Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Salhadin Said and Getaneh Kebede relegated to the reserve bench and Oumed Oukri out of action for long, the newly appointed Ethiopian national team boss Yohanes Sahle faces a slipping high hill to mount to build a side strong enough to go through the 2017 Africa Nation’s Cup final.
Considering the current situation that is two of the leading premier league goal scorers are from Nigeria (Sannumi 19 and Dawzi 16), it is no wonder Yohannes faces a high hill to find a striker. Salhadin Said, who is playing in Egypt, and Getaneh Kebede playing in South Africa are both out of their respective managers’ favor thus stranded on the reserve bench of the national team. At the age of 31, Adane Girma left the team because he feels the football federation lets him down. The long range specialist Oumed Oukri did not play a competitive football since months because he left his Egyptian side club Alexandria empty. Long in leading the goal scorers chart, Binyam Assefa lost his magic to score just a single goal in seven consecutive matches.
The 2017 African Nations’ Cup final qualification matches kicking off in three months time, the Waliya, new boss really shoulders a hard probable, if not impossible, national duty. To add salt to the wound, the league season is coming to end after two matches thus looking for new talents becomes a further debacle for Yohannes.
Critics suggest this is high time to the Ethiopian-American head coach to show his much talked about experience both at home and in his adopted country. He may opt to bring Ethiopian blood players from America but the practicality of that plan in a short notice appears an equally tougher job. It all falls on the shoulders of the 49-year-old Yohannes Sahle whose decorations, certificates, and battle stories come from America.