Having desperately failed to manufacture another Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) final qualification fluke, the jury is out, not on the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and government, who are the biggest culprits for the Flames’ abject showings—but, on coach Young Chimodzi and his right hand man Jack Chamangwana.
Chimodzi and Chamangwana are under the microscope for presiding over 15 games of all competitions resulting in four wins, four draws and seven defeats. A dismal rating no doubt!
The coaches’ performance rating hovers way below average at 27 percent during their nine-month tenure since being recalled as permanent successors for their former boss Kinnah Phiri, whose departure was followed by Eddingtone Ng’onamo and Tom Saintfiet’s futile stints.
Going into minute details, Malawi has in the 15 games leaked in 20 goals—mostly in the first and last 15 minutes, and scored 12.
But wait a second. Statistics are like a bikini; they hardly reveal the whole figure.
The context of Chimodzi’s record is that he has done relatively better in 10 competitive matches of four wins, one draw and five defeats representing a 40 percent rating. The team is able to create chances and the quality of play has improved.
And the six points from a possible 18 the Flames collected in the Afcon race beats the four-point fluke that earned the 2010 qualification.
Based on the way the Flames finished the Afcon campaign, by plugging the holes to register two consecutive clean sheets, gives a flicker of hope that if this team sticks together for one more year, could gel.
For the first time, the defensive set up was maintained in two consecutive games against Mali and Ethiopia, but the striking force has changed in every game.
While Kinnah had a backbone, you can give the benefit of doubt to the Chimodzi’s rebuilding jazz as has tried 40 players and different combinations with only Chimango Kayira featuring in every match.
By succumbing to pressure and recalling Fischer Kondowe, Zico Mkanda and Esau Kanyenda it suggests that Chimodzi listens. Unless, an expatriate coach is hired, I would rather stick to this devil I know: Chimodzi.