Balotelli breaks a leg and a City’s heart @ Samaki Samaki

Balotelli breaks a leg and a City’s heart @ Samaki Samaki

I am not a believer in the explanation that when one team loses it is a result of the other team wanting it more or had ‘more to prove.’ I would like to think that at a professional level, everyone wants to win and everyone is competitive and has that competitive edge. When people compare Kobe Bryant and Lebron James, they always say that Kobe is a killer; he wants it more and is competitive. All of this might be true but I do not believe that Lebron makes it all the way to the NBA Finals without wanting it more or being competitive…Everyone in professional sports is competitive and wants to win, that’s why they play with the best of the best and why we are the ones sitting on a couch watching them. However, after watching Arsenal take it to Manchester City as soon as the game started I may have to reconsider.

Look, City want to win and they want to be the first team to win the EPL title in the past decade that’s not named than Chelsea, Manchester United or Arsenal. I just do not think they have the killer instinct to finish the job. They are simply not serious, and they looked like a team that finally came to this realization, only it’s a bit too late to rectify it. Everyone at Samaki Samaki located at Milimani City, knew this from the moment the game started.

From the moment I stepped into Samaki Samaki we knew that the audience were not City fans and the room was overwhelmingly pro-Arsenal. However, I think the majority could have been split between pro-Arsenal fans and pro-United fans. I was lucky to have the best seat in the house; my friend Mwemezi was at the venue a couple of hours before enjoying Manchester United dominate Queens Park Rangers (QPR). I’m glad he admitted that the game was absolutely boring, and that United were playing some uninspiring football and the only reason they won was that QPR did not show up…ok I made up that last point but it was a rather dull game, just like Chelsea’s practice session against Wigan Athletic. Practice because every game for Chelsea should now be see a rehearsal to play Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final. A game that everyone sees Chelsea loosing and getting thrashed…that should be enough motivation to play hard right? I’m looking at you Didier Drogba.

Samaki Samaki is a great place to watch football. There are screens everywhere you turn, the place is packed and everyone has an opinion about everything. That’s the type of place you want to go watch any sport. The crowd would have even made the Masters exciting…Tiger why do you keep letting me down? The only downside of the venue is that they do not provide sound from the game, so you can’t listen to the commentator. As a result you are left in between a bar and a club, the music was great but it would have been nice to hear the game.

At Samaki Samaki, every call is debated, every shot on goal has a reaction and every goal has one ridiculous reaction. Seeing the video below, you clearly know where the allegiance of the audience was. Arsenal was pure class; I just wish Arsene Wenger will start putting Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the game sooner, and not at the 85th minute.

Arteta scores (Please wait while video loads, then double click to start)
[qt: 568 400]

It has already been decided that City will not win the EPL title, the question is how do they respond? Do they quit? Have they already done so? I can’t help but draw parallels between City the Miami Heat. The Heat and City are very similar: an all-star team that was the favorite to win and to win big. As a result they have a bulls-eye on their backs and every team is gunning for them. With immense pressure a team can be left with no identity if they do not have mental toughness. The Heat have two alpha-males, what about City? Who is the dominant player that can hold the fort and keep people like Mario Balotelli in line? Yaya Toure, the best African player in the world, was that guy but perhaps being away during the African Cup of Nations may have diminished his role and affected his play. This was confirmed by news over the weekend that Toure will take an extended break from international duty.

With no floor general, teams can easily self-destruct. There are obvious divisions in this club and it would be hard for me to acknowledge that a coaching change is all that is needed. What are these guys going to be playing for these next couple of games? If they know the answer to that, I think it will be an exciting couple of weeks, if they do not, we will continue to see the biggest choke performance in EPL history…ok perhaps not that dramatic but you get the idea. What about Balotelli? The video below pretty much sums up how people feel about him right now. Mancini will probably be gone before Balotelli simply by suggesting he will be traded this summer. All of this is unfortunate because Balotelli was the best player on the pitch yesterday, but also the biggest jackass…tough combination.

Balotelli is sent off (Please wait while video loads, then double click to start)
[qt: 568 348]

Ahmed is currently finishing up his Master of International Affairs at Columbia University focussing on international security policy and Africa. Ahmed’s interest and focus is primarily on politics and the intersection between security and development in Africa. Prior to Columbia, Ahmed finished his undergraduate degree in 2008 at Lehigh University with a BA in International Relations and Africana Studies. Ahmed was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania but spent most of his life in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he was exposed to the potential as well as the shortcomings of politics and development in Africa. Currently Ahmed is waiting to pursue a career in political risk consulting. Ahmed writes for Vijana FM with a focus on politics in both Tanzania and Africa.


  1. Big fan 6 years ago

    It would be nice to see some mini-interviews with other people who watch as well, if that is possible 🙂

  2. Holly 6 years ago

    I completely understand why you love being in an environment where fans are passionate about the sport they are watching. That moment when you’re on the edge of your seat because your team is passing towards the goal… and then to see them score is such a rush! From reading your blog post, I can’t tell which team you support, Arsenal or City? I have to say I’m surprised City did not lose by more in that game… You’re right, Wenger should have put Chamberlain out earlier… What was he thinking… How often do you go watch games at Samaki Samaki?

  3. Ahmed 6 years ago

    I’ll try to ask people for an interview but its hard to really do so when they just want to watch football, plus people get a little suspicious . You should have seen some of the looks I got when I was recording the reactions but I’ll see if people are forthcoming.

    @Holly I’m actually a Chelsea fan, a disgruntled one but nevertheless still a fan. That was my only second time at Samaki Samaki, have to check out more spots before going back again though.

  4. Holly 6 years ago

    Oh! That’s why I couldn’t tell which team you were rooting for. Thanks for your wonderful description about being at Samaki Samaki, especially since it was a match between these two really competitive teams (with competitive fans).

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