AFTER the Warriors’ destruction by Egypt on Sunday in a World Cup football qualifier, we believe more work needs to be done sooner rather than later so that we avoid further humiliation in the next two matches against Guinea and Mozambique.
We are out of the qualifiers, yes, but we still need to continue playing and making sure that “proper” players are called for national team duty.
We do not doubt coach Klaus Dieter Pagels’ capabilities and the team that he is building; success of soccer teams is always based on renewal anyway, but where there are shortfalls, we need to assist him to see the light as we are together in this fight to make sure the Warriors reach greater heights.
In Sunday’s match, it was all clear that Willard Katsande remains the missing link in midfield. The defence was vulnerable for the start with no shield, and Knowledge Musona had to constantly drop back to search for balls which should have been provided by Archieford Gutu.
Katsande is as offensive and he is defensive and could have added the extra bite needed to keep Musona and Cuthbert Malajila upfront. Instead, we had Gutu playing the ball, always, to his already under pressure defence, even when we were in a better position to attack.
Katsande might be a rough rider, but he gets the job done one way or another. He might not fit into Pagels’ style of playing, but at least the coach should prove us all wrong and play him and let us judge whether he fits the bill or not.
Ocean Mushure cannot be better than Onisimor Bhasera on the left wing-back and was exposed just five minutes into the game for his propensity to attack and leave gaps — something which the Egyptians read from the reverse fixture in March. That problem needs to be solved.
The central defensive pairing of a non-committal Lincoln Zvasiya and Felix Chindungwe simply does not work and something needs to be done urgently. Or we can gamble by playing the vertically-challenged Patson Jaure as one of the centre-backs. It was also a point of interest on Sunday when the touchline banners at the National Sports Stadium indicated more support for the visitors than the hosts.
International companies Vodafone and Coca-Cola were prominent during the match.
We wonder where the Zimbabwean companies were.
We know some local firms are there just for short-term benefits only and not for the long haul.
Zifa, being broke as they are, would rather stay broke than engage some fly-by-night sponsors.
We need contracts to be signed between these local organisations so that we know the benefits that will accrue to Zimbabwean football.
And it is our hope that some of these sponsors will not disappear from Zifa now that the Warriors have been knocked out because the locally-based players still have the Cosafa Castle Cup to defend in Zambia and the African Nations Championships qualifiers next month.