Herve Renard raised the bar for Zambia but for now, after 7 years of gradual descent in football, it is Luc Eymael who might stand as the man.
We struggled in the early stages of Renard tenure but why would we not have? Zambia was not a competitor on the continent as he (Renard) left it after the 2012 triumph.
Renard raised the standards and the next Chipolopolo coach should be able to follow up and surpass the Frenchman’s work.
Chipolopolo has gone unbeaten in the last 9 outings with Aggrey Chiyangi in charge but one will be surprised how come we are all still not convinced he’s the right man for the job.
It’s simple, in football results may come but the quality of the football on the pitch and foresight matters most.
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We have not lost in nine games but are we ready and certain to continue with the run should we face competitive opposition like Algeria, Tunisia, Senegal, Nigeria etcetera? Does not seem we are to me.
We won the COSAFA Cup with only one win recorded after 90minutes as we struggled to deal with our usual customers Malawi as well as Zimbabwe who we eliminated on penalties. We have always been scrapping since Chiyangi.
I’m not trying to say Aggrey is a bad coach, in fact, he has done a terrific job thus far but the task ahead (qualification to AFCON 2021 and possibly Qatar 2022), I think is bigger than his abilities. He can stay on as coach of the local side and work closely with an experienced or a master tactician to handle the team.
So then what is the way forward?
LUC is the man for Zambia Chipolopolo
LUC Eymael has expressed hope, interest and passion in taking up the Chipolopolo job more than any other candidate. His experience and expertise that has seen him train top sides across the continent would take Zambia back to those times when we were a competitive side on the African continent.
Luc Eymael was born on 20 September 1959 and is a Belgian football manager and a former footballer. Luc holds the UEFA Pro Licence, the highest football coaching qualification. He received the UEFA Pro Licence in 2007 and the UEFA A License.
Luc is renowned, credited for playing big roles in the training of famous Belgian superstars such as Eden Hazard, Axel Witsel, Christian Benteke and Marouane Fellaini. In the recent past three to four months he has dedicated his time and thoughts towards finding the right formula to get Zambia national team back on track.
He on top of his experience in and vast knowledge of the African game sat to research and delve deeper in Zambian football hence, coming up with a 25-page masterplan for the Chipolopolo which also includes the development of the youth sides and integration of the Under-23 team into the senior team.
In his project, he speaks of using the modern coaching methods should he be given the mantle and has also put a finger on numerous areas in which we have been lacking and how he intends to work on them.
I have been privileged to have spoken with him and I initially thought he was just another chancer looking to reap benefit off us, but I was shocked to have learnt he had rejected numerous offers from the lucrative Middle-East leagues were he would have earned more than the $20k package we are offering.
We have little time before the AFCON qualifiers start and it will be difficult to start searching for a coach that will settle in immediately.
We need not go out searching because we already have Luc to turn to.
Luc could have an immediate impact on the team as he did with Free State Stars last year, who were relegation destined team before he came through and saved their season and on top of that, won the Nedbank Cup.
He is now back in the South African PSL with Black Leopards where he has made an immediate impact after just two games played and the club is out of the relegation battle.
His interest to take the Chipolopolo to greater heights has not diminished and still has his eye on the job, hence his contract with Leopards allows him to depart should he be approached for a national team role.
Aggrey Chiyangi has done a terrific job thus far but he is not ready to take us through the challenge ahead, he can be kept to work closely with the Eymael who has admitted he would need a local coach to assist him, while also being left to take charge of the local CHAN team like the case with other nations.