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Logarusic is offside

insidesport:with MICHAEL KARIATI

It is shocking to learn that newly-appointed Zimbabwe Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic has dismissed his own Warriors team as no-hopers in their dream of an appearance at the 2022 World Cup finals — long before the team has even kicked its first ball.

For him to go around telling the world that Zimbabwe would only be fighting for second position in a group where only the top team qualifies for the next round is not only degrading, but an insult to the Zimbabwean game.

“We have to fight for position number two because Ghana is definitely likely to finish first.

“I could not talk as a supporter, I must talk as a coach. Ghana has many quality players who play much bigger games than against South Africa and the rest, so in the group Ghana is absolutely the favourite.” Logarusic told the Ghanaian press.

If this was a joke from the Croatian or an attempt to make the Black Stars of Ghana feel more important and more comfortable, then he made a mess of the whole thing.

How can a coach entrusted with steering the same Warriors team to the same 2022 World Cup declare that his team are losers before they have even kicked a ball?

By dismissing a team in which he is the driver of the bus, doesn’t this show that Logarusic does not have belief in himself nor his own ability? 

Or is he trying to protect himself so that when the Warriors eventually lose, he will shift blame and say “I told you so”, since he is in Zimbabwe on a performance-based two-year contract with Zifa?

Surely, how can such a coach get the respect of the fans, and more importantly, of his own players when he has publicly said he does not value their type of play?

How can a coach of his stature declare that a team that has such talents as Marvelous Nakamba, Tino Kadewere, Teenage Hadebe, Khama Billiat, Marshall Munetsi, Knowledge Musona, and Tendai Darikwa is not good enough for a Ghana team that has not won the Africa Cup of Nations for over 31 years and, more importantly, crashed out of the quarter finals at the 2019 Nations Cup in Egypt?

There is good news coming from England that exciting Charlton Athletic striker McCaulley Bonne would also be joining the Warriors and in the process adding more colour to Zimbabwe’s array of stars.

So what exactly has Logarusic seen in the Black Stars that makes them too special or superior to a Warriors team he has never ever seen in action?
What measurement is he using to compare the teams in the group, especially what he perceives to be the huge difference between the Warriors and the Black Stars?

Since he previously worked in Ghana with Ashanti Goldfields and later Asante Kotoko, is this man preparing for a return to the West African country when his marriage with Zimbabwe comes to an end?

Fine, there was a period during the time of Tony Yeboah and Abedi “Pele” Ayew and later the Asamoah Gyan generation when Ghana were classy but not today when they have been reduced to a two-man act of Andre and Jordan Ayew.

Questions are now being raised as to whether Logarusic is not one of the outspoken foreign coaches who came to Zimbabwe for the money and the sunshine, but had little to offer on the field of play.

The other question is: Did Zifa interview the coaches who applied for the Warriors job or they just went through the application letters and picked up one? Otherwise they would have had a rough idea of the sort of coach they were settling for.

The truth is that the Warriors have the overall strength and team spirit to win this 2022 World Cup Group G as long as they are more focused on the job at hand and do not have other distractions.

That this class of Warriors qualified for the 2017 and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals and that they are also in a strong position to make the 2021 journey is evidence enough that the Zimbabwe team is good enough to challenge any opposition in Africa.

Whatever his thoughts and beliefs about Zimbabwean football are, Logarusic should be warned that the Zimbabwean football family expects nothing from him, but qualification to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and the final qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup.

That is what he is in Zimbabwe to do and if he thinks the Warriors do not have quality material to achieve that goal, then he himself should ship out and let those willing to take up the challenge do so.

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