Opinion- An open letter to Coach Wedson Nyirenda
Before i even go into details i must clearly indicate that i was one of the people who advocated for a local coach and when you were appointed i was overcome with joy because finally we had a local coach attached only to Chipolopolo. I was full of expectations but where we are now is not so much of a good place but i don’t believe this is it.
A few days into your appointment, Zambia suffered a two one loss at the hands of the Super Eagles of Nigeria which i for could not hold against you because Nigeria is not an easy opponent and the time frame was just not in your favour. We went on to fail to qualify to the World cup which i don’t regard as a failure on my part but CHAN and COSAFA for me were failures looking at the quality of players you picked and how we lost at both tournaments.
POSITIVES FROM YOUR TIME SO FAR
The number one thing for me remains the base for a team you have managed to assmble. We now have a good base for a serious team. For this i give you kudos, We now have some players we can point to and say those will surely start and deliver but building is a continuous process i expect you to continue on this front.
Another positive i can draw from your time at the helm of the Copper Bullets is the inclusion of a number of the Zambia U20 players into your team. These ofcourse have been able to deliver on a number of occasions.
Beating Algeria home and away despite not helping World cup ambitions was a positive because the dominance of the Algerians was just becoming way too much and you managed to bring it to a stop.
Obviously Chipolopolo fans wanted to go to the World cup regardless of who the team met but we can’t blame them they are the taxpayers and they invest so much emotions in the team its only natural they exoect the best from the team.
WHERE I FEEL YOU CAN IMPROVE
I believe as a Zambian yourself you would not intentionally want Zambia to be losing and moreso that you have a job to protect.
My lowest point with you was not losing to Mozambique which obviously was not a happy moment either but calling Sakuwaha and Ignitious Lwipa to the national team whatever that was about because from my stand point their league form was not at its best but you are the coach and obviously you had your reasons.
Call ups, this department for me has been a bit poor. I respect the fact that you have the big resolve to drop players who to some fans are sort of “gods” because they are not performing for that i respect you alot.
But a number of those players are still very active playing some good football at club level i hope you can reconsider calling some of them to beef up the team ahead of the AFCON qualifiers.
Staying on the issue of call ups i think you can co-ordinate a bit better with your team manager so that he makes sure all your call ups are fit at that particular time before the team is mae publc because we have had way too many injured players being called up.
System, From my observation Chipolopolo have basically one system of using wing play. With the wingers we have have it works well but once the opponents figures that out we are done and dusted, Case in point the Sudan gane at CHAN. Hopefully a second system can be found even a third if possible.
The last part but not the least the issue of discipline. I know its one of your strongest principles and i believe it is very cardinal to sports development but at some point it may need to take a back seat to team achievement.
The few boys believed to be out of favour for their behaviour are some of our best players . I believe you can seat the boys down outline your expectations because at the end of the day you are their boss at National team i believe they are human prone to error and can be corrected.
To Zambian fans Chipolopolo is the best ream in the world and they expect nothing less hence you may need to find a balance between building a team for a future prolonged success and grinding out short team sucesses for the appeasement of the fans.
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