Phillip Zulu Special Correspondent
THE horror show in Egypt as we succumbed to a 4-0 thumping to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at AFCON on Sunday night sums up the mediocrity in the ranks of Zimbabwean football.
We were out of there quicker than it takes to rustle up a martini and we have become the modern day football melancholies, suffering from excessive black bile and our sullenness at every tournament of continental gatherings, we have become the whipping boys much to the detriment of our health.
We are the black sheep of football, NO DOUBT. We are an extension of failure in huge pronounced proportions of extreme inability as the world mocks our decadence with wide glee.
To sum up this sordid drama that baffles every sober-minded football fan out there, our football has been captured and gone to the DOGS. How does one explain a situation where the selection criterion was engulfed in a malpractice that woefully dejected some of the best youngsters rising in top leagues in Europe and settling for chaff?
How on earth can we allow such crass thinking at the doorstep of the Technical Director, Wilson Mutekede, to surpass due diligence of progressive football at the highest continental tournament by rejecting young players like Martin Mapisa, a fledgling goalkeeper in Spain, Tinashe Chakwana recently signed for Sunderland, Admiral Muskwe, who just had a contract extension with Leicester City and Macauley Bonne, who just got snapped up by Charlton FC?
There’s more to answer than just saying we lost and we are out of the tournament. Watching DR Congo turn on the style and thump us so heavily, was too much to digest and when one starts to decipher what we call national and international players, the majority of them simply cannot construct basic passing trends involving three or more players to keep the ball just for a minute.
Most players failed to complete four passes without losing the ball and at this level of football, that is just a minimum expectation.
From the word go, everything looked shaky as suddenly a new goalkeeper and centre-back are thrown in at the deep end of things against a simple game-plan of chasing a win.
How did we come up with such a goalkeeper at the expense of Martin Mapisa, one wonders and further more, how does Marshal Munetsi start in midfield when it has been proved that he is more solid in defence than anywhere on the pitch?
Two critical decisions at the right time, ruefully destabilising the modicum of hope that we had against the DRC, that we definitely needed a win without failure. So in short, we lost the game on the drawing board and planning process from the whole technical staff, including the Technical Director, Wilson Mutekede.
When the goalkeeper is busy making schoolboy errors, then my earlier jibe that our preparation was a calamity, a typical doomsday fanatical medieval decadent approach to the modern game as if we were going to a school trip in Nembudziya.
After witnessing this horror show, my jibe should stand loftier and emblazoned sky high to remind our faithful followers of the national team that let us all agree and come together, and seek to retrieve our beautiful game that has been captured. We love football too much to let it be dragged in the dungeons of filthiness.
We love our football and it was extremely painful to watch multitudes of reluctant players on the pitch running aimlessly, without coordination and purpose. This wasn’t a game of football, it was an eyesore of the most disturbing view of clueless adults engaged in a sporting discipline that they have less knowledge about.
Having Munetsi again in midfield was just too much to stomach, getting Nyasha Mushekwi back on the touchline as a substitute was dreadful and watching Elvis Chipezeze in total dissonance of basic goalkeeping was far too terrifying.
Blaming the coach is too simplistic, last time we blamed Callisto Pasuwa and now Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa. A big NO, lest we forget that football is a team sport right from the earliest stages of planning.
We demand answers from the Technical Director Mutekede without fail. We want to know how he planned for this AFCON tournament before, after qualification and during the actual tournament. How on earth can our football be led by someone who has no pedigree of producing good talents or developing decent results and performances?
Mutekede was at CAPS United, Twalumba and now with the top most job at ZIFA responsible for bringing about modern philosophies to help develop our systems at local and international levels. Well, that seems to be an inferior mirage of day-dreaming and that has got to stop.
Everyone, right from the highest offices in the land to every Kuda and Zanele, we must demand that heads must roll without delay.
How embarrassing it was to read that players twice threatening to boycott AFCON, something that we have never heard of in our lifetime!