TO continue referring to CAPS United as the Green Machine may sound a like a mockery, for the fading Harare giants are woefully wobbling.
To think that this is a team once revered as the cup kings of domestic football is now a distant memory tucked in the depths of only their most avid and nostalgic fans.
To imagine that this is a team that was crowned the champions of the local game just five seasons ago and secured passage to the group stages of the CAF Champions League for the first time in the club’s history boggles the mind given their current struggles and they are barely recognisable as that side.
To such low depths have MaKepeKepe plummeted that they are now keeping ignominious company with other equally struggling sides at the foot of the table.
Their pedestrian form during a patchy run which has seen them amass 17 points from 17 games so far translates to roughly picking up a point per game.
They have more defeats (eight) than they have wins (four) and draws (five), with a negative goal difference of minus eight.
While losing their last six successive games, they have not scored in five of those.
Their nemesis Dynamos rubbed it in with the convincing 3-0Harare Derby victory in the last match of the first half of the campaign as proceedings took a two-week mid-season break early this month.
This compounded CAPS United’s misery, shoving them into more relegation trouble.
MaKepeKepe are on a free fall and only time will tell if they can arrest the slide.
The Green Machine is malfunctioning.
They have become such a laughing stock that many are poking fun at them.
In a half-season’s trouble so far, they have succumbed to their worst Premiership rout to perceived minnows, Manica Diamonds who clobbered them 6-2 at Sakubva Stadium in March.
Their recent loss to city rivals DeMbare was their heaviest derby defeat in almost a decade.
Turmoil has also rocked their boat, with internal strife leading to the suspension of some players while others have deserted them after bickering over outstanding dues.
Their stoical fans are hoping that the recent break has given them some much-needed respite and they are returning more rejuvenated to ignite a stunning revival that sets them on the recovery path.
However, their captain and Mutare-born star, Phenias Bamusi is putting on a brave face.
MaKepeKepe’s long-serving son acknowledged their poor run, but believes they have what it takes to turn things around in the second half of the season.
“It is not a secret that things have so far not gone according to what we had planned for this campaign. We have been struggling as a team, given the status of the club and the quality of the players we have in the squad. However, we can still salvage the season if we continue working hard.
“It is imperative that we start winning games as the league resumes, be at our competitive best and see where that takes us as we are aiming to finish as high up the table as we possibly can. The onus is on everyone at the club to pull in the same direction and deliver,” said the diminutive Dangamvura-bred attacker.
Bamusi rued the disturbances that bedeviled the club during the course of the season, which he attributed their struggles to.
He added: “We encountered challenges along the way, some of which were beyond the players’ individual control, but that should not be an excuse. This might have distracted us, but we have to remain focused and bounce back strongly. Our fans deserve better and we have to make it up to them. They need to continue rallying behind the boys during this difficult period. We are in this together and will emerge stronger, for at the end of the storm a rainbow will appear.”
He reckons the Premiership break came as a blessing in disguise that allowed them some time to reorganise and strategise a strong comeback.
To set the tone for their redemption, CAPS United last Sunday held a no-holds-barred meeting between the club’s management, technical team and supporters’ representatives which sought to find lasting solutions to the troubles bedevilling the team.
MaKepeKepe return to action on Sunday with a date against visiting ZPC Kariba.