FORMER Warriors mentor Sunday Chidzambwa believes the Warriors need a foreign coach in the technical team, with Kalisto Pasuwa as his assistant so that he can understudy him and eventually take over in future.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Pasuwa is under the spotlight after the Warriors’ early exit from the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) football tournament in Gabon, with some critics saying the former Dynamos coach was exposed at the grand stage.
Some are even calling for Pasuwa’s head, but Chidzambwa, arguably the most successful coach the country has had, feels his former player has the potential to succeed as the Warriors coach.
Chidzambwa, who was assistant to the famed Reinhard Fabisch (now late) before taking over from the German coach, believes Pasuwa needs an experienced foreign coach above him, who can guide him before taking over in the future.
“I benefited a lot from that man [Fabisch]. I was his assistant and learnt a lot from him. Fabisch was that kind of coach, who really liked to study video footage of his opponents and he would employ a system designed for a particular opponent. My success was all because of him,” he said.
“When we were going to the Africa Cup of Nations, I said we were going to learn, but the problem we have in Zimbabwe is that we don’t have continuity. We were lucky, though, to qualify for the next edition in Egypt, but there was a new coach, who was learning again. So we need continuity if we are to achieve greatness and I think it could be one of the solutions to have Pasuwa as an assistant to a foreign coach.”
Chidzambwa said while his mentor, Fabisch would tinker with his formation depending on the situation and opponents, he stuck with the 3-5-2 formation that impressed him.
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He still uses it to this day, despite criticism from some quarters, who view it as ultra-defensive.
“Some people say the 3-5-2 formation is defensive, I don’t agree with them. With this formation, it’s not easy for opponents to break you down and at the same time, when you are attacking, you have the numbers and there is mobility. People were saying it’s old-fashioned, but look, it is now being used again in Europe,” Chidzambwa said.
Chidzambwa is the country’s most successful coach having led the Warriors to their first Afcon finals in Tunisia in 2004.
He also guided Harare giants Dynamos to the final of the African Champions League in 1998, a feat that is yet to be repeated by any other coach in Zimbabwe.
He was Fabisch’s assistant during the era of the famous Dream Team of the early 90s that stunned watchers of the African game with their fighting spirit combined with sheer brilliance.
Chidzambwa also bemoaned the Warriors’ inconsistency in qualifying for the Afcon as one of the factors they performed badly at the tournament.
The Warriors were returning to the continent’s football premier tournament for the first time in over a decade. “It was one of the reasons for the team’s failure. Other teams are going there every two years and for us we spend 10 years and then qualify. We can’t afford to be going there to learn every time,” Chidzambwa said.
The Warriors crashed out of the tournament in the group stages following a humiliating 4-2 defeat at the hands of Tunisia in their last group match on Monday to return home without a win having managed just a 2-2 draw against Algeria in their opening match of the campaign before losing to Senegal 2-0 in their second match.