As Harambee Stars fine-tune their preparations in Paris ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, Nigerian legend Daniel Amokachi has tipped skipper Victor Wanyama as the man to be relied on heavily if the country is to break their first-round jinx.
Amokachi observed that Wanyama, who has played at the highest level in his professional career with Celtic and now Tottenham Hotspur, should make good use of his experience and guide Kenya in the second round in their sixth time of asking.
Speaking during a live screening of the Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday night, Amokachi said: “I don’t know much about Kenyan football but I watched their home game against Ghana in the qualifiers which I feel is probably one of their best game in the qualifiers.”
“I think they have young players who really want to impress and Wanyama should be able to guide them to achieve something.”
Amokachi, who scored the first goal of the Uefa Champions League with Club Brugge in a 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow in 1992 was also unhappy with how the sport is being run on the continent. “We have a lot of quality since my generation and the current is full of quality too. Lapses in administration and selection has been our undoing,” he observed. “We should not be lurking behind. I think we should allow new minds to take over, give young administrators the hand to what they have to.”
The former Enyimba coach further challenged foreign-based African players to replicate their prowess at club level in the continental finals. For long, overseas-based players have been on the receiving end of criticism for their lacklustre performances while in national team colours and Amokachi wants them to give 100 per cent in Egypt.
He also tipped the hosts to shine, saying: “I think the Pharaohs are favourites courtesy of being the hosts. Senegal and Nigeria are also good teams. We expect our top players to give 100 per cent in Egypt as opposed to previous events where we have seen them give about 40 to 60 per cent.”
“We have to keep on preaching to them. We are Africans and we would like to see them replicate their club performances while with their national teams.”
Amokachi, a former technical director with the Super Eagles hailed the trio of Divork Origi, Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah for inspiring Liverpool to a sixth Champions League trophy and runner up finish in the English Premier League.
The Reds saw off compatriots Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the final staged at the Wanda Metropolitano over the weekend where Salah and Origi were on target.
“It’s a well deserved season for the trio for finishing second in the league and claiming a Champions League medal. It’s a beautiful thing to see two Africans score in the final. They are doing something and we as Africans have to embrace and love what they are doing,” said Amokachi.