Moffat Mungazi’s FOOTY FOOTNOTES
SOMETHING simply has got to give at Dynamos.
The Harare giants are stuttering so much so that they are barely recognisable as the standard bearers of the domestic game. Half-a-decade has now elapsed from their last crowning moment as league champions and they have not won anything of significant note since then.
And at the height of the problems that bedevilled them over the recent past seasons there were times DeMbare could neither bark nor bite, which predicament saw them dabbling in experiments with their technical set-up. In abortive attempts to return to the top, as they sought to restore their status as the aristocrats of the local game, they endured painfully fruitless spells with Portuguese gaffer Jorge Paulo Silva, ex-son Lloyd “Samaita” Mutasa and Lloyd “MaBlanyo” Chigowe.
The expatriate trainer was lampooned as a football fraud and tourist, a clownish quack of the game who passed himself off as a football coach. Samaita, on the other hand, was as Sisyphus-esque as it could get, being engaged and expelled twice in the same season during his troubled reign; while Chigowe cut a caricature figure that was satirised even by the team’s own fans.
Then came in Tonderai Ndiraya, who had guided the fading Glamour Boys to a runners-up finish in 2015 behind champions Chicken Inn, and hopes ran high with his return to his former team’s dugout following a tempestous tenure at Ngezi Platinum Stars during which he won the Chibuku Super Cup and was on course to guiding them to the league title before he was unceremoniously sacked by the Mhondoro miners.
But, sadly, they have not kicked on thus far this term; suffering a somewhat underwhelming campaign by their lofty standards. Hopelessly out of the picture for the championship by a country mile and knocked out of the Chibuku Super Cup at the first hurdle, they have stumbled from one draw to another during the marathon and are set to reach an ignominious record in that regard. That is as good as they presently are, hovering in the mid-table even below modest ZPC Kariba and Black Rhinos.
Ndiraya concedes as much and has been remorseful to their fabled seven million constituency for their feeble form. “We would like to apologise to the fans and at the same time appeal to them not to lose heart and keep on backing us . . . It’s so frustrating that we continue to draw matches like no man’s business . . . But like I have always said, the team is not yet capable of doing very well to merit the stature of the club . . . Otherwise, we are as disappointed as the rest of the people who believe in the institution’’ he was quoted as telling our sister publication The Herald recently following another 1-1 stalemate against Manica Diamonds.
That Dynamos are drawing virtually all their league games is a sad reflection of where the club stands at this moment in time.
They have become so average that they can seldom beat any opponent. In their last dozen games in all competitions, they have won only twice (3-2 against Herentals, league and 1-0 against Highlanders, invitational Anti-Sanctions Challenge Cup), drawn nine times (league) and lost once (1-0 against Bosso, Chibuku Super Cup). Victory for them was elusive in the months of September and October in six attempts. Curiously, over the period under review they only managed to score more than two goals on one occasion; during which they also conceded twice.
Other than that, they have not been prolific in front of goal and battled to 0-0 or 1-1 draws; with their opponents replying each time they hit the target.
That is the Dynamos story: they are not battling relegation and neither are they fighting for the championship. Just plain banal!
Yet some sections hold that the current squad is lightweight and not good enough to do the job, that the shirt they are pulling on is too heavy where demands and expectations to deliver are heavily weighing them down. While some have accused the players of lacking respect for the badge, others simply do not have the quality to represent this once mighty club.
But with tranquillity in the corridors of power at the oft turbulent club now seemingly prevailing following years of relentless boardroom squabbles, the glamour to their game remains elusive.
Auspiciously, Dynamos look like they have a better pact with sponsors Rudland and George (a subsidiary of Gold Leaf Tobacco) who poured $5 million into their deal — which took off at the beginning of the season and will run for the next five years (worth $1 million per season) — after giant cellular network provider NetOne pulled the plug and did not renew their vows.
But while someone somewhere somehow romantically thought around the initials of their sponsors R and G and coined “Rauya Gen’a” to emphatically announce this Glamour Boys brigade’s invasion of the domestic football landscape, will the squad rise up and live to that billing?
As Dynamos fumble for form that can return their A game and restore their glorious past their faithful are fervently looking forward to a golden sky at the end of this storm after meekly capitulating in the league title race this term.
That two of their players — Evans Katema and Emmanuel Jalai, who have been the leading lights in an otherwise prosaic season — are frontrunners to make the Soccer Star of the Year finalists cast may perhaps provide the much-needed respite.
If it is about football that you care about let’s share the cheer because we are made for the game, mad about the game!
New boys Manica Diamonds are doing well and need to keep the momentum going and vibe high. Being mid-table in the Castle Lager Premiership in only their debut season in the top-flight league is highly commendable. Well done, Gem Boys. — Courage Mudzipurwa, Hobhouse.
I watched the game between Tenax and Mutare City Rovers and it was an interesting one. Surely, the Zifa Eastern Region Division One championship race is set to get explosive in this home stretch. This is exactly what we the fans desire to see — exciting football. We will cheer the teams on and be mad about the game. — Tawanda Mhlanga, Dangamvura.
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