Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Blog: Coach, please consider Alex Ngonga

By Peter Lusanga

I was remembering a great game I once witnessed. It was a game which featured Alex Ngonga. If I remember correctly, it was two games in succession.One of the games, Zambia played Zimbabwe. It must have been COSAFA games. Alex Ngonga scored from a freekick. In fact, two free-kicks were scored.

Seeing that, the Zimbabwean coach said, “Zambia are capable of beating any opposition with the right combination of players.” Or next game was against a west African team and the Zimbabwean coach had that game in mind when he spoke..Alex was not called, we lost the game.

Not Since the days of Kalusha bwalya, had we seen freekicks scored like that on national team level. These goals were game changers, deciders!! There was no one else on the team that went to west Africa for that game, who had that pedigree.

When I saw those goals, I had a new glimmer of hope. Finally, Zambia has another options of winning games. Give the ball to a player who takes on players, let him take then on in Alex’s zone, free-kicks will be awarded, and we will have a goal.”

I think it is folly to take players who do not add anything special to the team.what is the point of taking, 4 A-strikers and leave out a B-striker who has another dimension to his game which nobody else has, a “dead ball specialist.”

We have strength, a powerful shot, and intelligent ball distribution in Mbesuma. We have mobility and spatial, or technical awareness in Kalengo. We have height in Jacob and Kola. We have Deftness in Mayuka. We have a workaholic in Evans Kangwa, our very own Adriano, and many others.

We must think. What wins games? Opportunities. Perhaps, 30% of them comes from dead balls. I could be wrong, people may argue about a few advantages which such and such a player may have over Alex. But I doubt that much of those “advantages” really add value to a game. Alex can do what all these are doing, at least all the basics which you can ask from a player. Most importantly, he will add something special, which none of the other strikers will give you.

Dear coach, please consider Alex, or anyone who will add value to the team’s attacking options. The same can be said of the other departments.

Lastly, I would like to ask the coach to abandon defensive chipante-pante football. It is appalling to say the least. Let us enjoy watching the national team. It is alright to be defensive, but you can be smart defensive. Renard was defensive minded, but, Zambia was still able to play attractive football.

ZamFoot Crew Note: Alex Ngonga plays for Gabon top side FC Mounana who finished the league in third position. He left Zambian club Power Dynamos in April, 2015. He last played for the Chipolopolo on 29th March, 2015 when he replaced Bornwell Mwape in Zambia 2 – 0 win over Rwanda at Heroes Stadium in an international friendly match.

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  1. The writer highlights important issues here,small things that make a difference in football these days our free kicks and corners are a waste.I would also think Cletus chama would also bring value to the team he has a good pass and can take on defenders and I think he can also bring in a new dimension to the game even as a sub

  2. Another would be Fackson Kapumbu the Zanaco right back… This is a player that is not only strong but versatile as well…

  3. We should look at the current form rather than the past. Let’s not play names. Is Alex performing at his club?. His he scoring goals? If yes, lets consider calling him. If no, why should we waste time and resources. I was surprised when I heard some fans say George should call Hichani, Nkausu and Joseph Musonda to strengthen the defence.

  4. This player, Alex, has potential indeed. Nomba ukupona pona umu guys uyu. He does not appear to be strong on the ball. And he is easily injured.

  5. We may not know the current form of Alex. However, the article brings out critical issues of free kick specialist which we don’t have at the moment as well as being coordinated at the back like during the time of Herve Renard.

    2012 Afcon was won because Zambia was well organized defensively of course other departments cannot be overlooked. But the defence was our major strength.

    The article should have also pointed out that after the departure of Isaac Chansa Zambia has failed to find a box to box midfielder.

    Otherwise well thought article.

  6. Bazo is not a consistent player. Yes on his good days he can perform but you should see him when its a big game and you really need him to the job, he can be very disappointment. Trust me, am PDFC supporter and have seen two sides of the coin.

    • Bazo is not a consistent player. Yes, on his good days, he can perform but you should see him when its a big game and you really need him to do the job, he can be very disappointing. Trust me, am PDFC supporter and have seen both sides of the coin.

  7. Chipolopolo need Alex,we shouldnt just discard him because he is plying his trade in Gabon.Chipolopolo need game changers in their ranks.

  8. With all respect for Alex, playing in Gabon will never make him a better player. What football is in Gabon? Maybe the money is good enough, but football wise Gabon is just as good as ourselves at the moment

    The biggest issue in Zambian football are the local coaches. These guys have failed to groom any meaningful players at club level.In the past clubs produced a lot of good and well polished players. Until this issue is corrected we will continue with the same scenario with standards even falling more

  9. Alex Ng’onga, Roger Kola, Lineker Mwikisa, Clatous Chama, Luka Lungu & Mulao nids call ups for assessment. For free kicks the best we have so far is Rhodrick Kabwe and Kelvin Mubanga plus Alex Ng’onga. Friday Samu and Jackson Mwanza should be excused from national duties, they are still raw. Jack Chirwa and Spencer Sautu can be groomed to replace Isaac Chansa.

  10. How many goals has alex ngonga scored in gabon so far?hw is he performing I mean the form?let’s not call players on past form.players like jackson mwanza,friday samu chipesha and mkandiwire those are not national team material

  11. Alex Ngonga will be a good player if only he can improve his passing abilities. The only thing he knows is to shoot at the goal even if he knows that he can not score. He should learn that if he fails to score, he can still assist his fellow strikers to score.otherwise he is still raw for the national team.

  12. I’m sorry but I am not a believer in Alex Ngonga. I watched every game of that COSAFA cup because I was lucky enough to be in Zambia at the time. Our best player in that tournament was Mukuka Mulenga and Chama in defense.

    The free kick Alex scored against Zimbabwe in that final was not even well taken. It was supposed to be a cross that ended up bouncing in front of the goalie who made a meal of it. I’m sorry, but one freekick scored in COSAFA is not going to have me believing that this guy is a set piece specialist. Ello he is playing in Gabon of all places, on top of which he is not even a regular for his club.

  13. The position of striker or topman is not an easyone and catching them early is not that simple.They r a rare specis! About 7 out of 10 mature into the position well after 25yrs of age. Kalengo is a very good example of a slow coacher!

  14. I feel Jack Mwanza f. Samuel need to work harder . there are other players that can push positions at national team. strikers like luka, n jimmy will make kalengo work even harder. in defence MWANSA of power will show extra maturity than the boys chepeshi n muke.

  15. Alex is good player but he needs to improve above an ordinary players mentality, he can run through defenders, he can shot from afar but he has to improve and football wise the gabon league has done nothing to improve his standing.

  16. Alex ng’onga is far much better compered to Jackson mwanxa & Friday Samu.Plz coach chiken give him a chance and believe me,u will really prove his critics wrong.

  17. Unbalanced article we don’t know his current forM how often does he score in Garbon? Based in his past glory I thnk he z better than all the local based strikers except Kalengo

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