Give Numba time… Let him work out his magic
ZESCO United are top of the league standings after 11 games, but despite this, several Team Ya Ziko fans feel that Numba Mumamba is not good enough to be coaching the eight-time Super League winners.
Some sections of the fans have questioned his team selection because of the lack of consistency with his starting 11. Numba Mumamba has used 26 different players in the 11 games played thus far. That’s the highest in the league followed by Nkana and Sensational ZANACO.
In my opinion, Numba Mumamba has exceeded my expectations so far. When you factor in the fact that his appointment as the head coach at ZESCO came in a month before the opening match of the season. This meant that he didn’t have enough time to come up with his preferred starting 11. Another factor to look into is that of Covid-19.
Effects of Covid-19 had an impact on football in the sense that, clubs couldn’t organize high profile friendlies due to imposed restrictions. Lastly, another factor is that of the current players at ZESCO. Before his appointment, the management at Zega Mambo had already brought in several high profile players such as the likes of Kelvin Mubanga Kampamba, Bruce Musakanya and promoted the young players from their feeder clubs
When Numba Mumamba was at ZANACO, he preferred using the standard 4-4-2 formation with speedy wingers. However, with the kind of players at ZESCO, he was unable to implement this system. There are three reasons why a coach may use their kind of system, these are:
I) he prefers using that particular system
II) another reason could be the kind of players at his disposal.
III) Then lastly it may depend on the kind of opposition he is facing.
So far Numba has used two different tactical approaches at ZESCO. At the beginning of the season he used the 4-3-3 formation, this system can be a massive success if you have the right players playing in the right positions. The problem with this system is that it is easily counter-attacked by the opposing team as it uses a single pivot. This is the case with ZESCO’S young midfielder, Samuel Sikaonga playing as a single pivot, resulting in a porous backline.
That led him to make a change in personnel, he brought in the experienced Donashano Malama but still, that didn’t solve the problems that team ya Ziko were experiencing because this system is passive, teams would pass the ball in between lines and hurt Zesco. In their game against Red Arrows, Numba Mumamba changed the system to a 4-2-3-1 formation which uses a double pivot, this resulted in a solid, compact, non-passive, and coordinated force which made it difficult for Red Arrows to create chances, eventually ZESCO recorded a comfortable draw away in Lusaka.
These changes Numba Mumamba made were necessary because he was trying to find the right balance between attack and defense, and also getting the right formation and combination of players, if anything he has been proactive in the difficulties that ZESCO has been having, in that he has been using these challenges as yardsticks to work on all noted mistakes and improve team performance.
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