The 2019 Afcon team of the first round has no player from East or Southern Africa and the reason is obvious.
In comparison to West African players, South and Eastern African players are too casual and soft on the ball.
When Sven Vandernbroek claimed that Zambians are not tall and built enough to compete for honours, his theory was greeted with mixed opinions of antagonism but he was right. Zambian players like most Southern Africa players are skillful and posses inborn technical prowess but they Always fall short of physique and the aggressive demands of African football.
The team that won Zambia the maiden Afcon was blessed with a quality that we are lacking now: Aggressiveness and the desire to fight for every ball. At the center of activity on the field of play was Christopher Katongo a man who walked on BROKEN bottles for the team to win a match.
He could point a finger in the face of Neymar in that friendly match and never apologized. He fought Perpetual battles with Didier Drogba and his tag of the wall with intimidating players like Asamoah Gyan was wrapped in the aggression of a Buffalo throughout that tournament. It is that fighting spirit that made us conquer Africa.
Herve Renard on the bench kept demonstrating to us what he was planting in his players in the training ground.
Renard could kick bottles of water, scream at his lads with anger even slapping Nkausu on the touchline. Without such aggression and fight, you can’t win matches in football.
Football is a tough and aggressive sport and to excel in these sports players need to be dragons on the field. It is an art West Africans and Arabs have mastered and when they dominate at all levels there should be no reason to wonder why.
Do you ask why Zambia couldn’t even qualify for the tournament? That aggressiveness and stubbornness we see from West and North Africans have been replaced with prayers and favour signs. Our players will have opponents kicking them and they fail to kick back because they are full-time Christians who want to pray for their enemies even in the field of play.
Zambia players and technical staff across the league need to start working on aggressiveness and physique if Zambia is to bounce back.
That Silwimba type of built goes a long way in African football