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.
KALABA, NATHAN, FWAYO , BILLY AND OTHERS
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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