Kampala – It is barely two weeks since Geofrey Massa declared his resignation and submitted the letter to FUFA. Local media houses, online bloggers, social media writers have mentioned possible replacement for the striker who consistently served the national team for twelve years, a thing not witnessed in the nation’s soccer history.
However, after a deep thought, research, analysis and comparisons done, we have come up with conclusions regarding the possible reasons why Massa is irreplaceable. Truth is the country is blessed with immense talent particularly in football, undeniable the list of strikers are so many though most of them haven’t been exposed.
So, why won’t Cranes find striker of Massa’s caliber? From the glance of the heading of the article, most readers would wonder how is it even impossible to replace Massa whose performance in the last two years were questionable, who played most games in the last approximately 730 days without seeing the net? Truth is the retired 31 – year – old was unique for the following three reasons;
Massa’s Speed: The Speed he possesses makes him different from other current strikers Inspite of the goals they score. Compared to particularly Sserunkuma who has been scoring goals like bumper to bumper, the role a player’s speed plays in the final result a team gets cannot be denied. A striker’s speed enables him to beat opponent to a 50/50 ball, to lose defender, to get in to space, to support an attack, to dribble round an opponent, and to chase an opponent possessing the ball so as to win the ball.
In turn, speed makes it easy for the player to create goals for fellow players, put opponents on pressure, utilize counter attacks to the limits and even score themselves. The fact that strikers like injured B. Umony, G. Sserunkuma, E. Okwi, N. Sekantuka, Y. Sentamu, E. Lubega, E. Sekisambu, R. Sentongo are not as quick as Massa, makes him unique.
Shaban Muhamad is one striker soccer pundits compared with Geofrey Massa in terms of speed, reality is Shaban is very quick, his recent performance at the AFCON against Ghana was surprise to many Ugandans who did not know him before, his confidence against experience teams is admirable and also his ability to score one man show goals is remarkable but he needs to prove that to the world for ages. Otherwise, the twelve years of Massa’s service is unmatched to the two years Shaban’s greatness has been witnessed.
Massa’s Mental Strength: His recent form indeed was hurting the feelings of emotional country fans. In his glorious days, he attracted the attention of the media and he was the person of interest for the opponents. However, his inability to score for numerous days attracted criticism from spectators and the Media. He is different from the rest of the players because mentally he remained strong, even when he got abused in the pitch. Composure, confidence and patience defined him.
Often times criticism discourages and frustrates players from executing their duties, but Massa went through the storm. Refused to retire, instead made sure his experience added value to the rest of the on form team mates like F. Miya. Besides not giving in to the pressure and the negative demand from the multitudes, he responded to the provoking questions of Journalists with respect and professionalism. Three months later, he declared his desire to retire and that shows how strong and courageous he was mentally.
Miscellaneous Things: Massa’s dozen years of service to the Uganda Cranes, fourteen goals in both World Cup and African Cup of Nations Qualifiers, Cranes Top scorer in both WC and AFCON, over 80 caps, consistency, and net tearing goals are enough justification that Uganda Cranes will not find another Massa.
Like mentioned before in this composition, the nation is full of talented soccer players, strikers in particular whose ability has not been known to the fullest due to many factors amongst which lack of exposure is. National football teams and football clubs have many times lost or missed great players to injuries, retirement, transfer, and other personal reasons. Hence faced anxiety due to the thought of a player being irreplaceable however at the end actually greater and or unique players are discovered. In other words, a player’s departure from a team shouldn’t create worry but looked at as an opportunity for other fresh talents to be realized.
When Patrick Vieira left Arsenal for Juventus, the talk was he is irreplaceable, negativity and sadness filled the hearts of Gunner’s affiliates, and however C. Fabregas got a chance and showed the world what he got. Though he didn’t play like Vieira, his style of play left mark and admiration. Imagine D. Beckham hadn’t left, how would C. Ronaldo get a chance in Man United? Geofrey Massa made the right choice to retire, replacing him is close to impossible but Uganda Cranes can only get a better or unique striker if that position is left vacant by him.