Published on June 13th, 2015 | by lawilink



2 steps forward and 3 steps backwards.

By Tana Mwalwimba

note from the editor; “apologise for the lack of images and VT from this event we had been promised accreditation, unfortunately the Football Association of Malawi were unable to honour there commitment.” 


We have the tools(players) but we never put them to the best use. We have the potential but in reality we are a group of hopeless failures. The Malawi National team the Flames have been denying the citizens of this poor peaceful country something to smile about- the pride to be on the winning side. A tale of never ending dissapointment and frustration. The football fraternity or let’s say the citizens of this country are entitled to be on the receiving end of good results from the Flames which induce excitement and happiness since they are the taxpayers whose money the Flames use. But why is it a case of 2 steps forward and three steps backwards? The problems is not the tool(the players) but the man using the tools- The Coaches. The country had been crying for lack of funds to help the Flames prepare adequately for their Afcon, Cosafa and World cup assignments but the partnering of Fam and Carlsberg has made that history. The team has at times shown signs of improvements but looking at the overall picture it tells it all that the football team performances are up and down- A seesaw carbon copy. The country had also lacked creative and technically gifted players but over the last 3 or 4 years the country has witnessed the emergence of technically gifted young players. Talk of Chimango Kayira, Gabadinho Mhango, Robin Ngalande, Gerald Phiri, Micium Mhone, John Banda, Frank Banda, Limbikani Mzava just to mention a few. These are young players who have shown the potential to excel and possess the nous to do well even in the top European Leagues. The team’s performances have been back n forth but the football administrators at Fam have been showing patience with the coaches. LACK OF TACTICAL FLEXIBILITY BY OUR COACHES. The lack of tactical knowhow and flexibility has been the main problem with our local coaches. It looks like the old fashioned 4-4-2 is the only system that they know. There have been aplenty refresher courses for our local coaches but they seem to come out of the rooms without grasping a thing. Maybe we should blame the Caf instructors- who knows? The coaches have also at times been blamed of being lenient with poor performers in the team save for one case of Chiukepo Msowoys who has been frozen out of the team after a string of poor showings over the past 3 years. Many players have underperfomed countless times but they continue featuring for the team. The silly blunders that led to goals during the last Afcon campaign, the Youtube fitting bloopers during the Cosafa quarterfinal against Mozambique in April and the schoolboy blunders against Zimbabwe. Imagine if it were Mourinho or Sir Alex Ferguson on the touchline? I bet they would substitute even the goalkeeper after such a blunder. A national team goalkeeper failing to handle a routine aerial ball, Really? The coaches have also at times shown a lack of common sense and logic in fielding and substituting players during games. Substituting a defender for another defender at a time the team was pushing for a goal. Why not introduce fresh legs upfront when our strikers were showing signs of tiredness? The game against Zimbabwe has summed it all that the coaches lack a tactical flexibility as they fail to read the game and make timely substitutions as well as shout and issue instructions on the touchline when the boys aren’t performing on the pitch. One notable case, during the Cosafa plate semifinal against South Africa, Ephraim Shakes Mashaba, the Bafana coach called his boys to the touchline and was seen issuing instructions while our coaches left the boys talk sense into one another themselves in the field of play. If the coaches do not shout, issue instructions on the touchline, what is their role then? Even Louis van Gaal stays rooted to his sit the whole game but his post match conferences tell a story that he shouts and laments poor performances of his players in the dressing room. Maybe our local tacticians do likewise, who knows? The national team’s past 6 or 7 performances have been a mixed bag. The jury is out, the coaches have to offer concrete reasons as to why they should continue with their respective roles. Otherwise the team’s performances do not reflect any improvements as it has been a two step forward and three steps backwards theory and that summarises it all.

By Tana Mwalwimba


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  1. Leon kholowa says:

    I can’t say much on players but honestly speaking our technical panel doesn’t deserve that position. We had a good team at COSAFA but why having such changes in the first 11. Its like training to shoot with a bow and arrow but because you don’t trust it that it can kill changing to ak 47 which you don’t even know how to pull trigger on it at war. Lets maintain the squard which was playing at COSAFA just exclude harawa…we will smile again.

  2. fricodaluka says:

    I concur with you on the fact our coaches lack tactical knowledge and even are afraid of making key tactical decision in the course of the game….its been no secret that for the past 6 or so years the flames have struggled in the holding defending midfield department…Chimango Kaira is not a defending midfielder and they continue using him there and yet its not working…his defending discipline and awareness to shield the back four is bad..I dnt really follow the super league but I believe there are good defending midfielders in there…take a defending midfielder and pair him with Chimango Kaira in a 2-man holding midfield and put Robert Ng’ambi ahead of them…Kamwendo maybe good in that same position but Baggio brings in speed,flair and goal threat….John Banda and Kamwendo can man the wings with either Atusaye,Tzyowere or Kanyenda as lone striker………..

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