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Date: 16 December 2018

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Mapeza's Warriors squad under scrutiny

[Posted 09 Mar 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Norman Mapeza is under pressure to give Musa Mguni a chance to prove himself in the Warriors team

It is unimaginable that any coach can name a national soccer squad and fail to attract criticism for his choices. Norman Mapeza is no exception following the announcement of a squad to face Mali away in Bamako on 26 March.

Just a couple of days after being thrust back into the hot seat, but this time on a more substantive basis, Mapeza announced a team that excluded retired Benjani Mwaruwari, as expected.

However, the former Warriors' captain's decision to exclude veteran midfielder Esrom Nyandoro, for the second time, has sent tongues waging. 

Nyandoro appears to be currently playing better footbal than he did the last time that he was ignored by the coach, in the match against Liberia, and most soccer journalists, especially from the second capital Bulawayo where Nyandoro hails from, are not impressed.

The former Galatasaray defender has stuck to his guns and has decided to give chances to younger players.

Mapeza has also received criticism for excluding reliable striker Musa Mguni from the Warriors' squad. Mguni has been consistently performing well for various European clubs he has played for in the past few years.

The former Motor Action star striker recently got signed by Ruud Gullit at Russian topflight league club Terek Grozny, a testament to this abilities as a striker. Mapeza was expected to at least give Mguni a chance to prove himself.

The Warriors coach's explanation could be that Mguni has been inactive, having come from the Ukrainian league which has been on off-season for the last three months, to a Russian season which has not even kicked off yet. The Russian season will restart this month.

Mapeza will also likely receive criticism  for his decision to call Justice Majabvi, a player who has been battling relegation at LASK Linz, and whose mind is more accustomed to defeat than winning games, while leaving out in-form midfielders such as a more creative player like Ramson Zhuwawo.

The former Warriors and Ajax Cape Town star has however received praise for recalling in-form CAPS United keeper Edmore Sibanda, after the keeper, who is also famed for his trademark free-kicks, was dropped by Madinda Ndlovu for the CHAN finals.

Mapeza should receive credit for giving youngsters a chance to build a Warriors career in his squad.

The squad announced last Tuesday includes revived Archieford Gutu, Denver Mukamba (both of Dynamos), enterprising Ajax Cape Town attacking midfielder Khama Billiart, Ovidy Karuru of US Boulougne of France Ligue 2 and Qadr Amin of Gunners FC.

The squad has a good balance between youth and experience. Veteran and inform midfield general Tinashe Nengomasha is part of the team, so is the experienced central defensive duo of Thomas Swaswe and Method Mwanjali.

Zimbabwe Full Squad

Goalkeepers: Washington Arubi, Tapuwa Kapini and Edmore Sibanda

Defenders: Method Mwanjali, Thomas Sweswe, Noel Kaseke, Gilbert Mapemba, Guthrie Zhokinyi, Qadr Amin and Onismor Bhasera

Midfielders: Tinashe Nengomasha, Vusa Nyoni, Ovidy Karuru, Bhekimpilo Ncube, Archford Gutu, Benjamin Marere, Khama Billiart, Justice Majabvi and Denver Mukamba.

Strikers: Edward Sadomba, Nyasha Mushekwi, Knowledge Musona and Norman Maroto

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