No? Wait, am I the only one who does this? Eish! Delete, delete!
Anyway, what really got my attention was the absolute hiding Zamalek administered to Moroccan giants Wydad Casablanca. Seriously, it was like watching a car explosion: an initial adrenaline rush of excitement, followed by a rush of panic and pity. Four goals scored, none conceded means the White Knights are as good as through to the final.
It got me thinking: how many goals did we manage over all four games of our group campaign? Can we confidently assert that, if we had qualified ahead of Zamalek, we would have been as dominant against Wydad at home? If you can say that, you are the father of faith in this generation.
Getting to the group stage of the Champions League this season was a huge deal for us, considering how long we had been out of it. Then again, making an impact there was always going to be a big ask. When you spend the play-off rounds splitting results with minnows like Vipers SC and Vital’O, you should subconsciously lower expectations.
The cutting truth is we were never at a level to compete. We can point to the coaching personnel all we want, but Zamalek have had about three different managers this season. A coach is not a miracle worker. He is there to build on existing structures, and take the club up a few levels. First though, there have to be a few basics taken care of. The sooner we realise this, the better.
Am i downplaying the coach’s responsibility? No. Am I saying the present gaffer should remain? Not up to me, and I’m a bit undecided, truth be told.
However, when you consider how much that CAFCL run took out of us, and tell yourself a home truth: we were never going to win the damn thing, you wonder if we didn’t perhaps prioritize wrongly. That’s the thing with proper planning, you need a healthy dose of realism.
We have an engagement with MFM FC, who come calling tomorrow. They’re trying to put distance between themselves and the relegation zone, so they will be a hard nut to crack. We will cobble together a preview tomorrow morning then.