?> Expert View: Wedson Nyirenda's time at the helm of Chipolopolo | ZamFoot

Expert View: Wedson Nyirenda’s time at the helm of Chipolopolo

Coach Wedson Nyirenda’s time at the helm of the Zambia national team seems to be all but over as many sections of Chipolopolo fans seem to be fade up with him.

With yesterday’s revelation by the Football association of Zambia President Andrew Kamanga that they were convening a technical committee meeting to discuss Nyirenda’s future it is increasing becoming clear that the former Kaizer Chiefs striker’s time as copper bullets boss is almost up.

“We are calling a technical committee and I don’t want to pre-empt what will be discussed there. Certainly, we are going to review his ( Wedson Nyirenda) performance,” Kamanga said on Muvi TV’s the Assignment programme.

“Of course, I know there is general feeling that Wada must be kicked out almost immediately but i do not have the absolute power to fire. The process to review the coach’s performance against set targets is on-going,” He added.


On 13th September, 2017 Wedson Nyirenda was named Chipolopolo assistant coach to a head coach to be named later after the association released the then head coach George Lwandamina who was serving on an interim basis and doubling up as Zesco United boss.

“The change is immediate and we believe that Mr Nyirenda will add immense value to the national team. In view of the fact that Zesco united are engaged in the semi-final of the CAF Champions League with two consecutive matches approaching, the Football Association of Zambia released Mr George Lwandamina to focus on this assignment which is of equal importance to the country. We believe that he can win the Champions league and are in a great position to do so,” Part of a statement from FAZ read.

Apparently government who foots the bill for the National team head coach had no money to hire an expatriate coach despite South African tactician Gordon Igesund being so close to landing the Chipolopolo top job. The story of an expatriate coach was put to bed when the President of the nation H.E Edgar Lungu backed Nyirenda to upgrade to head coach after guiding a ten man Chipolopolo team to victory over Algeria at Heroes Stadium.


With that brief history given let me now take you through the journey of Nyirenda as Chipolopolo boss and verdict on his performance.


After all the six games were played for the qualification to Russia 2018 World cup Zambia came in second behind Nigeria with some sections of the fans feeling it was a failure which I disagree.

We can’t seriously say we expected Nyirenda to qualify us to the world cup with the same team that had two first round AFCON exit and failed to qualify the third time. He needed to build a team which he successfully did, Of course building is an on-going process but now we have a base. Not only that Zambia managed to beat Algeria in over forty years and even our away loss to Nigeria we looked like a team fighting for something which is a good sign.

Based on the above he gets a pat on the back from me and a big well done, Its not your time better luck next time.

COSAFA senior challenge cup came around and Zambia made its way to the final where they were butchered three goals to one by Zimbabwe. I personally don’t hold the this cup in high esteem but it’s something that he could have won for the fans.

MY problem was not the loss but the poor showing especially in the final. Zambia looked lost and disjointed. This force was a big failure.


The initial purpose of CHAN was to expose locally based talents and give them a fighting chance when it comes to national team selection. For a country whose majority of the senior national team is locally based you would feel the coach would give priority to national team fringe players and others doing well at club level but yet to be tried.

Nyirenda on the other hand went for the cream of the Zambia super league majority of which were starters at his national team. So naturally Zambians expected a good showing and besides he promised to go all the way.

“We want to go there and win the cup that is what we want to do,” Nyirenda said prior to departure for Morocco .

Zambia managed to reach the quarter finals where they were shocked by Sudan as they lost one nil and were eliminated. Once again it’s not the loss but how it happened. Zambia had one system and the entire tournament which was wing play.

Sudan just managed to close down Ernest Mbewe and Augustine Mulenga and Zambia was doomed.

At the four team tournament it was the same case picked his best players and yet again choked. The purpose of friendly matches is to help you build a wide poor of players but Nyirenda keeps playing the same line-up in competitive games, formalities and friendlies.


Like i have indicated above CHAN, COSAFA and the four team tournament were FAILURES which need no excuse but his major undoing for me has been his poor player selection.

Has anyone else noticed that every time he calls players for camp he will make sure to include one or more who is/are injured. This raises alot of questions on how he makes his call ups because it shows lack of seriousness on his part.

Godfrey Ngwenya was in the initial four team tournament provisional squad but he is still injured up to today so where did the coach see him?, How was he called ?.

Another issue is his tendency of being too personal with players. He is a disciplinarian and I respect that but Zambia national team is not about him and his principles but the entire country is affected.

Another thing i have noticed is his poor reading of the game. He has only made a countable number of changes that have had any effect on the game but the rest have been routine and rehearsed or pre-planned substitutions.

The government has no money for an expatriate coach so who takes over from Nyirenda should he be shown the door ? Honor Janza and George Lwandamina already had their time at the helm and it did not end well.

It might be the issue of sticking it out with what you have since FAZ seems to have limited options unless they can get a sponsor to be paying a coach Nyirenda might be staying even after the technical meeting.

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32 Comments to Expert View: Wedson Nyirenda’s time at the helm of Chipolopolo

  1. MULENGA PULU says:

    I have long been saying Wedson is a failed Project

  2. Philip says:

    Nothing wrong in reappointing Lwandamina or Janza… SA have done it with Baxter whose coaching Bafana for the second time…. FAZ should no TN spare the rod and drop this overzealous Coach before the worst happens… A stitch in time always saves 9..

  3. Philip says:

    Nothing wrong in reappointing Lwandamina or Janza… SA have done it with Baxter whose coaching Bafana for the second time…. FAZ should not spare the rod and drop this overzealous Coach before the worst happens… A stitch in time always saves 9..


    If people are thinking of Chambeshi as I saw some bloggers suggesting I have seen He also has the same problem of not being able to read the game as can be seen from the quarter final game between Zambia U20 and Italy U20 last year. What is wrong with our Coaches?

  5. Coach Management,If Nyirenda survives the coach axe,he should let the technical bench manage the team through 60% collective decision on bench other than one man decisive wrong substitute on players.Even us laymen know that Ngwenya,Ngonga are still nursing injuries.Nakena,Nyondo are some of the fit defenders but nyirenda behaved like a monster when selecting players for call ups.

  6. Truth or advice is like chroloquine played in the mouth,Nyirenda is a zambian and belongs to Zambians, he is our man ,friend etc,Even him now is not feeling well,and to assist him release pressure from disappointment,Just fire him now and we shall call him later.He is a Zambian we don’t loose when we fire him.Just fire him .Please nyirenda have a break. Go and coach Kabwe warriors with Tenant Chilumba and you will later be recalled.

  7. km says:

    We were technically outplayed, despite having highly skilled players on the pitch than south Africa. I also think sabata,was supposed to be benched.Now FAZ has give wada,wada enough time,to prove himself .and WADA has failed the NATION.Ave been backing WADA since world cup qualifies up to the game with south Africa. I regret to say that he has to be demoted.

  8. km says:

    He will make a good coach at club level. Until he gains the needed training to coach the national team.He would Ave coached KITWE united,but he is not loved in KITWE. It’s to try another ZAMBIAN blood.

  9. Kasama Boy says:

    Send him and other Zambians for training in Germany and /or Brazil then we will have a cadre of well trained coaches to choose from.

  10. pungwa says:

    Moses Sichone is thecandidate that is readily available. Uefa qualifications – he is sorting out. I like a firmly grounded coach in academics of the Game. I have supported Wada, but maybe this is as far as he can take us.

  11. C2 says:

    please send him out !we are tired of his failures

  12. Prolific Winger says:

    I keep saying it right here. And i will say it again anyway…..Wedson Nyirenda is playing old school football. He can’t read the modern game. He needs time to learn. He only has one style of play. He doesn’t even know how to set up a team. His teams have no definite shape or system. He makes the 4-4-2 formation look so bad because he just doesn’t know how to combine the players and tactically, he is way out of his depth. Despite having really skillfull players, we couldn’t make sensible passes in the SA game because WADA doesn’t know that in the modern game wingers always have to be involved in the build-up as part of midfield and then transition quickly when you use a 4-4-2 formation: thats just one example of how tactically poor he can be at times. That is why the midfield seemed outnumbered because his set up wasn’t for that level of football. Not at international level….uyu musebanya!! His team selection is absurd at times; i mean how do you play rodrick kabwe in two consecutive games at left back when you have a natural left back on the bench in silengo? Surely there is no Coach available to make use of this talent we have??? He doesn’t even know how to use technically gifted players like emmanuel banda or larry bwalya for example. He thinks they cant play football because of their smaller stature. Such an unimaginative way of thinking especially in footballing terms. Thats the kind of old fashioned coach we have. The man doesn’t know what he is doing. Get rid of him already! Tired of this *** man…

  13. HardBullZ says:

    Team selection , wrong tactics and some mistakes from certain players – especially the Goalkeeper as those goals were solely glaring blunders on his part. I think on the second goal , Nsabata could have done better. On the first goal , it was 1 South African player against 3 , while nsabata was tumbling over Solomon , Ziyo was watching and could not block that effort from Tau.
    FAZ can still scout amongst the many Zambian former players doing some coaching jobs abroad , we have Msiska , Wedson’s elder Brother (Stone) , Charles Musonda, Irfan Kawri etc. Now that we have EK who claims to be a good manager I feel sourcing for money to pay the coach should not be a problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hmmm HardBullz…Msiska should not even be mentioned. The man had his opportunity and he was one of the worst coaches I have ever seen atthe national helm. Disasterous!!! Luckily Bonnetti saved us from humiliation.

  14. Ngake says:

    I hate to be part of a bandwagon but the truth now is that wada is not good enough if you want to among the best in africa. @prolific winger makes some good points. which i will add, Firstly we are always being outnumbered in midfield. Most modern teams are playing three in midfield and we are still sticking with two in midfield. Secondly proper performance starts with selecting the best team and Wada does not seem to want to select the best team. Where is Evans Kangwa and is fashion Sakala a better candidate than him?, Nathan Sinkala was superb in the confed cup final in Pretoria. Which player in the current team plays the defensive midfield position better than Nathan? Kabaso Chongo has also improved and he can play every position in the backline. Finally after every game at least one player will end up being the scapegoat. The balance of the team is not right, the selection is not right and even the motivation seems to also be going down due to the constant personality clashes. Wada simply needs to leave sooner rather than later. But where do we go? Firstly all local coaches are below par. Beston is also tactically naive as we saw at the under-20 world-cup where we saw how he was like a rabbit in headlights whenever the Europeans changed tactics in the game. He just froze. He can only be brought in as an interim measure but to attain proper success we need an experienced foreign coach who has no preconceived notions about any player.

  15. KK11 says:

    Why does the Govt need to fund the coach? Why can’t Kamanga the business man use his business savvy to get the funds? The Govt has money. If they wanted to they could expense the coach. Wada has had 2 years to build a team, he is still building g? We have lost to Nigeria, Mozambique and SA at home. Oh an we drew against Zimbabwe & Cameroon at home. Algeria was a team on the downside of football so I don’t put much stake in that victory. He has Alianated experienced players for poor understudies he can CONTROL. Something about the other senior players intimidates him. Fusing the sinkalas, Kalaba, Mbolas, Chisamba etc with the new crop would have done us well, especially at this past tournament. But he chose otherwise.

    We have the talent pa Zed, it’s the leadership where we lack the talent. Leave Wada and continue to wallow in mediocrity!!!

  16. MULENGA PULU says:

    Yes simply put Wada has to go

  17. Pele says:

    Wada or Chambeshi all lack one thing..that is to read the game. I was surprised that at our U20 tournament he could not try out other players even though we had qualified to the finals.
    As for Wada when it was clear we needed all the last seconds against RSA he though it OK to waste time by bringing in Sate Sate. This is a man who shoots in the dark. Its time for him to hang his blue jacket and become some sports master somewhere…
    And what is Moses Sichone doing at FAZ. This is the guy who turned his back on Zambia. We don’t want him here!!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    This article is wrong. Edgar Lungu called for permemnant spot for Nyirenda after Zambia lost to Nigeria 2-1 at Heroes stadium in the first World Cup Qualifier.

  19. Anonymous says:

    As someone who defended Wadda Wadda in the beginning; I have seen that his stint has run its course. It is time to close this chapter and move on. Wedson Nyirenda has taken Zambia as far as his abilities will allow him to. At this point it is time for a new face and one that is rife with experience and ability.

    I think it is time to bring in raw coach with international pedigree like we did with Herve Renard. I would say Kawri might be a viable option, and make sure his assistant is a Zambian coach being groomed to take over.

    Ba Zamfoot may I suggest an article on the best Zambian coaches to see who would be best for the national team job if we had to choose a Zambian. It would make for an interesting discussion.

  20. slim says:

    How were Wadas assistants appointed??! The national team bench is staffed by novices! Its unbelievable. These people are assistants at their local clubs. Its amazing how Chintu Kampamba, Steven Mwansa, David Chilufya foun themselves there. If they cannot be worthy of a senior club coach position, how come they were appointed. Just because they are friends to Wada! If Wada was responsible for this mess,fire him. We must be serious with soccer

  21. Leo says:

    This coach is very immature
    I remember what kalu said and I quote “No local coach is ready to coach Zambia ” I was one of those people that was against what kalu but alas the guy was right these local coaches have failed us
    Chambeshi is just like Wada
    Both can’t read Morden football
    Atleast janza even though he fail but he had a system
    The team didn’t play to whom it may concern kicking type of football
    But Wada system is so backwards
    Fire this man period

    On the other hand
    I think it’s kamanga’s problem
    Kalu saw that Dario B system was mot good he quickly brought in HR

    This kamanga thing failed at kanya warriors
    He failed at power dynamos
    Even ponga saw that the boat is sinking

    • Lukanga Kafusha Justice says:

      The problem is ba FAZ. In countries like Germany one can only be allowed to train a club in the Bundesliga (= ZPL) on two conditions, either one has;

      1. Undergone a 2 year coaching course (this applies to those that have never played football at National team level)
      2. Played more than 50 and above international games for the Germany National team

      Col. Brightwell Banda, late Dick Chama and if I am not mistaken late Boniface Simutowe undertook this 2 year coaching course in Germany

      These are very strict conditions. A UEFA fimofimo is nothing. In Zambia it appears as though bonse naba grade 7 kuba ama coaches.
      FAZ should woke up and set up qualifications for a ZPL coach and downwards not these UEAF. Coaching is not just about uku landa it is a profession that needs to be taken seriously in Zambia noti iya kulila mofye (food on the table iyo bane)

      My observations

  22. Mwebantu says:

    Any day that passes is a day to bring more tears. This man must go NOW!

  23. Mwebantu says:

    BESTON CHAMBESHI and the UNDER 20 Team, period.

  24. Mangala says:

    What about Charles Musonda Sr.He has the know how in modern coaching. He has been involved in European football for many years. I hate the chipantepante type of football still being played in Zambia. Zambian footballers panic a lot, they never relax and build well from the back it’s terrible. We need a coach who should relax players and make them read the game well.

    • Pele says:

      Mangala… Charles Musonda has been coaching a Division 5 team. That is probably the lowest anybody can coach in Europe. Being in Europe does not always mean one becomes a good coach.
      Wada has all the coaching credentials but he has failed to apply himself. Let’s look for the tried and tested and not simply because someone has been in Europe for a long time.

  25. Lukanga Kafusha Justice says:

    It is a pity that a lot of coaches who could have been of great help did pass on at early ages i.e. late Mungwa, Dick Chama, Willie Phiri, Ba Ucar, Ba Alex, Ba Simwala etc, cause these coaches, would have been an asset to Zambian football by now. They say don’t cry over spilt milk sorry in this case I have to. Chi baba ku mutima

    RIP, will aways remember you

  26. Mwebantu says:

    Ben Bamfuchile too. He helped Namibia qualify and began grassroot football the way it was done in Zambia (Ajax, Mindolo, Sanctary, Sports, Mwabonwa, etc). Namibia has continued the trend and are better. Out new mine owners, meanwhile killed the spot by removing those nursery teams.

  27. Sibs says:

    @MubaJnr. Good analysis and well written article. When Wedson Nyirenda was appointee coach i was one of the first to say the Job was too big for his “shoes”. He can do well as an assistant is what i said.
    He has been found wanting on many occasions and failed to deliver.

    Him taking things personal with players is not a good trait for a Manager. We lost an opportunity to have Nathan Sinkala who currently is one of the best local based Defensive midfielder. No wonder he is a fixture in the TP Mazembe team that has won 3 African tittles in the last 3 Years. (1 Champions League & 2 Conf Cups)
    Kabaso Chongo was one player who could have helped our porous defense during the WC Qualifiers. Like @Ngake says this guy can play anywhere at the back and he was solid as a rock for Mazembe as the won the Conf Cup last season.
    Personally i feel Kalaba also would have played at least 45Mins-60mins of some of our games especially the last game with Nigeria and the game we drew with Cameroon in Yaounde or is it Doula, Missed opportunities to have pushed Nigeria for the WC spot. Taking away nothing from our Big brothers Nigeria we could have done better in the last WC qualifiers with the players at our disposal.

    The Coach lacks Tactical and technical know how of the game at a high level. He is work in progress, If we don’t make changes now, forget qualifying for AFCON 2019. Mind you lost our first game at home and lost to Mozambique for the first time in our soccer history. This is the only tournament where we can make a mark.

    His lack of ability to spot talent is a source of worry. I was surprised at his picking of A.Ngonga to play as a striker even when he missed chances that that even my 14 year old son would have put away.

    The 10 million Kwacha question is does Govt have money to get a good foreign Coach who can take out team forward?? Someone of Herve Renard’s calibre.

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