Recent hiring, firing of local soccer coaches worrying

Some Zambians have noted with dismay a growing trend of hiring and firing of coaches by local football clubs. It is now a popular misconception that mere ascendancy of a new coach to a team’s technical bench would change its performance overnight and Zambians should not be deceived by this trend. Behind every mesmerizing and spectacular football match played on the pitch lies a team of great players as well as a great team of managers.

A number of coaches managing local clubs especially those in the super division, Zambian league have lost their jobs after their clubs failed to perform up to their sponsors expectations. Some Zambians have noted with dismay a growing trend of hiring and firing of coaches by local football clubs.

It is now a popular misconception that mere ascendancy of a new coach to a team’s technical bench would change its performance overnight and Zambians should not be deceived by this trend.

Behind every mesmerizing and spectacular football match played on the pitch lies a team of great players as well as a great team of managers.

However, the role of forming and coaching a team is not an easy undertaking in today’s world of sophisticated soccer talents.

It is indeed a very difficult and challenging undertaking, if one is serious about forming a team that will withstand the pressure of playing with every brilliant side they might encounter on the pitch.

Nonetheless, the success of any coach does not entirely rely on how much experience one has got but also on how much talent the team is coaching as as well as how much they have played together.

A coach’s ability maybe great or small but if he has a wide range of talent to choose from, it simply makes it easy for him to bring a formidable team on board.

For instance, keen followers of the famed English Premier League would tell you that despite England having a brigade of brilliant players like Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerald and Frank Lampard in that league, they have over and over successfully failed to deliver or lift any World Cup title. The last time they lifted the World Cup was 46 years ago in 1966.

Most soccer commentators explain that the influx of foreign players in these leagues does not allow the English team to get familiar with every player’s style of play. I will not dwell much on the England case, lest I do not convey the point.

The logic is simple. The trend is a clear indication that it takes a right group of players to come together, stay for a while and gel into a team with the right manager, and as long as that does not happen, it will continue hampering the chances of any team lifting the silver ware again.

Speaking in an interview with the Lusaka Star,a soccer fan, Steven Mwanza,   said that local clubs should desist from firing coaches anyhow and that the trend is not good for Zambian Soccer.

He said that club proprietors and stakeholders should exercise patience with coaches where the running of the team is concerned.

And Bright Kabwe, a player from Chilenje Football academy explained that it is the desire of every team to put up an overwhelming performance and that it takes ample time and getting used to the coach.

“No team enjoys losing and people should understand that sometimes its because the team has just began putting the pieces together and is not yet used to its new coach” Kabwe said.

As avid soccer commentator Dennis Liwewe once commented, soccer is not a hocus-pocus game but it is something that requires ample time, dedication and development of mutual relations between a coach and his players.

Even in the case of the Copper Bullets lifting the AFCON trophy, soccer analysts would say that the math is simple; they were able to withstand the pressure of the “all stars team” Cameroon due to the fact that they had ample time together as a team as well as a good relationship with coach Herve Renard.

May be we should also draw a lesson from Manchester United as to why they are such a great team. Sir Alex Ferguson has been at the helm of that team for the past 26 years and he exactly knows what it takes to build a good side. It is ample time.

It is therefore merely a laughable attempt to think that the recent hiring and firing of coaches at will by local clubs is doing any good to Zambian soccer. I believe soccer clubs and their proprietors cannot just do things as they please. They must always take into account the after-effects of their actions.

Recently Nkana Football club coach Linos Makwaza and NAPSA Stars Coach Patrick Phiri as well as former international player Fred Nasilele were relieved of their duties as coaches after recording a series of poor performances.

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