Warriors coach Zdravko Logarušić might have become the first foreign tactician to lead Zimbabwe to the Africa Cup of Nations finals but questions on his capabilities continue to stain the record.
The Croat’s charges edged Botswana 1-0 thanks to a solitary Perfect Chikwende first half header to seal a place at the continental extravaganza slated for January in Cameroon- a result which would have been celebrated on the streets had it not been for Covid-19 restrictions.
Loga’s men then hosted Zambia under floodlights at the National Sports Stadium on Monday, a contest which was of no significance in any way related to the AFCON finals.
Experimental changes were made to the side which beat the Zebras, as key players including influential skipper Knowledge Musona, the now-preferred central defence partnership of Teenage Hadebe and Jimmy Dzingai, were all one yellow card away fro missing the first game at AFCON.
That being said, in resting Hadebe and Dzingai for instance, Loga might have sent the wrong signal. He might have indirectly suggested that the pair will start the first game in Cameroon, whether or not they will be in form then.
In goal, Martin Mapisa was given a chance, so was big Victor Kamhuka- a player whose inclusion in the Warriors fold was questioned from the onset.
Ultimately, Patson Daka’s brace decided the contest as the Warriors finished the campaign without a single victory at home.
All eyes once again, and probably not for the last time were on Loga, with many renewing their skepticism on the firebrand coach.
The loss to Chipolopolo made people to remember that the outspoken tactician had amassed just four points from four matches.
Interestingly, Joey ‘Mafero’ Antipas, who was in charge of the national team on a temporary basis in 2019, accumulated the same number of points in just two games.
Equally appealing and debate-triggering, is the fact that Zimbabwe, under Logarušić, lost all of their three group games at CHAN, a set back also used to question the Croat’s tactical prowess despite there being no football in the country for months.
Put simply, the Logarusic issue sparks divided opinions across the local football landscape and it is clear that not everyone is convinced, despite the AFCON qualification, that the radical coach is the right man for the job.
To fuel the war of words, Loga has publicly-stated that he banished all players who were showing signs of lack of commitment during the qualifiers, now that that the team has qualified, a decision which did not go down well with some, who questioned his man-management skills- especially on the Divine Lunga controversy.
With the World Cup finals on the horizon, all eyes are, just like when he was appointed, on Logarušić.