RETIRED Chipolopolo captain Christopher Katongo has weighed-in on Zambia first choice goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene who happens to be a bench warmer at his Pretoria club, Mamelodi Sundowns. But he has also warned that the Zambia bench must be pragmatic.
Mweene has spent the last two seasons on the bench at Mamelodi Sundowns but has continued to enjoy first choice status with Chipolopolo despite his lack of game time.
“I think it not is easy for me to say this or that, to criticize any players or talk about the truth but what is important is for the coach to select the best keeper or best player who will bring more honour to the country,” Katongo told journalists in Johannesburg.
“Otherwise he needs to follow people who have more game time and who are doing well at club level.
“But we also need the experienced players.
“This is what is killing Zambian football; when you take out all the experienced players and bring in the young players.”
Katongo said the onus was on Chipolopolo coach Wedson Nyirenda to find a rational balance.
“I think they (Nyirenda) have a different philosophy,” Katongo said.
“For me I want to tell my coach that he needs the players who have been there, he still needs the players who have an experience of being at the AFCON.
“He needs the people who have grip on what is happening .And no matter what, he needs those people.”
Katongo also warned that even the World’s elite coaches knew the importance of a balanced team and being open-minded.
“By the way in this World, you must be ready to be thought, whether you are a top coach, whether you are Mourinho or Guardiola,” Katongo said.
“These top level coaches can still be taught. So if our African coaches are ready to be like that, I think we can produce a coach who will represent Africa well at the World Cup and be successful like Herve Renard.”