David Kanyenda questions Marinica’s decision to drop Gerald Phiri Jnr

Phiri Junior (R) during Flames training

Renowned football analyst David Kanyenda has questioned Malawi Coach Marian Mario Marinica’s decision to drop midfielder Gerald Phiri Junior from his final 23-man squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals slated for Cameroun next month.

Marinica, who was named an interim Coach for the Flames, left out Phiri Junior, alongside Brighton Munthali who were part of the team’s qualification campaign.

But reacting to the development, Kanyenda, whho is also former General Secretary for Mighty Wanderers, said dropping an experienced Phiri for three uncapped players is a terrible mistake considering how vital the midfielder was during the qualifying matches.

“I am not convinced that the omission of Gerald Phiri Junior is a wise decision. He played all the Afcon qualifiers and scored twice against Burkina Faso and South Sudan and he is our dead ball specialist, experienced enough to be relied upon.

“These aren’t the players to be dropped as they are the core of the team and his omission is totally shocking and without basis when you consider his contribution to the team. For me, it’s a terrible mistake,” he said.

On the inclusion of the uncapped players, Kanyenda said:” This isn’t Cosafa tournament where you can be trying players. Experienced players who played an important role during the qualifiers shouldn’t have been left out for the inexperienced players. It’s a terrible mistake and this will backfire.”

Phiri Junior is the only midfielder who has scored for the Flames in the last 12 competitive matches.

His goal against South Sudan away from home helped the team to edge closer to Afcon qualification which was sealed after beating Uganda 1-0 at Kamuzu Stadium.

Marinica has included three uncapped players namely Zebron Kalima, Charles Thom and Lawrence Chaziya.

The team is currently in Saudi Arabia for camping before proceeding to Bafoussam City where they will be based.

The tournament is set to run from ninth of January to sixth of February 2022. Malawi are in Group B alongside favorites Senegal, Guinea and Zimbabwe.

Gerald Phiri Jnr dropped as Marinica names final 23-man Afcon squad


One Comment

  1. Nkhani muzimalizitsa, one would expect to see a list of the whole 23-man squad at the end of the article.

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