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We were reserving Jacob for the tough games – Janza

Published: May 6, 2013


We were reserving Jacob for the tough games – Janza thumbnail

FOOTBALL Association of Zambia technical director Honour Janza says Jacob Mulenga did not start a game at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa because he was reserved for more difficult games past the group stage.

In an interview yesterday, Janza explained that Chipolopolo technical bench valued Mulenga as their best player and described as unfortunate his interpretation of the lack of game time at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Janza explained that the technical team did not envisage an early exit at the Africa Cup of Nations, hence reserved the prolific striker for more difficult games past the group stage.

“Jacob at one time during the 2013 Africa Cup training in South Africa complained of backache and was rested for one or two days. That could have contributed to the coach’s decision to rest him in the group stages,” Janza said.

“We did not think we would be out of the tournament that early and him being one of our best players, we wanted him to play in other tough games past the group stages.”

He advised Mulenga not to think of retiring from national team because he was still a valuable player for Chipolopolo.

“The mere fact that we called him (to national team) signifies how much we value him; he is one of our best players. And if there is a problem, let him call the coach and talk. He is still too young to think of hanging his boots for the nation,” Janza said.

He advised players to also understand the coach’s game plan and put in their best during training when called for national duty.

And Chipolopolo trainer Herve Renard said he could not respond to Mulenga through the press.
“I don’t have to respond to a player through the newspaper,” Renard said.

Mulenga told Planet TV that he was pondering retiring from the national team, citing lack of game time during the last Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.

“I knew the team had won the Africa Cup before without me, but on an honest point of view, going by the records of what was happening, by how players were performing back then, not to speak for myself but to speak by the records, I think I had the best record from the strikers that were there from the clubs records. And to go sit on the bench, I felt really mentally drained,” Mulenga said.

“I am one person who doesn’t like to do something when I don’t feel right about it, I basically won’t do it. Like right now, that’s the way I am feeling about the Africa Cup on what happened with the whole national team. It’s a stage I really have to sit down and think what’s next because, I am 29, and it’s not a phase to go and learn and say eventually you can play with the national team. It’s either you are playing or you are not.”

The Utrecht FC player pulled out of the 2014 World Cup qualifier match against Lesotho in March this year, citing an unexplained medical condition.

[The Post]

25 Comments on "We were reserving Jacob for the tough games – Janza"

  1. Strategist on Tue, 7th May 2013 6:35 am 

    I think Janza is not being honest here,how do u rest ur best striker as if u outrightly knw that u wl storm the quarter finals with that rubbish display of soccer Zambia displayed,the first round is the most crucial part coz its the foundation. Its ths kind of retrogresive thinkin that made Chipolopolo’s early exit.& this guy Janza calls himself the Technical Director shame! Bravo Jacob.

  2. Mumbi on Tue, 7th May 2013 8:22 am 

    Begging Yakobo Mulenga? Janza let him retire, we’ve a lot of strikers and upcoming ones.

  3. Chivers Soopu on Tue, 7th May 2013 8:24 am 

    Communication kaili ba Janza. How can you rest a player for tougher games and yet you don’t communicate this to him?

  4. Dojo Do on Tue, 7th May 2013 9:55 am 

    This explanation goes to show the lack of seriousness on our coaches…all the great players in any tournament play in the qualifying rounds because that is the way to get to the knock off stages…how do you reserve a player for something that is not a given?? This explanation is for children!!!

  5. HARRIS KHONDIWA on Tue, 7th May 2013 11:47 am 

    What an explanation by this guy Janza.This mentality of underrating teams is what made him think they would automatically qualify to the next round.Did he not see it coming just after the first match against Ethiopia? Being reigning champions does not entirely make you favorites,like we saw at AFCON 2013 cos everyone is trying to defeat you to prove a point.Next time he should employ such tactics if indeed he is a tactician.

  6. HARRIS KHONDIWA on Tue, 7th May 2013 11:49 am 

    Meant to say he should NOT employ such tactics.

  7. Shi J vergas on Tue, 7th May 2013 12:50 pm 

    iwe janza naiwe dont fool us we can read between the lines you coaches,players including the faz president won the cup before playing and when game got tough thats when you pulled panic buttons.offcouse you disappointed us in mbombela you were enjoying seeing us crying like little babies after that draw with Bukina faso.i hurt when pipo cant admit when they are wrong JANZA shut up!with you renar and perform against lesotho wich some bloggers have said even nkana can produce a good result and save the pain of being unproductive when chipolopolo lose

  8. Shi J vergas on Tue, 7th May 2013 12:54 pm 

    ba zamfoot not kulafisa ama comments yamano Janza shut up and perform aganist this lesotho not ifyo ifya bupondo pondo ngamwa lusa or even draw we will come and bomb that football house at once

  9. Shi J vergas on Tue, 7th May 2013 12:58 pm 

    my comment waiting moderation what moderation as if we are talking of national security maybe ba zamfoot nimwe ba PF or UNIP

  10. KK 11 on Tue, 7th May 2013 3:43 pm 

    This is the silliest explanation!! They know they screwed up and should just own up to the mistake. As someone has indicated this reasoning is for kids!!

  11. kayula on Tue, 7th May 2013 4:04 pm 

    you guys u are joking…..!how do u rest a player when u even knew that evry team wanted to play the defending chapions and it was obvious that every game was going to be tough….;;what kind of thinking is that???? keeping good strikers for the unknown event…!lets not use such tactics in future ,,we just need to play /use players who are doing it…PERIOD!!come june and sept we will not accept such nonsence….

  12. MPUNDU on Tue, 7th May 2013 4:22 pm 

    janza dont think dat as fans we are small children whom u can lie to jst shut up .afcon 2013 is alredy gone.wat we wat now z da list of provisional squad 4 upcomin w.c.q maches.dere z no way u cn rest yo depedable striker.y did u play him n da 1 gme

  13. STUMPY on Tue, 7th May 2013 4:35 pm 

    It hapened that the nigerian mugus broke into our reserve bank and stole the goals we were reserving for afcon. they also got away with the tough games we were reserving for jacob.

  14. Abanthubaya on Tue, 7th May 2013 4:36 pm 

    What a load of rubbish from Mr. Janza. Leaving out Jacob the technical bench showed total disrespect to arguably Zambia’s best striker and to other teams in the group. You rest players after ensuring qualification not before – hello! I’d advise Mr. Janza to keep quiet if he does not have anything better to say.

  15. bwalya bwalya PTA on Tue, 7th May 2013 5:55 pm 

    Janza awe no excuses we are not children who are trying to fool,you were happy that we were in mbombela crying like little children after that unceremonious exit and you call that was not an important game,shut up if you dont have a team let lesotho play with Nkana atleast even if they lose we know at which level nkana is.thats why sometimes we even support ba kegan mumba nakanua kabo speaking his mind even if outline but someody has spoken.come june/september katuli ukulusa play players that are perfoming.zed is bigger than mbola who can even play reserve team,guys emwe you take zambia 4 granted zoona ka

  16. Jefcool on Tue, 7th May 2013 6:15 pm 

    Is janza normal as if he talking to a bunch of idiots who will just clap Hands for him the best thing he would have done is to just apologies , we need Jacob so badly guys

  17. STUMPY on Tue, 7th May 2013 6:45 pm 

    Why is my coment awaiting moderation? what is there to moderate about a sports site? its just football.

  18. Bola Pa Zed on Tue, 7th May 2013 6:50 pm 

    Watching Jacob play against Norway in Ndola, i don’t think he convinced anyone. Coming from an injury it looks like he didn’t play his lungs out and could have feared a recurring injury before he was fully healed. That goes even for training matches.

    However, back at the club which takes care of his salary he let go and was scoring almost immediately.

    He could have the best record at club level amongst the strikers in the team but his energy was missing to convince the coach he was worth a starting berth.

    Otherwise, no need for him to be bigger than the team for now just talk to the coach one on one thats what civilised people and pros do.

    Lastly, Honour, leave some honesty in you like your parents taught you and don’t take people for granted. You messed up in South Africa. It’s better to take the criticism in your stride and use diplomacy with Jacob than that sloppy PR.

  19. tc Soccerman on Tue, 7th May 2013 6:56 pm 

    What a lame excuse for the coaches. On the other hand Jacob when he was given a chance to play wheather friendly games or the AFCON, he did not seperate himself from the rest of the players. Everytime he got the ball, he was in a hurry, no cordination(not just him thought) and he always he shot at the goal, or shot it high. If Jacob feels that he is the best Striker Zambia has, maybe he needs to prove it by scoring goals for Zambia, not just Utretch. We don’t need that big headed attitude in the national team, what he needs to do is come to Zambia and scores goals and us the critics will shut our mouths, not all this talk he is doing. He is going to lose the respect we have for him period.

  20. tc Soccerman on Tue, 7th May 2013 7:09 pm 

    Maybe he should not have been sitting in the stands watching Norwich play, he should have been in Camp with the rest of the players that were getting ready for the AFCON. Nobody showed commitment to get ready for the AFCON, yes coaches blundered, but players too are at fault as they were rusty or busy trying to work on contracts that never even materilised anyway. IF these guys focused on the national team and defending the AFCON then they would be even playing for better clubs now. With all due respect, Jacob needs to shut it and come play for his country that put him where he is now, we don’t need sisi’s in the team, not this time. Its either you are in or not.

  21. tc Soccerman on Tue, 7th May 2013 7:12 pm 

    @Bola ya pazed, just finished your post, very true to what you have written.

  22. john on Tue, 7th May 2013 8:05 pm 

    jacob should prove he is the best striker in zambia not being cocky and arrogant saying he will retire. Has jacob ever scored a hattrick for zambia. He played bafana and norway and failed to score. Jacob produce the goals and you will get your respect

  23. bwalya bwalya PTA on Tue, 7th May 2013 9:48 pm 

    jacob & Janza,faz,please shut up and dont take zambia for granted.the coaching deptpment lost it,players didnt come to the party in some sense keagan mumba had a point mwe

  24. Nostra on Wed, 8th May 2013 3:11 am 

    Who else among valuable players was on bench? Chivuta?
    Because even the confused, trialist Sunzu played.
    Jacob Mulenga is supposed to be captain for Chipolopolo, not a division 2 Chris Katongo.

  25. yoyamba on Wed, 8th May 2013 10:21 am