By Eddie Chikamhi
DYNAMOS legend Moses “Bambo” Chunga believes CAPS United are better organised and appear to have a better opportunity this year to end DeMbare’s dominance when the rivals clash in the Harare Derby at Rufaro on Sunday.
Like many yesteryear footballers, Chunga believes the Harare Derby has lost its lustre. He has nostalgic recollections of the olden days when such matches would attract capacity crowds and live up to the pre-match hype.
Dynamos have dominated meetings between the two Harare clubs in the last six years and with the bragging rights at stake, Chunga believes his former team would need to work extra hard following a tumultuous start to the 2016 Castle Lager Premiership season.
Chunga, who has coached both teams at one stage in his career, yesterday challenged Dynamos and CAPS United to raise their game and give supporters something to talk about as contests between the two sides in recent years have often failed to rise to expectations.
The two Harare soccer giants last year played identical 1-1 draws, but DeMbare went home smiling as they managed to avoid defeat since 2009 when they last lost to their bitter rivals.
However, Chunga was worried that the Glamour Boys have shown they are “disorganised” ahead of the derby and warned that history does not always repeat itself.
“History doesn’t always stay with us forever. If you make it a habit to bank on past experiences and fail to plan properly, one day those records will not work in your favour.
“If you look at it from the outside, CAPS United are more organised compared to my beloved team and it would appear like their players are also up there in terms of confidence.
“So I am of the opinion that if CAPS United fail to beat Dynamos this year, they will never beat them any time soon because it looks like this is the best opportunity for them to do so.
“Of course, it’s Dynamos’ culture to grind results, but if you look at it again you would find that even in those last six years that CAPS United have failed to beat them, they had the upper hand in some of the matches,” said Chunga.
The former Dynamos midfield dynamo criticised the confusion that is rocking the DeMbare technical bench after coach Paulo Jorge Silva publicly accused some members of his technical team and players of sabotage.
Results have been evading the Harare giants and Chunga said the situation in the Dynamos camp was not healthy ahead of the big match on Sunday.
However, the Glamour Boys did themselves a big favour when they won, for the first time this season, in their last match away at Mutare City Rovers. The pressure is not entirely gone, though, as they plunge into the Harare Derby with coach Silva and his assistants sitting on an ultimatum.
“All that confusion in the Dynamos technical department is uncalled for. I remember in the past whenever these games approached, the excitement was just indescribable.
“There were always players to look forward to from both teams. There was always a saviour and then there were also new stars who usually took the stage to announce their arrival.
“People would talk about these matches for days, months, years, even up to this day. But now tell me, which (good or gifted) players are we looking forward to watch on Sunday? None. It’s sad that these days you can see that some people can even afford to go to the stadium with a newspaper, read and finish it while the match is being played.
“I don’t think anyone could afford that back then in the 80s and 90s because the matches were fired-up from the first whistle. As a player you would feel the tension and the excitement the whole week, but the good thing is we didn’t buckle under the pressure.
“Everywhere you go you could feel the excitement and there was only one thing that you would think about most — the supporters. You just had to take it upon yourself to perform well and give them value for their money. We need that from our players of today,” said Chunga.
“But I wouldn’t want to blame the players per se. I believe we have the talent here in Zimbabwe, but the problem is we are losing most of our best players to other countries, especially to South Africa.
“Imagine if only half of those former Dynamos and CAPS United players abroad were playing here? Of course, it would have been different. So we need incentives to keep our cream of the crop.
“The other thing is that our players are not performing consistently overall. If I may ask, what happened to the Soccer Star of 2012? What about of 2013 and 2014? We have since forgotten about them because they don’t have anything to show for it after they were crowned the best players of the country.
“I think we should stop calling them Soccer Stars and change the title to Favourite Player of the Year because these people always fail to justify themselves, unlike in the past when a player could be on the calendar year after year.”
Dynamos lost their opening match of the season 3-0 to Chicken Inn and then drew 0-0 with Triangle. The Glamour Boys, however, set the tone for this Sunday’s match when they beat Mutare City Rovers 2-1 last Sunday at Sakubva while CAPS were also winning by the same scoreline against Harare City at the National Sports Stadium.
At Sakubva on Sunday, rookie forward Kudzanayi Nyakasaka gave the breakthrough for DeMbare before Roderick Mutuma’s second half insurance goal.
Chunga said coaches should not fear to give their young players the starting place even in the high pressure games. He said most of the younger players have failed to make it since they are denied the opportunity to shine at a big stage.
“Sometimes we, the coaches, also destroy promising talents because we listen to the fans against our better judgment. We tend to fear for our jobs and that is why we rush to make substitutions when people start whistling from the terraces. When your youngster does not play well, talk to him and if possible give him more encouragement while on the pitch instead of killing his confidence.
“As a coach you should be able to stand for what you believe in. Give those young players a chance to feel the game and those are the future stars. Right now we have the same old players who have failed on the big stage being recycled and our football is not going anywhere,” said Chunga.
Saturday: Harare City v Hwange (Rufaro), Chapungu v Tsholotsho (Ascot), How Mine v Triangle (Luveve), ZPC Kariba v Chicken Inn (Nyamhunga)
Sunday: Border Strikers v Mutare City Rovers (TBA), Bulawayo City v Highlanders (Barbourfields), Dynamos v CAPS United (Rufaro)
Monday: Ngezi Platinum Stars v FC Platinum (Baobab). The Herald