Coach Ernest Mtawali has achieved 50 percent victories in games played during his six-month reign, but statistics show he has been struggling in crucial matches even against lowly ranked teams.
Mtawali has been in charge of eight matches; winning four, losing three and drawing once.
However, despite improving the winning-rate, the coach has failed to record victories against poorly-ranked teams, a development, analysts fear, that under Mtawali, Flames might not qualify for top tournaments like Africa Cup of Nations.
Flames, ranked 109, were beaten at the Cecafa Senior Challenge by South Sudan. Malawi were also eliminated from the 2018 World Cup after losing 2-1 on aggregate to Tanzania.
Malawi could only manage a 2-2 draw against Swaziland in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, .
“The 50 percent win-rate he has achieved is a good development,” football analyst Chiku Kalilombe said. “But then we need to start collecting full points from teams ranked below us, if we are to improve our chances of reaching the 2017 Afcon finals.”
He asked the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to come out clearly on the contractual targets set for Mtawali and his vice Nsanzurwimo Ramadhan.
Meanwhile, FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda said it was shocking that Malawi were eliminated from the World Cup and the Cecafa.
However, he defended the coaches saying they were making bold decisions in rebuilding the team.
Former player and coach Shadreck Mpesi said based on Mtawali’s six months achievements, he deserves a long-term contract.
“I think given a chance to stay long, he will do greater things,” he said. “If I was part of the team that reviews coaches’ performance, I would back him to stay,” Mpesi said.