The AFC Leopards legend insists the presence of the experienced midfielder would have been a boost for Harambee Stars
Former Kenya midfielder Francis Xavier believes it was vital for Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama be included in the squad to play Egypt.
The hosts will be playing the Africa Cup of Nations record-holders on Thursday hoping to get maximum points to have a chance of finishing in the top two positions in Group G. The AFC Leopards legend believes the 29-year-old would have had a positive impact on the team.
“[Jacob] ‘Ghost’ Mulee would have called the captain even if he was not going to be given playing time,” Xavier told Goal on Thursday.
“Wanyama’s presence in the team is a motivation to the squad. He is a professional and would have understood the dynamics; however, coaches work differently.”
Johanna Omolo was among the players left out, alongside Eric Johanna, Arnold Origi, Brian Mandela, and Patrick Matasi.
“Omolo has always been my favourite midfielder in our national team,” Xavier continued.
“But ‘Ghost’ is the boss. He said he considered the current form for selection and I respect that.”
In an initial interview, the former Shabana FC player also exuded confidence goalkeeper Ian Otieno will give his best and play a crucial role to help the team win.
“I remember Otieno came in when Matasi was injured away to Egypt and did a wonderful job by making decent saves to ensure the game ended 1-1, then again against Togo in the 1-1 draw.
“It was a shock when he was left out [against Comoros], but his time at Zesco United has been good and I believe he has gained some experience. It is a learning process, and I am sure he will command his area well.
“It starts from the back; the goalkeeper has to be alert and ensure every defender is in a position which will limit the opponents from getting in the danger zone.”
Egypt are top of the group with eight points, alongside Comoros who are second with the same number of points but with an inferior goal difference.
Kenya are third with three points, while Togo are at the bottom of the table with a point.
While the East African outfit will play Togo away in Lome in their final group game, the Pharaohs will be at home against Comoros.