Mutasa, Gumbo lead the way Lloyd Mutasa
Lloyd Mutasa

Lloyd Mutasa

Robson Sharuko Senior Sports Editor—
TO appreciate the incredible work that Lloyd Mutasa and Rahman Gumbo have put into revitalising Dynamos and Chicken Inn, turning them from hopeless under-achievers last year into contenders for the league championship crown this season, one needs to just look at the figures. They say the table never lies and — in an era where football, just like other sporting disciplines, have adopted a scientific approach — nothing puts things into context like figures.

And the story which the two coaches have written, so far this season, is the stuff of dreams.

Of course, spare a thought for the motor mouth Dutchman, Erol Akbay, whose second season is turning into a nightmare and, the more his team loses, the more he appears to be also losing his senses.

The figures aren’t kind to him with Highlanders losing their way this season and the promise that the Dutchman provided last year now a fading memory, buried within the chaos of the boardroom unrest, which his careless talk has triggered.

Bosso are 14 points worse off, at this stage of the season, compared to last year, have won FOUR fewer games, drawn the same number of matches, lost TWO more matches, scored 11 fewer games, conceded 11 fewer goals and from a success rate of 61,11 percent, at this stage of the campaign last year, they have plunged into the failure zone.

Now, their report card reads 44.44 percent and they have lost 16.67 percent of their value in points.

Amazingly, the difference right now between Highlanders and newboys Yadah Stars is only three points.

Ngezi Platinum might not win the league championship this season, their tendency to lose their focus on the road and wilt under pressure whenever they are playing away from their fortress at Baobab could come back to haunt them badly, but there is no masking the fact they have improved tremendously under Tonderai Ndiraya’s tutelage.

Ngezi Platinum have gained 13 more points, at this stage of the season compared to what they had last year, won FIVE more games, drawn TWO more games, lost THREE fewer matches, scored DOUBLE their number of goals and conceded TWO more goals.

Last year, they were in the red zone, after 24 matches, with their report card showing 45.83 percent and Ndiraya has turned it around and they now sit on a healthy 63.88 percent.

FC Platinum have to win the league this season or it could be viewed as another wasted adventure in Zvishavane where the leadership are tired of being labelled the ultimate bridesmaids and where they have long realised that coming second, in a championship race in this country, doesn’t win you a ticket into the Champions League.

And, interestingly, the Zvishavane miners, are perched exactly where they sat — after 24 matches into the campaign — last season with an identical number of points, goals scored, goals conceded, matches won, matches lost and matches drawn.

CAPS United were always going to struggle this season to reproduce the magic that saw them end 11 years of waiting for the league championship last year with the Green Machine derailed by the tough mission of a twin-challenge at home and on the continent which would test their depth.

And, when they succeeded in the Champions League by reaching the group stages for the first time in history and fate conspired to hand them North African opponents in their group, the challenges that come with flying across the continent, and the damage that big defeats in such a campaign would do to their confidence, was always going to work against them.

That they lost the cream of their team, with Ronald Chitiyo, Abbas Amidu and Ronald Pfumbidzai all being snatched by foreign vultures always on the lookout for a decent football talent coming out of this country, didn’t help their cause and CAPS United find themselves nine points adrift of their points tally, after the 20 games, last season.

They have also won fewer games (three), drawn the same number of matches, lost three more games, scored four more goals but conceded 10 more this season when compared to the number of goals they had let in after 20 matches last season.

But the success stories have been written by Mutasa and Gumbo who have transformed Dynamos and Chicken Inn.

After 22 games last year, DeMbare had 35 points, having won just nine games, drawn eight and lost five.

Fast forward to this season and it’s a totally different picture — 15 matches won after 22 games, three games drawn and four lost and considering they had a very poor start — that they have 48 points right now, where they had 35 points after the same number of matches last year, tells a big story.

The Glamour Boys have gained 13 more points, recorded six more league wins and doubled the goals scored while tightening their defence to concede two goals less than at the same stage last season.

They were having a success rate of 53.03 percent in the league after 22 matches last season and now Mutasa has improved that to 72.72 percent and that represents a 19.69 percent improvement in the value of their stock.

Of course, all that will count for nothing should Mutasa fail to guide his men to the league championship and, to do that, he has to find a way to beat an old warrior fighting in the corner of the Gamecocks, Rahman Gumbo.

Compared to the same stage last season, Chicken Inn have gained 17 points with Gumbo’s men winning seven more games, drawing four more matches and losing three fewer matches.

They have scored four more goals and their defence is looking even solid after conceding eight fewer goals and where they were hovering in the failure zone, with 47.22 percent, they have now improved to 70.83 percent this season.

You Might Also Like