Trust is the blood of friendship. But when friendship is mingled with work, you can be certain that it is the work that gets compromised.
In such a case, it is difficult to enforce targets. Deadlines and targets are shifted and excuses are entertained.
Over and over again, non-performers are given one more chance. Result, work suffers greatly.
Put the Flames in the picture then there should be no need for finger-pointing for all becomes crystal clear. While the composition of the team that crashed out of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations after 1-0 loss to Ghana at Civo Stadium on Saturday offers this interesting case, so does the positioning of players.
Since membership into a friendsâ€™ club is by invitation, the Flames players are also merely invited and not selected. No one realistically monitors players.
Trust earns the playersâ€™ invitation into this friends club called the Flames. If the players were selected then competence could have been the benchmark.
But coach Kinnah Phiri is merely playing by the system. He put trust in the players in 2010 and there is no need for him to change.
Kinnah and Young Chimodzi are Malawi football legends. They surely know that you do not select a player who has not played competitive club football for over a year into the sacred place of a senior national team.
I reluctantly mention names of the honest players below for I know that they are not to blame for finding their way into the national team even when they are struggling at their respective clubs.
Great football servant Moses Chavula and fallen Flamesâ€™ saviour-in-chief Chiukepo Msowoya had each going into Saturdayâ€™s match only made one substitute appearances at club level.
And dedicated and disciplined soldier Dave Banda, too, has been out of club football for over a month following his Black Leopardsâ€™ ejection in South Africa.
Midfielder Frank Banda is struggling with form due to injuries.
To do justice to this Silver Strikers boy, who serves the team with loyalty, is to give him a break to pick the pieces of his career.
I have great amount of respect for the ever humble Esau Kanyenda. He remains the most consistent national team striker of the decade.
Strikers with such fighting spirit and selfless spirit come once in a while. But truth is few can remember the last time Kanyenda played for a club.
Forced into the deep end, his legs snapped a few minutes after break at Civo Stadium. I hate the sight of injured players. Even more when such a player is a gentleman.
Captain Peter Mponda, was against the advice of Santos doctors, rushed into national team action. See now what a loss it has been?
If we talk the language of the need for veterans to lead the youngsters in the Flames, then my logic tells me that the available form experienced players are Victor Phiri, Rodrick Gonani, Noel Mkandawire and Heston Munthali. Or is it due to the fact that the four are not foreign based?