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Expert View : Wedson should remain coach of Chipolopolo

Approximately a year ago Wedson Nyirenda was appointed as Chipolopolo assistant coach to a head coach to be named at a later stage, as usual with football the nation was divided between those for and against especially after losing his first world cup qualifier just 15 days into his new job.

Well the association at some point felt the heat and nearly terminated his contract despite the tremendous improvements he was making but it must be noted that his team selection during  his early days was below par. What saved him mostly was the fact that government did not have the money to pay an expatriate coach.

Fast forward a year later Nyirenda has beaten Algeria home and away plus making star staded Nigeria look so ordinary in Uyo. Someone said football is an ungrateful sport and as such some sections of soccer in Zambia are already calling for Nyirenda’s head.

Well Zambia will not go to Russia because of the slender loss to Nigeria but it’s not like Zambia has ever been to the World cup, Besides the group they are currently sitting second in is the group of death of these qualifiers.

From being AFCON Champions we were eliminated in the group stages at two consecutive tournaments and then failed to qualify to the 2017 one. Zambia had no proper team like the one Nyirenda has been able to assemble now.

After winning the 2012 Africa Cup of nations Zambia failed to build a team to take over and any follower of Zambian football can tell that this is the best squad assembled since 2012. Nyirenda has managed to merge experienced players like Stophila Sunzu,Kennedy Mweene and Chisamba Lungu among others with the best local league players like Augustine Mulenga, Enerst Mbewe , Ziyo Tembo and many others plus emerging youngsters like Patson Daka, Enock Mwepu and Fashion Sakala.


According to him players like Rainford Kalaba, Nathan Sinkala , Clatous Chota Chama, Fwayo Tembo and Billy Mutale are Zambians and they eligible to play and he can call them. Infaact when he was asked about Kalaba and Sinkala during these unveiling of the team to play Nigeria his exact words were

” They are Zambians and will be called for future engagements but for this game we have called these 23 players”

The door is open right?, well from point of view not really. Yes they might have all done something wrong with the exception of Nathan but as coach he needs to forgive the players if he still holds that against them, If not well and good he will call then when they are needed.


Players like Fwayo Tembo and Kalaba have experience of playing at the highest level and can come in handy in high intensity game and can run at defenders to create chances for the team.

All in all Wedson Nyirenda has finally managed to build a team and he is on to something good. He should be left to finish his project and I believe it will bring a lot of good results to Zambia. He has alot of work to do but he is on the right path.

The only help we can give the coach is sending him to quality refresher courses in Europe to bring him up yo speed with modern practices in football because in 2022 if we keep on this path we will in Qatar.

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38 Comments to Expert View : Wedson should remain coach of Chipolopolo

  1. Seen from Afar says:

    Hi guys Seen from afar is back to comment on this one because it is important to access as fairly as possible.

    Wedson didn’t have any time to prepare, 2 weeks before the start of qualifying he was appointed. In a group that included Reigning African champions, highest ranked African team and probably one of the strongest Nigerian teams since the early 90’s.

    Stuttering Zambia struggling with no direction at the time had a tall task.

    The home loss to Nigeria and draw away were not bad performances but the Frindly draw and loss that followed mean’t something radical had to be done. Realistically with no funds coming for Faz there was no option to change coach but something needed to be done.

    Credit is due to Wada, he completely dismantled the team and came up with a brand new side. The result was a breathe of fresh air for Zambia who have been spiralling downwards since the 2012 high. It was the right thing to do.

    I don’t know who advises players like Fwayo Tembo and Kalaba but they should have known a change was coming and if they didn’t show the right attitude they would have been out during this period. It happens it doesnt matter how big you are if you are not part of the solution you are the problem. Like Fwayo saying he wants to concentrate on club football, truth is he wasn’t playing regularly and he was doing his awol looking for clubs and even if he had made it to camp they would find him not fit. Fwayo Tembo should be careful, as i warned he might find himself struggling to even play for Lusaka Dynamos, i dont think he stands a chance of making it back to national team. Of all the Afcon group omitted Sinkala perhaps has the best chance of making it back, he is a quiet worker. Kalaba has been to the top of African football, to have lost his captaincy but in truth he should not have been given it because it was not a natural role for him, he may struggle with his ego to come back and be the player that Zambia needs.

    That is what it is about now, the players that Zambia needs now to form the team that Zambia needs now. I hope some of these players can make it back but as i say we need the players that will be in the present, not resting on past performance.

    Now we will go to chan, we will hopfully go to another afcon. The building, the foundation for 4 years time starts now.

    Good luck Zambia.

    • Bsimms says:

      Well said. Your vision is indeed clear!

    • Yebo says:

      At the end of the day, we need to forge ahead and keeping Wada is the way to go. I think he can build the Zambia that we all would like to see. Well articulated.

    • paradox says:

      Welcome back zamfoot legend


      At least we have soccer loving Zambians with perception and patience, all we need now is constructive criticism. Well, this morning I was at the Gym and I met Nigerian guys who were discussing last Saturday’s game and this is what they said : ” Zambia deserved to win that game as they out played us had it not been for Iwobi that game could have been a loss or draw.” Most of these guys are home sick and love their Country as most us in the Diaspora are die hard supporters of our Countries.
      I am not happy that Zambia lost but all I am saying is, to be fair, we have a team and a Coach who is exhibiting direction so he needs to be given a chance.

  2. Benny says:

    I agree with u players like Fwayo need to be careful or he will end up his career like former chipolopolo player (laughter) who is has returned into his mother’s house again this also applies to kalaba who who thinks winning 2012 can put him above the law, the crop Wesson yeided has potential 2 beat anyone

    • Kashi says:

      What did kalaba do for him to be axed? Wada must lmprove on how to handle players. He has not come out to
      explain what kalaba did.

  3. Bsimms says:

    Surely from lessons learned in the world cup qualifiers, we cannot fail to book a place at the next Afcon.

    Infact we should secure qualification before the last game.

    I would love to see a predominantly, U.20 squad playing against Cameroon in the formality game.

    CHAN should be used to build a proper backup to the main team. A squad capable of facing any opposition & should be composed of local U.20 players + the likes of Augustine, Alteza, Ng’onga…

    FINALLY, Wedson must be joined by quick Silver B. Chambeshi on the bench to get the most out of the former U. 20 guys.

    • Lusanga says:

      I also think you are right on Beston Chambeshi coming in to gove some insight into the U20 players. In fact, Chambeshi should go on to coach the U23 once the U20 graduate in age. Then he can take over the reigns. I made a few observations:

      1. One great weakness though is I do not understand the logic in our defending. The U20 had some issues in defense. I attributed them to age. However, seeing “experienced players” defending shambolically in the box, especially on the back-foot, was disappointing. Defenders leave the opposition players free in and around the 18. They would all go and try to choke one player not minding the gaps they left. It was a very risky type of defending. It was almost like they were told to have three players on one. I think that is a show of too much respect to the opposition. I think the Nigerians realized this and decided to cool down and use their skill. A calm head can find spaces even when crowded. their work-rate though, needs to be commended.

      2. We did not play the ball well when going forward. It was almost a chipante-pante. That way, you cannot get the best out of “Computer.” Our players were not calm. They are skillful, but were in a rush to get it forward. timing was off. we only managed to appear to dominate because of our work-rate. This is where the coach needs to do something. One thing the U20 managed to do in the world-cup, is that they played the ball. They were not dominated by any team. They created numerous chances. We did not have that in the game. We have not had that. Chambeshi’s advice or formula is needed here. It too, may need some polishing.

      3. Our striking department was not sharp enough. Ngonga… I think there is someone better to start. I think you can even bring in the old legs of Chamanga. He is a much better player now than he was. He is calm and can still put in a good shift. Ngonga can still be there to support but, he seriously needs to improve. The few games he has played has shown glaring weaknesses. Work on them sir, and you can make that position yours. Fashion Sakala was lost. Fashion is like Ronaldo or Messi. He is a game changer. However, he thrived on well organized play. Fashion was not in the best position. When played as a central striker, he does not seem to thrive. He did better on the left. In addition, with the U20, the midfielders were also a source of goals. My request, is that every player puts in more hours in pressured target practice.

      I hope that the coach will try and rope in our older guys, Kalaba Sinkala, Fwayo – This would seriously enrich our depth and I believe, we would have better combinations in the middle of the park.

      A worthy mention are our former top 9s, Mbesuma, Mayuka, Jacob… If Zambia is to thrive, we should use the wisdom of Man U. Call back our Ibrahimovics. They can still play. Only drop someone, if they show that they cannot play anymore. Age, is just a number.

      In addition, some games, especially friendlies, lets give our upcoming goalkeepers a chance.

  4. General says:

    kalaba and Nathan must be called. kampumbu was a very weakest link in Nigeria game. we need a good number 3 in cameroun game. fashion sakala was not up to date in Nigeria. its better to use kalaba on that wing against cameroun. let us field the strongest team against afcon champion to know our strength as we prepare for afcon qualifier. so I suggest kalaba to come in for fashion and kampumbu to be replaced. ngonga to be benched for patson daka or Mwila.

    • Big Steve 4rm SA says:

      I disagree, I think we should use the Cameroon game as an opportunity to test all the fringe players. We all know what Kalaba is capable of so no need to include him and guys like Fwayo in this formality game. There are a horde of other U20’s who played really well at the world cup who have not been given a shot in the senior team and there are also players in the domestic league who could be tested in this game. This is an opportunity to start identifying the next crop of players.

  5. km says:

    If these players were omitted because of discipline issue, I suggest they should not be called.in everything discipline should always come.its better to have a team of players who are humble and loyal rather than having stars who are disloyal. Fwayo,kalaba,clatus and mbesuma need first to repent of their in discipline. They need to change, they need to be remorseful of their bad behavior, that’s when they qualify to play in the national team..Even me I don’t forgive someone does not want to change. To receive forgiveness from the coach,they need to apologize and change. Principles have to be maintained. We should not betray principles just because these are good players,if they wronged the country,fellow players,the coach and principles of discipline, then they are not eligible to for the national team.They can not blackmail the country through their skill while they are misbehaving. It’s better to loose a match with players who are disciplined than having in disciplined players.They are showing a bad spirit to upcoming players.Players should learn to respect leadership in a team.they should respect coaches whether local or expatriate. Just because WADA is local coach, and they want to undermine him? No,no Those are bad manners.If they can not change, then we do not need them.No one support misbehaving. Even someone who is morally corrupt can tell, that these players were in the wrong and they need to change. Good principles does not sympathies with wrong doing. Let’s not sympathies with these players,unless they change for the better.we love them but they need to change.

    • Lusanga says:

      Discipline has to go with forgiveness. We are humans and we make mistakes. If no second, third chances are given, life would be terrible for most.

  6. GSK11 says:

    seen from afar – agree with your sentiments, nicely analyzed.

  7. Big Steve 4rm SA says:

    Seen from afar. Nice piece.

  8. Big Steve 4rm SA says:

    I think we should have no regulars in this formality game against Cameroon. This is an opportunity for the fringe players to put their hands up and also for the coach to recognize and increase his selection pool for the national team. This is an opportunity that wont come often for the coach, he needs to use it to identify new national team talent.

    • Ngake says:

      Do not agree. The current national team is already a new team which is being rebuilt. My philosophy is maintain however add only a few additions that improve the quality. You cant wholesale change a new team for one game. You build confidence in the new team by maintaining the selection. Our team was okay for 60 minutes. After that the first team started tiring and we needed an injection of energy from the bench. Wada needs to build a complete first eleven with maybe 6 additional players that can take on and beat anyone. When Daka was injured we new we would be lacking something. Same thing Mwila. Goes to show the squad is still not good enough. Use chan and under 23 for development of fringe players.

  9. Ngake says:

    Some good comments above. Firstly I think Wadda should be maintained. He has been an excellent addition I feel refreshed with the current team. I see some energy in the team which I could not see in times gone by therefore the man deserves his appointment. However there is need for some improvement especially in selection for big games. This was not chan why flood the team with local league players. In these types of games like against Nigeria you needed the best of the best. Imagine this scenario, when Augustine Mulenga is tiring on 70 minutes you bring on a refreshed Evans Kangwa. For a tiring Chisamba Lungu you bring on Saith Sakala. You actually start the game with Kalaba and on 60 minutes you throw in Enoch Mwepu. These are game-changing substitutions with players who will put the ball in the net. To bring on Chingandu and Ernest Mbewe in these types of games is short-changing yourself. Wada needed game changers off the bench. He seriously needs to improve this area of his coaching otherwise well done to him.

  10. Seen from Afar says:

    The critical thing is to have the National team best placed for 3 years time at the start of Qatar 2022 qualifiers. That means being well ranked and not in an unstable position where we are swapping coaches and swapping players.

    Right now it is true we have the basis of a new team, that means this is not drawing board or square one time.

    We can do well in an African Cup. Let’s see if we can win one in this period. The main goal however is everything should be in place for those qualifiers, qualification has elluded us for too long. It should be us now taking the group by the scruff of the neck. Things will change in 3 years time, players, coaches even adminstration may change but come those qualifiers. Everything and everyone should be ready and it won’t matter who is in our way.

  11. C J from RSA says:

    Well said @seen from afar and @Ngake. We need to concentrate on jellying this current team whether Cameron game will be a formality or not. just include a pool of young players that failed to turn up for Nigeria game in the likes of Mwila, Patson, Chiluyi and Chilufya. Also Ba Wada should not completely throw away players like Ka-Bola, Nathan Sinkala, Ka-Kalaba, Lubambo Musonda. just rope in these players to the current team and let them be assessed fairly by playing Cameron. Dont start rebulding another team while you are still building what you currently have. As for Wada, let him be given a chance but allow Beston Chambeshi who discovered most of these U20 players to assist him though i know most of these local coaches never love to work together for fear of sharing the glory.

  12. C J from RSA says:

    I would love Zamfoot some day to approach the coach Wada and pursue him to write something or just a greeting on this blog or site so we can know that our advise or concerns reach them as technical bench. I believe there are people on this site that have very good understanding of the game but their knowledge is always to waste if the intended end user does not receive the information shared. Please Zamfoot look into this

  13. Mark c says:

    Maintain the same team include kalaba,sinkala mbesuma the are some football in them zambia lost to Nigeria because of lucky of experience otherwise the future is bright. Maintain the coach. Nyirenda must avoid personal vendetta with his players

  14. Logic says:

    He is a Chumbu munshololwa. His pride is a detriment to the overall development of the team. A coach should be like a father figure or mentor that can pull players to the side and have conversations with them and not disparage them in public like he does. Today he is saying this about Kalaba, tomorrow it will be Mweene. I have said this before and I will say it again, we need to appreciate the work that former players have put in during their national team tenure when their time is up. It’s attitudes like this that keep players like Jacob Mulenga away from the team even when he is banging in goals like crazy for his team.

  15. BOLA.watchman says:

    Wada is the way forward. His local player selection is not that nice but lets give him time to change his selection criteria. Fwayo, k. Chongo, kalaba, Nathan, clatus and lubambo musonda must be part of the new generation. FAZ must work on better international friendly matches against teams like Bosnia, Sweden, Switzerland, England, Colombia and many others who will help us know our standard .

  16. Anonymous says:

    Zambia need to appeal to fifa tha was clear goal. faz must appeal and the referee must be suspended. Ghana is appealing to fifa that south African referee coasted Ghana.

  17. SLIM says:

    Ngake yo comments r spot on! The biggest revelation in this game is that Fashion is for the bench foir sure.

  18. Amandla says:

    He should go! Beston!

  19. Don says:

    Fashion should be a fringe player not fully fledged as Daka n Mwepu. These two deserve their jerseys not very sure of Edward Chilufya but looks like he’s in the same class as the duo.

  20. Zulu says:

    Zambia jst needs to have a lot of away friendly games in west Africa to get use to defeating them at home, this is Zambia’s weakness and needs to work on nothing else except that to over come the inferiority complex when it comes to west african teams as there is no way around getting to the world cup without going through the west Africans

  21. Anonymous says:

    zambia do not need friendlies with West African teams. Zambia league is now one of the best in Africa. That is one way we will be better soon. ZAMBIA Youth teams are doing great. What we do need is to gather the best players for important assignments since that was not the case with injuries and players with some problems with coach
    if I was coach I would be looking for friendlies out of Africa especially more friendly camps in South America and Europe while also inviting Zambians in the diaspora. Zambia matched Nigeria in both matches just for profligacy in front of goal otherwise footballwise ..nothing special about West Africa.

  22. Strongbar says:

    Please why is no one talking about ” KAPUMBU” his guy should be no where near the national team. He is the reason we have lost many games this year: Mozambique, Nigeria in uyo, even Zesco vs supersport to name but a few; his luck of positioning and awareness is nothing short of “criminal”.. Please let’s get rid of this crown from the national team, if wada is serious talking about having a team for the future, otherwise we will continue losing many more important games to come…Kapumbu must Go Go Go.” Very useless defender ” in uyo he knocked fashion sakala off the game, coz he was just kicking balls forward aimlessly.National team has never benefitted from those long throw ins of his into z penalty area, so what’s the other reason this chap plays for the national team: I beg to be educate.

  23. CHRIZO says:

    Finally, someone else has been watching Zambia’s last few games. in all of this games, Kapumbu has been the weakest link in our team. all of Nigeria’s attacks on saturday including the goal came from his side. Ba coach please do something about this.

  24. Zimbo says:

    Nyirenda can take zambian to AFCON glory in Cameroon and to Qatar if he is given a chance to lead this team.

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