© JOHN BATANUDDE Javier Martinez Espinoza

Vipers finally announced they had parted ways with Javier Martinez Espinoza after just 143 days in charge at St. Mary’s stadium, Kitende.

Despite losing none of his 11 league games, five points behind leaders KCCA with two games in hand, the axing was long overdue depending on a number of factors.

From his first days at the club, the Mexican, unveiled on August 6 by club supremo Lawrence Mulindwa to replace league winner, Miguel Da Costa showed a personality problem.

Under looked his technical staff

Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE Martinez being greeted by the Vipers Technical Director Eddie Butindo as Simon Ssekankya keeps a keen eye

Close sources to the coach indicate that he had no respect for any of his technical staff including Technical Director Eddie Butindo as he felt they couldn’t add anything to his game.

So often, he would make last gasp changes to the line-up agreed on by the staff.

“He under looked the support staff and we warned him against that,” a source close to the coach told Kawowo Sports. “To him, they couldn’t add any technical value and was silently at loggerheads with all,” he added.

Alienating his players for no apparent reason

The biggest factor for the club hierarchy in deciding to give Espinoza the sack was easily his treatment of key players.

David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Javier Espinoza talks to defender Halid Lwaliwa and striker Dan Sserunkuma

The Mexican seemed to bench players for no apparent reason. Halid Lwaliwa is easily the best centre-back at the club, but the Mexican left him out of the team for better parts due to personal issues.

Speaking to most of the players at the club, they seem unhappy with the treatment more so senior players.

“He has personality issues and that affected his relationship with the players,” said one of the people responsible for bringing the tactician to Kitende.

Abysmal performances

David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports Vipers’ Tom Masiko vies for the ball with Juma Balinya during the game at Kitende. | Photo: JOHN BATANUDDE

Vipers could be just five points behind leaders in the league and 180 minutes from reaching the Caf Confederation Cup group stages but the team’s performances under Espinoza are undesirable.

During his tenure, the team has looked pedestrian against almost all opponents, creating few chances and rarely moved the crowds.

“At the end of the day, results matter more than performances,” he once told the press.

That statement alone implied the team’s philosophy of entertaining football was secondary to him.

Failure to make Caf Champions League group stages

Franklin Kaweru | Kawowo Sports

The Venoms have invested in infrastructure and ‘playing staff’ purposely to do well not only domestically but also on the continent.

Espinoza failed to deliver the dream in the Champions League losing 3-0 on aggregate to CS Constantine in abysmal show and will need more than a miracle to outdo CS Sfaxien in the Caf Confederation Cup play off.


  1. I just appreciate the work you do to keep us updated and on the frontline for the previous years it was hard to follow up the home league but with Kawowo sports I have every game with me thank you and keep it up
    Happy new year 2019

  2. In the first place how did Vipers land on Espinoza as their coach? It all starts with the ego of one person called Mulindwa. I think someone told him that the team has to have a WHITE man as coach. For a person who has ever been an administrator in African soccer, Mulindwa should have taken his time before choosing a good coach to take his team to a higher level.
    The other thing of note is how often he changes his coaching staff. Many questions have to be asked whether it is not Mulindwa himself that is the problem of Vipers success. The adage goes, “A team is as god as its administrators.’


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