After that midweek thorough 4-1 Kamuzu Stadium walloping by Zimbabwe, the football jury is, as expected, out with some already suggesting that Young Chimodzi and Jack Chimodzi have lost the plot.
The critics, and there are many, are questioning how Chimodzi and Chamangwana, bastions of Malawi defence in their playing era, could preside over the Flames’ worst defeat in nine years.
Having served under the stewardship of Kinnah Phiri and under several expatriate coaches, others brand Chimodzi as a recycled coach.
The Monday coaches argue that by benching for 89 minutes, Ishmael Thindwa, the Super League’s best striker in the last three years, Chimodzi is proving to be a disciple of Kinnah’s conservative football philosophy.
Some have even suggested that Kinnah was, by light years, a better coach and that Wednesday’s disastrous result proves his firing was ill-advised, ill-timed and ill-conceived.
Then there is pro-Chimodzi school of thought.
The optimists say that while the Flames were beaten hands down on Wednesday, there was discernable transition from the back, defence and upfront. Players could string some five uninterrupted passes; an indication that with more time, performance could get better.
The proponents of Chimodzi will argue for hours on end that Kinnah inherited a team of experienced players at their peak, he never in his tenure went into battle after three days of disjointed training and the team was never idle for six months.
The apologists will of course justify the loss to the absence of Limbikani Mzava, Gabadinho Mhango, Robin Ngalande and Robert Ng’ambi.
They will also point out that the Super League and the Mozambican league which
contributed seven players to the Flames are on break, hence, match-fitness was always going to be a challenge, considering that Zimbabwe featured five South Africa Premiership regulars.
Perhaps those claiming that Kinnah was better will be challenged as to why his presumed magic wand cannot rescue Free State Stars who are rooted second from the PSL’s bottom.
Kinnah tried his best between 2008 and 2010 steering the Flames to the
Africa Cup of Nations finals and improving its rankings but his second
tenure was disastrous. He ran out of ideas.
My take is that Kinnnah had five years and over 60 games to prove himself; hence, it is too early to judge Chimodzi.