WHEN the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) appointed Klaus-Dieter-Pagels as the Warriors coach, most football fans did not like the idea.
Report by Brian Nkiwane
Pagels came into the country on a government-to-government agreement, to assist in football development of women’s football.
But when Zifa had no other option after ending its marriage with Rahman Gumbo and the entire Warriors team, the German mentor was put at the helm and mandated to rebuild the Warriors brand.
Pagels took charge of the Warriors in a number of friendly matches, with the Botswana match at Rufaro being his first assignment which he won 2-1.
The German coach brought smiles back to the Warriors fans when his youthful side played well in Egypt, before succumbing to a last minute penalty that saw the Pharaohs winning the match 2-1.
Pagels took his team to Zambia for yet another friendly, but this time his charges lost 2-0. He also took his charges to Malawi where they lost 2-1 recently.
One thing that should have got knocked into his head before he even started working with the Warriors was to keep the records and statistics intact.
But now, Pagels has set a home record, which even the players that took part in that particular match would not want to be associated with in the long run.
With last month’s European Champions League final pitting Borrussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich being an all-German final, most fans had hoped that Germany’s football was coming out of its shell.
However, the drubbing by Egypt gave the Warriors fans little faith in the new coach.
What happened last Sunday when the Warriors were hammered 4-2 left a lot to de desired, especially the way the coach has been calling up and dropping players and how he has been experimenting with players’ positions.
The other worrying factor is the type of football that the German mentor wants his players to play (Tiki Taka). It seems they spent most of their training time practising how to play the ball back to the goalkeeper. This was evident last Sunday as our first attempt at goal came after 24 minutes, when Knowledge Musona’s shot went off target.
Most of the times, the ball was being played back to Washington Arubi.
Zimbabawe’s national team had a good home record until Sunday June 9, when Egypt scored four goals in Harare.
Pagels has been experimenting too much with the team, with some players being played out of position.
Last Sunday, winger Tafadzwa Rusike played as a double anchorman with Devon Chafa, a role which proved too much for him.
When he substituted him, he brought in Ovidy Karuru, an attacking midfielder and again played him in that central position.
The German coach has quoted controversy from Warriors fans, as he has been resisting calls from fans to bring back Willard Katsande into the fold. Katsande has been in top form for his South Africa side Kaizer Chiefs, which he helped win the championship after eight years and the Nedbank Cup.
He has also turned a blind eye to defender Carrington Nyadombo who has been impressive even during Rahman Gumbo’s team.
Pagels seems to be a Mr Know It All! But he must respect our national team records and legacy.
- For views and feedback, email: email@example.com. zw or sms 0775 341 029