Final selection of CHAN squad not well balanced

RONALD Chinku.

THE national soccer team that took part at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) was not well balanced.

The technical bench should have picked more effective players, and should have also selected a reasonable number of skilful players.
Looking at the players that travelled to Morocco, it was evident that the coaches preferred those who were mostly physically built and tall in stature.
Players with small bodies were not considered. Hence, the selection process completely left out skilful and left-footed players.
Secondly, the other quality that our team lacked was efficiency in ball possession. To realise the meaning of the game, ball possession with penetration is vital.
It enables a team to create goal-scoring chances. Most importantly, our team did not have the foundation of build-ups in their playing pattern.
It is from well-matured build-ups that a team is able to play wide and then in the process have depth.
If we had one left-footed player in the midfield and another one on the right wing, this would have resulted in our team creating many chances to penetrate the 18 yard of the opponents.
My point on having left-footed players drafted into the squad is that these players are not only gifted, but they are genuine, football-wise; their skill and tactical recall are on automation.
Most importantly, skilful and left-footed players really make football seem to be a simple game, just the way it was meant to be when it was invented.
They are game changers who are capable of eliminating one or two opponents as they push the ball forward, thereby creating a superiority complex in front of the opponents’ 18 yard box.
Surely, our league has quite a good number of such players, who could have added a lot of value to the team.
It is important for the FAZ administration to quickly scout for funds from co-operating partners so that they can employ assistant coaches on full time.
The last FAZ administration had employed two foreign coaches on full time, and the third assistant was a Zambian.
Defensive flaws
Thirdly, the team did not apply the same formation of 1:4:4:2 in zonal defence articulately. The players’ positions after breakdowns were too fragmented.
The strikers and the wingers were not able to get behind the ball within reasonable seconds after every breakdown.
More than that, strikers must possess the ability to attack and at the same time be able to repossess the ball back from the defenders after losing it in the opponents’ half.
This principle is now widely being acknowledged, and constantly has become a functional drill for strikers.
The other point is that lines in each category were not visibly being formed, so as to create good cover of each other’s backs.
In principle, the coach and his assistants did not fully influence the team to apply the four main fundamental situations in football.
The author coached locally at club level, both in division one and super league; abroad in Swaziland, South Africa and Mozambique; and the U-17 and U-20 Zambia national teams.

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