Show some ‘balls’ it pays off in the end
When the then Chipolopolo head coach Herve Renard drafted a young midfielder by the name of Nathan Sinkala into his final squad for the 2012 AFCON tournament, Many fans and football stakeholders criticized the Zambia national team trainer for his unpopular decision but in the end his showing of ‘balls’ , guts or whatever you may call it paid off.
Sinkala was a pivotal part of the Zambia national team set-up at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and Zambia went on to win the tournament.
Seven years later, it’s a totally a different situation of misplaced priorities and maybe no priorities at all with the National team under the mentorship of interim coach Agggrey Chiyangi, But what is really the problem? ??
CHANGE IS SCARY
When former Chilolopolo coach Wedson Nyirenda dropped skipper Rainford Kalaba and completely overhauled the National team after a humiliating 1-0 loss at the hands of Mozambique at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, many called him a dreamer but good for him, he showed his balls and went on to build a team that beat Algeria home and away, Yes some will say it was not the best of Algerian teams but what matters is that he did what not many Zambian coaches can do, Beat a North African giant home and away.
One of the young players drafted into the squad by Wedson Nyirenda, Enock Mwepu who made his debut against Algeria is arguably Zambia’s best creative midfielder.
After what can be termed as a good campaign in World Cup qualifiers despite failing to qualify once again, Wedson Nyirenda left his post to join South Africa PSL side Baroka FC amid reports of a falling out between the then Chipolopolo boss and the top brass at Football house.
“I want to make it clear that from inception, I was not wanted. It has been so evident in the way my office and person have been disrespected,” Nyirenda wrote in a letter to FAZ.
“It’s like your executive has made up their mind to fire me. The media statements being attributed to the FAZ makes it clear that I am not wanted.
“The best to do is you (FAZ) terminate my contract and settle me so that I find something else to do.”
The above statement shows just how sour the relationship which started with some much promise had become.
ONE STEP AT A TIME
When news of Chicken George Lwandamina joining the National team as technical advisor took the waves, The general feeling was that he won’t be anywhere near the technical bench but offer expatriate advice based on the information given to him by video analysts and technical staff but wait? This is a man who doesn’t believe in analyzing opponents or watching their games so how was this supposed to work again?
FAZ got the call wrong by assigning another coach to the team as we now have three philosophies from the countries top clubs trying to create a master philosophy for the National team and catastrophic results are what they got in the end.
To FAZ my plea is that please get a permanent coach and let him work freely on his own terms without interference because at the end of the day it will be the coach’s head that will be on the line whenever the Chipolopolo boys don’t do well.
Chiyangi had his chance to show the fans what he is capable of but again he just proved the sections of soccer fans who believe a local coach is not ready to take charge of the ‘mighty’ Zambia national team.
A COACH MUST STAND BY HIS BELIEFS
When Nkana hitman Ronald Sate-Sate Kampamba was at his peak, Herve Renard refused to bend to the fans’ will to include him in his squad as he believed he (Kampamba) was not good enough and seven years later almost everyone is now in agreement with the French man.
Chiyangi left out Larry Bwalya and Bruce Musakanya in one of his squads but included them 24 hours later after social media uproar from the fans. A coach should not bend to the will of the fans, His only responsibility is to deliver results. When he made the initial list he left them out meaning he believed he did not need them but what changed in 24 hours to summon them?.
A coach should have thick sick and make unpopular decisions for the greater good, making sure the team delivers on match day is the only thing he owes the fans not calling players they like or prefer.
The new coach should have a long term contract with clearly set out targets which by the way should be realistic, If we qualify to the 2021 AFCON it should a bonus because the process has already been messed up by ourselves with those two losses hence it will be unfair to ask the new coach whoever he will be to perform a miracle.
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