You must give it up to Wanderers FC. Not that as a football team they are better in the game. But as a football team they are good at showing off, bad at actually doing what they are supposed to do: winning trophies.
If we forgo the fluke of being champions of the Malawi football league last season, Nomads were not the best. They kept beating smaller teams on their way to Cup finals which of course revealed their underbelly when they could not overcome teams their size once they met them.
I am writing this on the back of laughter after hearing of the Nomads’ lackadaisical display in DR Congo. To say the truth, I am not surprised. And if you are surprised, you have a big problem. Worse than the attitude of those Nomads players who videoed themselves talking nonsense before departing for DR Congo.
The moment I heard that the Lali Lubani boys were planning to contest in CAF, I had a field day laughing. A few of my friends, so high on faith and possibly the illegal leaf, wanted to bet with me that Nomads would cause upset in the continental showpiece. I refused the bet. I am not a thief. Betting with them would have been profiteering on their blind loyalty. I am decent, at times. I told them to keep their money and, unlike their team, keep their idiocy to themselves.
Now, the weekend came and we all saw what the Nomads are good at: noise, noise, more noise and nothing but noise. Si za mpira iyayi izizi.
Now, before we go far, we need to somehow understand the psychology of Nomads.
Not long ago, Wanderers brought in a Cameroonian striker. The late Lionel Atsu. The romance between the Cameroonian and the team was not only short-lived but also chaotic. In the end, I think it just sent him to an early grave. He really should have done a Kanda Bongoman when he arrived in Malawi than associate with that team whose colours we can’t really tell: blue today, white tomorrow, yellow the next day.
Atsu was not a dangerous player really. He was just like any other average player. Yet it was his nationality that endeared him to the Nomads. In their flamboyance, the Nomads thought he would give them an edge over their opponents. Not that he would score goals, but that they will have the bragging rights of saying they have a foreign player. Hahaha how laughable!
One would be forgiven to think the Nomads are a travel agency or a tourism agency but, nay, they are a football team with a history to boot yet on Atsu they wanted to build a record on his nationality. Not his skills.
Almost immediately after, the Nomads were all over the news saying they have roped in Nigerians in their squad. I had a chance of sitting on the same bus with those Nigerians some day and, boy, I could tell those people were not footballers in the sense of the word. They knew that a ball has to be chased around a pitch and be placed in an opponent’s net but the actual skill of football was something they never had. Amaonekedwe a mpira koma mphamvu yake anaikana.
Unsurprisingly, the two also ended up in the Nomads camp. Their romance, like that of Atsu, was also chaotic and short-lived. After fluking through some games and accidentally finding the back of the net – a feat which every Jim and Jack can do – they finally called it quits with the Nomads. Now, I do not even know where they are but one thing which is for sure is that they are not practising football where they are because, to start with, those people were not footballers. They were just Nigerians who accidentally landed on a team so desperate for impression than winning.
Then there came that Japanese guy. Hahaha, Nomads sometimes behave like a drama club. He was called Nakamura or something like that. The Nomads, again, went to town touting that they had a catch. Its rabid supporters, not so different from the team administrators and players, were foaming all over highlighting that with the coming of Nakamura they would sweep all trophies and awards.
What more? The very lost among the team supporters came and told us that even the World Cup will be claimed by the Nomads with the coming of Nakamura. It never was to be. Like all its other publicity stunts, Nakamura was an epic disaster. His knowledge of football was even worse than the knowledge he had on the burial rites of Gule wamkulu.
The trophies that the team salivated for were nowhere. The goals that they thought Nakamura had were most likely lost in transit. The threat he posed was never translated. You would think the Nomads would learn a lesson.
But lessons are not a thing that the Nomads can learn, especially when it comes to publicity stunts.
So, the Nomads decided to take their stunts to a higher level. Instead of practising it within the borders of this small impoverished nation, the Nomads went continental. They dared Africa. It was to CAF Champions league they took their stunts.
I do not want to write a lot about CAF. The drubbing that the team suffered last weekend was coming for objective observers. Some of us actually expected worse.
However, it is how Nomads are spending money on trivia when there are a lot of things they can do with the money.
Do you know, by now, the Nomads still have no ground – even for training?
Do you know how much the Nomads better paid player gets?
Have you ever been to the Nomads club house lately?
Why then would such a team, lacking in strategy in both on and off the pitch, choose to go on an expensive trip to DR Congo?