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Date: 16 December 2018

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Putting Warriors' CHAN exit into perspective

[Posted 16 Feb 2011]
[By BeezSports Editor]
Embattled Mdinda has vowed to remain in charge of the Warriors for the  afcon 2012 qualifiers

So the Warriors will arrive home today after being knocked out of the Championship of Nations finals by Niger and South Africa, two teams which remain minnows in the eyes of many neutrals. What really went wrong in Sudan?

Below, are important points which should be noted to put the performance of the Warriors into perspective.



  • It is vital to note that about 8 members of the team which took part in the qualifiers were not in Sudan for the finals. Influential players such as Nyasha Mushekwi, Method Mwanjali, Lionel Mtizwa, Ramson Zhuwawo, Cuthbert Malajila, Oscar Machapa, Paul Tafadzwa Rusike, among others are no longer playing in the domestic premiership, and are now plying their trade outside the country, mostly in South Africa's ABSA Premier Soccer League.


  • The coach who was in charge when the team played the qualifiers is no longer within the Warriors technical set-up, with Madinda Ndlovu taking over on a care-taker basis after the former care-taker coach Norman Mapeza left the Warriors following an acrimonious relationship during the process of selecting substantive national team coach, which, sadly has not yet been completed more than 6-months after it started.


  • Despite having lost players who participated during the qualifiers last year, the team retained players such as Bheki Ncube, Charles Sibanda, Norman Maroto, Nyasha Mukumbi, Gilbert Mapemba, Zephaniah Ngodzo, Washington Arubi, Charles Chiutsa, among others. 


  • The new caretaker coach Madinda Ndlovu, even had the luxury of leaving out in-form Motor Action attacking midfielder Allan Gahadzikwa, Dynamos' George Magariro and CAPS United goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda, who had taken part in the CHAN qualifiers.


  • It is vital to note that Zimbabwe is ranked Africa's 12th strongest league, and local teams like Dynamos, Monomotapa and Gunners have fared fairly well in CAF Club competitions. There is every reason to believe that in Group B, Zimbabwe was by far the strongest team on paper, and one of the giants at the CHAN finals in 2011.


  • South Africa did not even pick its squad from the cream of its ABSA premiership which has failed to make any impact in CAF club competitions despite the league being considered the 7th richest in the world. Only First division and Vodacom League players, and nomore than 3 fringe players from Amazulu and Supersport in the PSL. Niger does not have a league which has made the continent sit and take notice.


  • There were statistics which even showed that the Warriors' CHAN team was considered the strongest of all Chan teams going into the finals, by virtue of not having lost a single match ever since the last Chan finals in Ivory Coast in 2009. 

So, is there still any ground left for an excuse for what appeared like dismal failure by the Warriors Chan squad from the easiest of all groups?

The answer which is likely to be an obvious "NO", will lead us to yet another question as we attempt to make sense of the sad failure by Madinda's team to beat little Niger and a clearly under-strength South Africa.

What went wrong in Sudan?

Madinda is likely to proffer excuses such as bad luck, even with respect to two defeats, the poor traveling conditions from Harare to Sudan, the poor state of water and living conditions at the hotel in Wadi Mehdani, Sudan.

We all know that those are lame excuses for the failure of the team.

Those who watched the Warriors' matches in Sudan either on television or live, will testify that the team did not play like the Warriors we all know.

Something was missing from the team. The technical department appeared short of ideas, especially in the second half of all the three matches.

The shrewdness of the coach is tested after only a few minutes of observation of proceedings on the field from the bench. For exactly two matches Madinda's bench failed to stamp their authority and change the complexion of the game with well-thought of substitutions or any other meaningful tactical changes.

Another glaring shortcoming on the part of the coach was to be seen in team selection. In the first match, the coach surprised all and sundry by benching Maroto, and playing upfront with Clive Kawinga and Charles Sibanda, two players who are not known for scoring goals.

One can only feel for Madinda who was thrown into the deep-end by ZIFA without necessary ability to turn around a match with just one act of genius from the bench.

Every coach wants the responsibility to coach their own country and will welcome any appointment to a national team with both hands, and Madinda is no diferent. Yet, not every coach deserves to be a national team coach ahead of better placed coaches.

Warriors' fans have often questioned the pedigree of Madinda Ndlovu as a coach. Madinda's critics are quick to point out to the soccer legend's barren coaching career profile.

Madinda has coached Highlanders more than once, and he has not been able to last longer than a year and six months as a Bosso coach. He went to Botswana, and does not have any title to show for the time he spent in that country.

At Black Mambas, Madinda survived relegation on the last day in 2010, and was saved by the loss of Lengthens on the last and decisive day of the league.

Many argue that the only reason Madinda is at the helm of the Wariors now, even on a caretaker basis is thanks to the presence of people who have closer ties with him in ZIFA such as Benedict Moyo, board member responsible for national teams.

Soon after the Warriors' disgraceful exit from the CHAN, their coach Madinda is on record declaring his intention to remain in charge, not only of the CHAN squad, but for the 2012 African Nations Cup qualifiers as well.

Apparently Madinda was told by ZIFA that he will be in charge of the CHAN finals as well as the AFCON 2012 qualifiers. 

Have your say. Should Madinda Ndlovu continue as Warriors' coach after the CHAN exit and coach the Warriors in the afcon 2012 qualifiers?   

   

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