Mapeza bemoans football quality

Norman Mapeza

FC PLATINUM coach Norman Mapeza has bemoaned falling football standards in the country and hit out at club owners who demand immediate results at the expense of quality.

Mapeza said there was too much route one type of football in the league and the fans were justified in staying away from games.

He made the assessment after watching his youthful side dispatch Bulawayo City 2-0 in a league match at the weekend.

“I have to be honest, the quality of football has gone down massively. Of course, there are teams that have been winning, but their performances … most teams in the league can’t play three, four or five passes. It’s just two passes, ball forward, two touches and then ball forward,” he said.

“Maybe the problem is with us coaches as well. Maybe we are too much oriented with the results. Our mentality is much about the results. Maybe club bosses are also demanding results, but do we have an identity as a nation? What type of football do we play in Zimbabwe?”

Mapeza reckoned his youthful side was trying to play the passing game, but was struggling to take chances.

The Warriors coach praised Bulawayo City, coached by Philani Ncube, for playing passing football.

“We were trying to pass the ball around. They (Bulawayo City) did well, they were passing the ball around also and that is how we want to play our football,” Mapeza said.

“This, from goalkeeper to central striker, is nothing. You might say people are not coming to watch football, but what do you want them to watch? Teams that can’t even string five passes? Who wants to watch that kind of football?”

He said the solution was going back to basics — focusing on development at grassroots level.

“Let’s start with the grassroots, let’s start with the juniors. I am not scared of being sacked from my job, but at least these guys know that this is how football should be played. Let me lose and go home, I am not worried about it, but I can’t leave these guys not knowing how to play football,” he said.

FC Platinum parted ways with most of their key senior players and are bringing in young players.

Mapeza said he was not under pressure to defend the league title, which he has won three times in a row and he was happy with the squad that he was building.

“So far so good, I can’t complain. We are not under pressure and we are not going to put ourselves under pressure because of the league (title). We are the defending champions, of course, but with the situation at the moment, I don’t think we need to put ourselves under pressure. We are pushing for everything. You never know with football, but we are here to compete and we will see how the situation progresses,” he said.

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