Isn’t it disheartening to witness the panic that has overwhelmed the entire community of supporters of our national side these past few days? We have lost our traditional cool and smug and we are on a sure path to losing our dignity. People, we are playing lowly Gabon in the next few weeks! Not Argentina, nor Brazil, nor France. And yet, we have hit the panic button because we do not really feel we will prevail in Libreville.
This is a humbling situation we are in, isn’t it? We have been on the ropes for sometime. A number of untested teams have abused us and we have chalked up some dismal performances both on the pitch and away from it. Are the mighty Lions, once the pride of all of Africa, the treasure of a whole nation, turning into pussycats?
Self-doubt has never really sunk in before. We used to consistently win, no matter how unprepared the players were or how incompetent the team managers were. But we do not win anymore, so doubt has been creeping in. The fans have been losing faith, even though they would swear otherwise, and the players will readily admit that we can be tamed.
True, we used to win. But we never were really exemplary. We certainly had some talent, but I believe that the Cameroon game was helped by two mundane factors, hard to fathom and measure, but very determining indeed. The “ntong” and the hemlè” factors have contributed to a sizable degree to some of our greatest past successes. That is a fact.
So I believe that in this time of need, it makes sense to pray for the return of our legendary “ntong”. We need whatever help we can get.