By: Andrew Cane Chilapondwa
Renowned football commentator Steve Liwewe Banda says Flames mentor, Ernest Mtawali should have continued with the team that won the Cosafa Castle plate in South Africa last year.
This follows Malawi’s poor performance during their 2-1 defeat to Guinea in the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifier at Kamuzu Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
After taking over from Young Chimodzi last year, Mtawali dropped some of the senior players that were used by his predecessor by bringing in new faces into the team mostly dominated by Under 20 players he coached sometime back.
However, this plan backfired as the team exited the 2018 FIFA World Cup after losing 2-1 to Tanzania on aggregate and performed miserably during the Cecafa tournament in Ethiopia.
As if that was not enough, the Flames of Malawi are now out of 2017 AFCON qualifier following Tuesday’s defeat to Guinea. Speaking in the aftermath of the defeat, the longest football commentator in Malawi blasted Mtawali for starting a new team by getting rid of all experienced players.
The longest football commentator in Malawi blasted Mtawali for starting a new team by getting rid of players who performed wonders during the Cosafa Castle tournament last year.
“Continuity is the problem in this team. Ernest Mtawali should have maintained the team that won the Cosafa Plate Cup in South Africa but just like his predecessors, he started afresh by dropping the players for new ones.
“It’s only in Malawi where players are not given a second chance to prove themselves right when they make some mistakes. He dropped Richard Chipuwa, Lucky Malata, Joseph Kamwendo, Harry Nyirenda, MacDonald Harawa and others just because they made some mistakes. As a coach, what is his role? Getting rid of players? No way,” said Liwewe Banda.
His counterpart Patrick Simango echoed his words saying “You don’t throw away dirty water before finding the clean one.”He used Brighton Munthali in goal ignoring some of the experienced goalkeepers in Malawi and we all saw how the young lad conceded those goals because the pressure was just too much for him.
“We needed those experienced players on Tuesday but he ignored Malawians by playing under 20 players in a tight match like that one.That was a big mistake,” he said.
Malawi will play Zimbabwe and Swaziland in the remaining games but the team faces an uphill struggle if they are to collect something from the remaining games. Currently, the Flames are anchoring Group L with two points from four games.
Zimbabwe leads the group with 8 points, with Guinea and Swaziland sitting second and third respectively with 5 points.