TEN matches into the 2018 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season, four coaches have already been sacked.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Mutare City’s Joseph Takaringofa, Darlington Dodo (Bulawayo City) and Tendai Chikuni have all been relieved of their duties.
The biggest coaching casualty, however, came last week when Dynamos fired Lloyd Mutasa following a string of poor results.
“Father”, as he is referred to in football circles, was widely tipped to mount a serious challenge for his first ever league title in his 16 years as a coach after narrowly missing out last season and it remains a pipe dream now that he is jobless.
“Every coach would want to win the league, and to be recognised as the best in the land at some point and also to go beyond the borders. Just as players aspire to go to Europe, as coaches we also aspire to get (foreign assignments),” Mutasa told this publication earlier in his Dynamos tenure.
Mutasa became Dynamos mentor almost exactly two years ago to the day after he took over the reins from Portuguese coach Jose Silva.
After an awful start to the season, Dynamos finally decided to wield the axe on Mutasa last Tuesday, May 8, reassigning him to the role of technical director while assistant coach Biggies Zuze is now the interim coach
Interestingly, Mutasa was confirmed as Dynamos coach on May 11, 2017 in similar fashion, replacing Silva, for whom he was assistant coach amid accusations from his predecessor that he had sabotaged him.
“As long as Dynamos are coached by Mutasa and his blunt backroom staff, I tell you for sure that they will be relegated this year (2016). In two years’ time, the team will be playing in Division Two and even Division Three. That guy (Mutasa) belongs to the old school football type. He is not a modern coach. Just imagine a guy as old as him talking to four or five players, whom he calls his, to underperform so that I can get fired,” fumed Silva in local media days after he got the sack.
And so began Mutasa’s reign and two years on, Dynamos are still in the top-flight league.
In fact, they almost won the league title last year, taking the race right down to the wire before losing out to eventual champions FC Platinum.
Mutasa’ reign has not been as a bad as Silva predicted and in 69 matches, the former Dynamos midfielder won 34, lost 17 and drew 18 times. But after earning the pre-season favourites tag for the Harare club, the Dynamos season failed to get going, managing just 9 points in 10 matches.
But what could have happened to Mutasa in a year it seemed he was better resourced to finally reach the Promised Land?
Many believe that Mutasa was used as scapegoat by the under-pressure Dynamos executive, but surely he contributed to his own downfall.
Mutasa’s downfall may have begun last year when he let go senior players such as Roderick Mutuma, Stephen Alimenda, Sydney Linyama and Dominic Mukandi, among others, to start building afresh.
After conducting trials to pick his squad Mutasa miraculously managed to guide the team to a runners-up place and could have possibly won the title had he managed to handle players such Denver Mukamba and Lincoln Zvasiya during the title run in.
Mutasa then fired Mukamba and Zvasiya, allowing the former to join rivals CAPS United on loan before he came back to haunt his former club during the Harare Derby.
Without Mukamba, Mutasa’s Dynamos lacked somebody with the character to carry the team when the chaps were down, which has been the case since the start of the season.
It also became apparent that Cameroonian striker Christian Epoupa was the man behind Dynamos’ impressive season last term and without him goals dried up.
The Epoupa saga over unpaid dues dragged on for long and culminated in the player going back to his native country while Mutasa waited for his chief striker.
In the end, Mutasa had to fast-track Kuda Kumwala into the team to lead the attack.
Dynamos languished second from bottom after week seven with three draws and four defeats in what is the club’s worst start to the season by miles in their history.
To be fair, the Dynamos executive was lenient with the coach.
At the start of the season last year they gave him an ultimatum to garner 23 points in the first 10 fixtures which he failed to meet but was spared the axe.
This year the executive allowed him free rein and the result was disastrous.
It was when they gave him a three-match ultimatum two weeks ago that Dynamos won the first of three points of the season, but a defeat to Harare City last week was the final straw.