Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu says in his one year in charge, Flames coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG) has achieved what world-class coaches Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho could not have done.
But seasoned Be Forward Wanderers coach Yasin Osman—commenting in his personal capacity—has described it as a far-fetched statement.
Nyamilandu was giving his assessment to MBC Radio 2FM on RVG’s performance during the year that he has been in charge.
“For someone who has seen the national team play, you can tell the progression in terms of organisation and tactical approach. You can literally tell that the team is being coached and there is a plan in place.
“The coach has only been in charge for one year and to expect miracles within one year [is unrealistic] because not even Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho would turn around a team like Malawi within a year. I think the coach has tried and I am satisfied,,” he said.
Nyamilandu also said the Flames are in a difficult 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification group which includes African champions Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions and 2018 World Cup finalists Morocco’s Atlas Lions “and, therefore, we need to be realistic in our expectations”.
“This year, all we want to do is make it difficult for Cameroon and Morocco and we need to come out of this group strong to prepare ourselves for the future. If we can get a win or draw it is going to be a bonus.
“We are rebuilding this team and as we are rebuilding the steps also have to be gradual; otherwise,we will crush and if we crush we will have to go back in reverse direction and to bounce back is going to be a big problem,” he said.
But Osman said it is difficult to give a coach [RVG] who has won only two out of 12 games the benefit of the doubt.
He said: “I wouldn’t want to be seen to be criticising FAM or the coach, but the problem is that we do not know what his intention is. He is talking about philosophy..now is it a passing game, is it direct or to entertain the fans? And I do not know if that is what FAM or the nation wants.
“I feel the coach should come out with a clear direction; otherwise, to play 12 games and win only two leaves a lot to be desired because there were times when some of us [local coaches] were kicked out after losing just two games.” n