On the 4th of November, a British based quartet arrived in the country and everyone started to believe a new dawn was breaking.
There were no doubts that a sleeping giant was going to spring into being and conquer the football world. Everyone was convinced that the two friendly matches against Lesotho and Namibia was going to produce “obvious results”.
A week later, the unexpected thing happened – the ship was sinking.
It all started in a match played on November 8th against Lesotho where the Warriors lost 1-0. Three days later, Zimbabwe succumbed to another defeat in the hands of Namibia.
I don’t want to dive into to conclusion yet but it is hard for me to acknowledge interim coach Wilson Mutekede did his best during the two assignments. The selected squad had some of the best talent in the country and one wonders why the Warriors failed to at least draw one match.
The problem for me lies in ZIFA’s failure to appoint a substantive coach. Its now nine months after coach Kalisto Pasuwa left the post and since then three coaches have took charge of the national team on interim basis.
It doesn’t make sense to say the friendly matches were part of the Warriors’ preparations to the AFCON Qualifiers to be played in March next year. For me the matches played were just another training sessions to keep the players fit….waste of resources. Yes, there is nothing to talk about on these two matches. We might believe the coach was assessing the players’ performance and examining new tactics – something that is part of a long term process. But for a coach appointed to take charge for two games only and failed horribly, should ZIFA continue appointing interim coaches.
The first question they should ask themselves is: If the association decide to appoint another interim coach (since they have appointed three coaches in five different assignments so far-its not new.) is he going to agree with the performance report compiled by the previous coach?
There comes the first challenge. Every coach has a different philosophy and it requires some time for a coach to build a team that will win trophies. Besides who want to build a reputation from someone’s work? Its obvious, he will start something on his own and before he execute his plans there are already plans to appoint a new coach to take charge of next assignments. I don’t think there is anything positive that will come out from that. Imagine if there was a substantive coach since February, wouldn’t be there any signs of real development to talk about now?
The CECAFA tournament is just two weeks away and what is ZIFA’s next move. Two losses and bad tactical approach, is Mutekede going to be spared and be given another chance? Remember the metaphor which says: “The Titanic wasn’t remembered for the revolutionary vessel that it was. It was remembered because it sunk.”
The year 2017 will be remembered as the biggest flop. The 3-0 triumph over Liberia in June and the COSAFA Cup will be overshadowed by recent failures. This is a national interest and ZIFA should come up with a plan quickly.