Uganda Cranes midfielder Mike Azira has played under the last two coaches to manage the Uganda Cranes, Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredejovic and Sebastian Desabre.
And for some reason, much as Micho gave the midfielder his first shot at topflight while still at SC Villa in 2003, Azira doesn’t rate the Serbian that much.
The Chicago Fire midfielder in the MSL thinks Frenchman Desabre is more organized than the Serbian.
“Desabre was more professional than Milutin. He plays soccer and understands how to work with players,” Azira was quoted by Sunday Monitor.
“If there is anything you need, he tries to make sure you get it. If you don’t feel good, he makes sure you get the right treatment and the right rest you need.
“Milutin, he’s different. He was always under so much pressure. Uptight. He’ll take you out to stretch two hours before a game. Please, we need to rest.
“In a day you would have three or four meetings and another game, and you’re like, please, we need to rest.
Mike spent most of the time on the bench as Uganda qualified for the 2017 Total Africa Cup of Nation, he made the squad to Gabon eventually but still, the playing time was limited.
Out of anger and disappointment, he gave up on the national team but Desabre was able to change his mind much as it wasn’t easy.
“Every coach has different players that he wants. “And I used to go, but Micho wasn’t playing me, so I told him if I was going to travel for 23 hours and not play, it doesn’t make sense. “It’s too much. So, with that, I told him you don’t have to call me, it’s fine.
“I know the media was also pressuring the Federation asking, ‘Why are you not calling Mike, he plays in a better league compared to the players we have. Why are you not calling him?’
“It took them a while to decide. Then the new coach (Desabre), called me and said, ‘Mike, we want you to come back.
“I asked why you are calling me now, you didn’t call me in the qualifiers. The team is set up already and qualified. Why do you need me?”
“When I made my decision to play, I was like, I’m going there to play for the national team.
“It was not about me. I decided to go because I wanted to be part of something bigger than me, so I didn’t go there to be negative or anything.”
And he started in all the four games Uganda played at the Nations Cup, his presence in the midfield gave Cranes organization they had lacked in a while.