|Even Valinhos, as pathetic a coach as he was, didn’t lose to Guinea in 180 minutes of World Cup qualifiers|
|Sunday, 08 July 2012 01:36|
Madinda might not be the only Zimbabwean to pick up an award at the prize-giving dinner on Wednesday with forgotten midfielder, Elvis Meleka, also in the running for the Fans’ Player of the Year award.
Clarkson Dzimbiri, remember him, also known as Quarter Chicken, cast a sorry figure in his final days at CAPS United four years ago, haunted by the fans who questioned Moses Chunga’s faith in him which was not being repaid by any contribution from the forward’s ageing body and slowing pace.
According to his Facebook page, Dzimbiri says he will be turning 27 on December 21, which means he was a mere 23-year-old when the CAPS United fans haunted him out of the Green Machine saying he was a spent force, and far much younger when he made a name for himself at Shabanie.
But the 32-year-old, who played for CAPS United and Masvingo United here, was a huge flop when he returned home to rejoin Gumbo at FC Platinum last July and was embarrassed by the lightning pace of the domestic league and, a big winter signing for the miners, he was off-loaded after just six months at the club.
Terrence Mandaza, for example, can score 40 plus goals in Botswana, but when he crosses the border to join Platinum Stars in South Africa, his shortcomings are cruelly exposed and, given what we saw in his cameo roles for the Warriors, he will be lucky to find a regular jersey in the starting XI of Quelaton.
A Botswana journalist, Mosimanegape Tshoswane, made an interesting analysis of Madinda, in his article which looked at the three men in the running for the Coach of the Year award on Wednesday, and I will share it with you.
“He was fortunate to have a pool of players to rotate with ease. Ndlovu has indeed, traded on a simple season as he inherited an already in-form team. In addition, resources at the club permitted for the status quo.”
Madinda won his maiden league title, as a coach, with the same team that Rahman Gumbo led to the league championship.
The top-flight league in Malawi, frozen away from the African inter-club tournaments because the clubs there can’t afford the cost of participating, has been in the backwaters for some time now and, as each year passes by, looks more like one from the Stone Age era than one in the new millennium.
When you go and coach in that league, you literally disappear from the radar that treks movements and events in international club football and, in an instant, the whole world simply turns its back on you.
It’s like switching ourselves away from the rest of the world, we don’t read or watch whatever is happening there, and we fool ourselves that the woman we crown as Miss Zimbabwe is the most beautiful girl on this planet.
Rahman won the league championship in Malawi twice and has received a lot of positive media coverage for that as another sign of his brilliance as a gaffer, but I have a feeling even Gishon “Gizha” Ntini will do the same in that country. The events at FC Platinum this week, when the club decided to part ways with Rahman after exactly a year in charge, shows the vast gulf that still exists between the comfort zones and reality worlds of Malawi and Botswana and the real world of the domestic Premiership.
Yes, Rahman won the league title here with Highlanders and he deserves a lot of credit for that. What is seemingly forgotten is the fact that the Highlanders team that emerged at the turn of the millennium, the greatest Bosso side of all-time, was a mean machine and that it won four straight league titles was testimony of its pedigree.
It needed good coaches to negotiate the challenges, but even after those coaches left, that Highlanders team continued to dominate the domestic football landscape and in three seasons, two of their key players — Zenzo Moyo and Dazzy Kapenya — were honoured with the Soccer Star of the Year award.
That Bosso team was tested to the limit and in 2000 they won by just two points over Amazulu, after holding their nerve to earn a draw in a fiery encounter at Mucheke in the final game of the season, stretching their winning margin to three points in 2001 and then to 20 points in 2002.
He landed at CAPS United and his two seasons there were average and the Green Machine faithful will never forget that black day when they were humiliated in the first round of the Zifa Unity Cup by boozers’ side, Highdon Raylton, at the National Sports Stadium. He quit Makepekepe in March 2003 and joined Sporting Lions, then the country’s richest team, whose directors had splashed a fortune to bring in Kapenya, Masawi, Blessing Gumiso, Charles Chilufya, Eddie Nyika, Felix Banda and David Guyo.
But by November 2003, Rahman was gone, fired after a third defeat in four games, as the Lions fell 10 points behind Bosso and was replaced by Clayton Munemo and Callisto Pasuwa. He moved to Motor Action, but in November 2005 the Bulls announced they had suspended Rahman after a string of poor results culminating in the back-to-back defeats against Chapungu and Eiffel Wildcats that saw them plunge 15 points behind leaders CAPS United.
Rahman might have lost his job at FC Platinum, but he remains Warriors’ coach and was in Johannesburg on Thursday night for the 2013 Nations Cup draw.
There is logic in that argument because Rahman had two jobs, one with Motor Action and the other with the Warriors, when he was fired in 2004 after that humiliation against the Super Eagles on home soil.
When a coach fails at a club like FC Platinum, where he has the luxury of spending as much time as he can choose with the players and working on their strengths and weaknesses, what really are the guarantees that he can succeed with the Warriors where, at best, he can only spend two to three days with the entire team?
When a coach makes such childish and fatal blunders like Rahman has done at FC Platinum, telling the league’s leading goal-scorer Nelson Maziwisa that he is not good enough to play for the miners, but then somehow calling him up for national duty after he has proved him wrong with his performance at Shabanie, why should we trust him to make the right judgment tomorrow?
When a coach is so naïve as to suggest that he would have killed his player, if he was his teammate, simply because that midfielder missed a good chance in one game, what picture does he paint in terms of his man-management skills and what guarantees are there that he will be a different beast in future?
Oh, by the way, Max “Malume” Moyo might also be roped in to assist in the technical department and, after his success at Centre Chiefs, Madinda will probably have every right to demand a place on that bench.
Somebody will probably remind me that Botswana qualified for the 2012 Nations Cup finals and we didn’t, fair and fine.
But sooner, rather than later, reality catches up with you and the Zebras were the first team to qualify and the first to be knocked out and the 0-6 mauling at the hands of Guinea showed the gap in class and put them in the right position.
But even Valinhos, as pathetic a coach as he was, didn’t lose to Guinea during the 2010 World Cup/Nations Cup qualifiers, holding them to a goalless draw in Conakry and the return leg also ending in a goalless draw in Harare.
Rahman’s Lost Years were between 2001, when he left Bosso, and 2007, when he landed the league championship with his Malawian club. They featured spells at CAPS United, Sporting Lions, Motor Action and Buymore, the club he dumped when he left for his Malawian adventure and the lowest point came with that humbling defeat at the hands of Highdon Raylton when he was still with the Green Machine.
During those half-a-dozen years, Rahman’s career didn’t grow and while here and there he was parachuted into national team jobs, on the back of what he had done with Bosso at the turn of the millennium, reality always caught up with him.
Now, for us to take two league titles, won in the backwaters of the Malawian league that African football forgot and left behind to rot in its stagnant state, and a league title won in Botswana where even Madinda can win and Mandaza can score 40 goals, as proof that he has undergone rehabilitation and is now ripe for a lengthy dance with the Warriors, would be suicidal.
If we needed any proof that the same old Rahman of the CAPS United, Motor Action, Sporting Lions and Buymore era is back, then his year-long flirtation with FC Platinum, which ended in his dismissal, should provide that.
It’s Zifa’s call to make, but then, if you expecting wonders, then you are not living in the real world and, isn’t it ironic that South Africa sacked and replaced their coach, Pitso Mosimane, with a substantive one, while we still stuck with one on an interim basis?
By the way, my good old friend, Tom Saintfiet, has now found a job as coach of Young Africans of Tanzania after problems erupted in Nigeria, where he had been offered the job of Technical Director, leading to the withdrawal of that offer.
And if he decides to return to Botswana, where he briefly stayed after he left this country, he will, just like Madinda, also win a league championship there.
To God Be The Glory!