23 September 2018

Zimbabwe: Dynamos Walks Tight Rope

THOSE who have seen Dynamos in action over the past three weeks would feel sorry for the once dominant force of Zimbabwean football. The popular Harare club, which made Zimbabwe proud by reaching the final of the Caf Champions League in 1998, has been reduced to playing football that can best be described as schoolboy soccer.

Dynamos have been so inept, so lacking in creativity and firepower and have now turned to veteran players like Kingstone Nkhata for salvation.

It is hard to believe that this is the club that gave Zimbabwe some of its greatest players in the form of the legendary George Shaya and the great Moses Chunga as the team is lacking in a superstar who can attract crowds. Accusations and counter accusations have become the order of the day, but the truth is that Dynamos do not have quality players capable of excelling in Premiership football at the moment.

The team that normally at this time of the season every year would be fighting for the league title is this time around in the relegation zone, just four points from the fourth relegation place that is occupied by Nichrut. In fact, this Dynamos side cannot be described as DeMbare at all as it plays like a team in the Zifa Eastern Region Division Two with no formula at all. Crowds are getting smaller and smaller as week in and week out, DeMbare are being hit left, right, and centre.

This has also affected the opposition, which is losing revenue through dwindling crowd attendances as most of them normally have their biggest pay cheques of the season when they play Dynamos at home. Although all teams experience their ups and downs, the crisis at Dynamos is probably the worst to hit the club since the club was formed in 1963. Even the likes of the late Richard Chiminya, Obediah Sarupinda, Jairos Banda and Freddy Mkwesha could be turning in their graves as they try to figure out what has hit the team they formed 55 years ago.

One self-proclaimed football soothsayer predicted that DeMbare would be playing Chegutu Pirates at Pfupajena Stadium in 2019. Although the crisis might not reach such levels, it is important that the DeMbare family sorts out the mess before it goes beyond the point of no return.

Who of all people expected Black Aces and Zimbabwe Saints to go the route they took? If DeMbare do not change the route they are travelling, they will one day follow Shaisa Mufaro to the grave .-- that is, if they are not already in the intensive care unit.

Nobody comes close to Sunday

There was this interesting debate on one platform as to whether Sunday Chidzambwa was the right choice for the Warriors with some arguing that Mhofu's type of football was old-fashioned, and that the Warriors needed a modern-day coach.

The debate was triggered by the Warriors' performance in their one-all draw against Congo in Brazzaville a fortnight ago which some felt Zimbabwe could easily have won had they not stuck to Chidzambwa's outdated ultra-defensive type of play, as one critic put it.Others went on to suggest that the Brazil-trained coach needed to be sent for training in Europe in order to equip him with current techniques of the game.

What football followers should understand is that it is not when one started coaching and what his age is that makes one a good coach, but results, something that speaks for Chidzambwa.

Zimbabwe football statistics show that Chidzambwa was the first coach to take the Warriors to the Africa Cup of Nations in 2004 when an array of international coaches had come to Zimbabwe from all over the world and failed to take the Warriors to the promised land.

Chidzambwa also holds his own piece of history in the Caf Champions League after taking Dynamos to the final of the tournament in 1998 and the semi-finals of the same competition 10 years later when he was technical adviser to David Mandigora.

That is not the end of it. Chidzambwa holds a record four Cosafa Cup titles won with different generations of players starting with that title in 2003 which was followed by another in 2009 and the ones which came by in 2017 and 2018.

Any coach who achieves half of what Chidzambwa has done could be on his way to mortality yet some do not give Mhofela the credit he deserves.

African football dictates that a team that wins all its home matches and draws away from home normally qualifies for the finals of major international tournaments. A point away from Congo Brazzaville should have been receiving the thumbs-up instead of criticising the way the team played.

Surely, what Chidzambwa did in the past will be compared to what he will do, but to draw comparisons between the former Zimbabwe captain and any other local coach would be mischievous.

Nobody comes close to Sunday and even in future it will take time for Zimbabwe to have another coach like the former Dynamos skipper.

It is a fact that football is all about entertaining the fans, but it is the final result that matters most. What is it that makes the fans happy? A team that plays an attractive and entertaining game and loses matches? or a team that plays average football and wins games?

It is the team that wins matches and that is exactly what Sunday's team does. -- it wins matches no matter how it plays.

For your comments, views and suggestions, contact mkariati@gmail.com or WhatsApp on 077 3 266 779.


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