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Giants still in their blocks

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Barely five weeks into the 2016 season, the TNM Super League has already produced a script for a blockbuster movie. And, it seems, the best and the worst is yet to come.

Everything is going in reverse for the returnees and the rookies. Karonga United, Max Bullets and Dwangwa United are yet to win, whereas after an opening 1-0 win over Red Lions, Wizards suffered three defeats on the bounce and also exited the Presidential Cup.

Perhaps, models of impatience are Max Bullets, who are changing coaches at an alarming speed, averaging one in every two games.

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They now have Trevor Kajawa as sacked Patrick Kulemeka’s replacement, who too, joined after Leo Mpulula walked away days before the season kicked –off.

For Wizards, Technical Director, Peter Mponda, deserves credit for introducing a distinct football philosophy, but while that worked in the lower leagues, in the Super League you sometimes need to grind out results.

While Wizards’ story is familiar, Blue Eagles are speeding out of sight with the leadership after six straight wins to go seven points clear of second-placed Mafco.

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Down the table, it is the same old league story for the 10th placed Wanderers. The Nomads have dropped nine points and retrieved a paltry five while leaking six goals and scoring also six. Defensive and scoring problems.

Watching the Nomads play, it is clear players are not fighting for each other. Some are too afraid to make mistakes, they do not avail themselves to receive a pass. Wanderers cannot just string five continuous passes.

As former coach Jack Chamangwana and his predecessor, Eddington Ng’onamo, discovered team-chemistry is simply not there. They have individual quality but not team-work. The endless buying is taking its toll on the team.

“What we need is the togetherness and hard-work,” Ng’onamo said after starting his reign with a 4-3 win over Red Lions in the Presidential Cup.

Usually, context at Wanderers comes from their rivals, Nyasa Big Bullets. The People’s Team have, under Franco Ndawa, nine points from five games or six points dropped while being placed sixth.

Bullets have conceded four and scored seven with striker Chiukepo Msowoya bagging five of them— a far cry compared to the combined total for Wanderers’ strikers.

However, Bullets’ problems of coaching transition were masked by Saturday’s 2-0 win over Epac at Kamuzu Stadium, whereas other title hopefuls, Silver Strikers’ steady form came after two straight home defeats.

So, Ndawa and Silver’s Young Chimodzi are, for now, enjoying a moment of respite. But there is no doubt that the traditional giants are yet to get out of their blocks.

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