Gor Mahia coach McKinstry criticises fans' overemphasis on Benson Omala's goal tally

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Gor Mahia coach McKinstry criticises fans' overemphasis on Benson Omala's goal tally

Festus Chuma 12:51 - 18.05.2024

The Northern Irishman has praised Benson Omala's overall game improvement, stressing teamwork over individual goal-scoring achievements.

Gor Mahia head coach Jonathan McKinstry has revealed that striker Benson Omala has significantly improved this season even as fans and pundits remain fixated on his goal-scoring tally.

Omala, who is jointly leading the scoring charts with 15 goals alongside Timo Okello of Kenya Police, is widely expected to clinch the Golden Boot this season.

 However, McKinstry views the situation differently emphasizing a more holistic assessment of Omala’s contributions to the team.

"Look, ultimately Benson is pushing always to do what's best for the team. You know, I think some people look at centre forwards and only see the goals column and that's, let's not joke ourselves, that is the most important element for a striker," McKinstry explained.

"But there's so many other, you know, I think you see, it's become very apparent to a lot of people watching Arsenal this season, you know, the work that someone like Kai Havertz does in terms of initiating the press, in terms of being a target for other people to play through, bringing people into the game. I think we've seen Benson grow significantly in those areas this season," he added.

McKinstry went on to elaborate on the broader aspects of Omala’s game that have impressed him this season. 

"You know, if you watch a full 90-minute performance, Benson's not just a goal scorer that he was maybe a couple of years ago, whereas now he's adding so much to our defensive effort, to our build-up play. And look, he's also been a lot tighter marked this season than he was last year, but he's on 15 now. We've got four games to go. We think he has all the potential to get to 20 goals this season. But look, you ask him," he noted.

The former Uganda national team manager also touched on the importance of team success over individual accolades.

 "Personal accolades are always nice and if it's meant to be, it's meant to be. But if he doesn't get it but ends up with another championship medal, trust me, footballers at the end of their career, if they get into a debate over who had a better career, the guy with more championship medals wins over the guy with personal accolades," McKinstry concluded.

Omala finished second last season with an impressive 26 goals, just behind the winner Elvis Rupia. However, matching that tally seems unlikely this season despite his consistent performance.

Gor Mahia needs just one win out of the remaining four matches to be crowned champions for the 21st time in the club’s history.

 This follows a goalless draw against KCB in their Round 30 league match at the SportPesa Arena on Thursday afternoon, bringing their tally to 64 points, ten ahead of their closest challengers, Kenya Police.

Gor Mahia is set to face Muhoroni Youth on Sunday where three points would secure the title. 

K'Ogalo could also win the championship earlier if Tusker manages to beat Kenya Police at the Police Sacco Stadium on Saturday.

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