Wanyama to carry Kenya’s hopes in Egypt, AFCON

By Gilbert Wandera: Friday, June 14th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Victor Wanyama [Courtesy]

The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder missed last September’s Africa Cup of Nations home qualifier against Ghana.

Harambee Stars won 1-0 and with Wanyama missing in action, this move did not go down well with some football fans.

But Wanyama insists he always gives his best to the national team, when he is available.

“First of all, I am grateful to the fans who always stand by me, but it is good to understand that sometimes, you may play well while on other days, be off. It is not always easy to make things happen,” he said at the team’s camp in France.

He said it is normal for big players to be blamed when they fail to lead their national teams and he is no exception.

“We don’t play for ourselves and it should not always be about me, but rather about the whole team.

Get the latest sports news updates. Subscribe to our SMS sports service by texting 'SPORTS' to 22840.

“It is about everyone doing their role and not just about me.”

Wanyama said he is not bothered by the criticism about his performance with the national team.

“Whatever I can do, I always do but what I can’t, I learn from it.”

He admitted Kenya are in a tough group for next week’s Africa Cup of Nations.

“It is a tough group when you look at our opponents. Algeria have been to tournament many times, Senegal are also tough while it will be a derby against Tanzania.

“So we have a 50/50 chance to come out of the group and I want to ask the fans to rally behind the team.

“We have had good preparations and this gives us confidence to face our opponents in Egypt and get good results from the tournament.”

Wanyama also spoke of a difficult season he had in England, where he was bogged down by injuries.

“When I got injured, it felt very lonely and took a lot of hard work to come back. I am glad I had a good support system that allowed me to come back even stronger.

“I did not allow it to occupy my mind but rather looked at it as a challenge to be overcome and it helped that iam a believer in God.”

For More of This and Other Sports Stories Subscribe to the Standard Epaper