For the first time since the romance between Norman Mapeza and FC Platinum began, the miners have been beaten at home in three consecutive league matches.
The defending champions, despite playing very attractive football, appear to be out of sorts as far as getting results is concerned and have not won any of their last five matches.
The poor run of form started with a goalless draw against Dynamos at Babourfields, before a shock 0-1 defeat to Yadah at Mandava.
They then played out a goalless draw with Hwange at the Colliery, before they gifted Sheasham their first win in eight matches —a 2-1 victory for the Gweru-based Premiership debutants.
On Saturday, FC Platinum —who are vying for a record fifth league title in succession, were stunned by Tonderai Ndiraya’s Simba Bhora, at what used to be a citadel Mandava.
Crucially —the platinum miners —despite their reputation of recovering and having a winning momentum when everyone counts them out —lost further ground in the title race after the defeat to Simba.
Mapeza’s men are now 12 points adrift of log leaders Highlanders but the former Warriors captain —typically —is still putting on a brave face.
“For us, we don’t have to give up, we still have to fight and it’s still game on,” said Mapeza.
“There were so many positives in today’s game, but I don’t want to fault anybody. At the end of the day, I’m the coach, if you are talking about results, it’s about me, not anybody else,” he added.
Well-placed sources at the club privy to going-ons, believe Mapeza’s “egotism’ is costing the team.
“He is a solo act kind of coach, which is detrimental in morden football,” said the source.
“He doesn’t listen to anyone, and even his backroom staff’s presence is simply titular.”
Another reliable source at FC Platinum believes the results of Mapeza’s failure to relate well with others at the club were long overdue.
“Look, this is something that has been going on for sometime, it was not being talked about simply because results were coming but everyone at the club knows the coach doesn’t relate well with others,” said the source.
“Look at the manner in which Tembo Chuma (former goalkeepers coach) left the club. That own it’s on tells you of the fissures at the club, especially in the technical team.”
But Mapeza has always had his way of doing things known by everyone, so why is it affecting results now?
The former Warriors captain is one of the most decorated coaches in Zimbabwe —a man whose love for the game is there for all to see.
Fishing is the only activity which keeps him away from analysing football, but even so, he says it (fishing) helps him to be tactically sound.
What is it that he could be doing now, which he didn’t do all along when he enjoyed success at the Zvishavane-based outfit?
Can it be attributed with certainty that the FC Platinum winless run has only Mapeza’s name written over it?