By Makomborero Mutimukulu
Here we go again! Debate on who should or should not be included in the Warriors squad for June’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt has started in earnest and its threatening to move the Richter scale as days go by.
Emotions are already running high!
By design or by default big Nyasha Mushekwi has become the face of those outside and looking in because of his fine form in China and to some extent glowing media coverage.
There is no doubt that Mushekwi is quality and is in form but its worth remembering that the Warriors did not struggle for goals without him during the qualifiers, scoring nine in six outings.
So the question is to include Mushekwi or not to?
The Dalian Yifang striker is one big man that Chidzambwa will certainly ponder over as he drafts his Afcon squad because Mushekwi offers much more than goals.
The 1, 88 metre tall striker can score all types of goals — headers, flicks, tap-ins and volleys — and is not a guy who can be bullied out of a match.
He is made for the rough and tough.
With skipper Knowledge Musona keen on playing from the wing, Mushekwi can be used as the big target man who can hold up play and afford his teammates to transition into attacking mode.
Now assuming that Mushekwi plays his way into Warriors selection who will be the forward to drop out?
Abbas Amidu or Knox Mtizwa, or both?
What about Evans Rusike is he still worth a call up?
The next month will be very interesting as there is also the goalkeeping debate to chew into.George Chigova and Edmore Sibanda are guarantees but who will be the third goalie?
Petros Mhari, Elvis Chipezeze, Ariel Sibanda or the Spanish based Young Warriors goalie Martin Mapisa?
Czech based defender Costa Nhamoinesu has been making some patriotic noises on Twitter and those in the know say the Sparta Prague man called Warriors team manager Wellington Mpandare several times ahead of the Congo Brazzaville game.
Nhamoinesu suspiciously missed a number of Warriors call ups amid claims of injury but seems to be have finally and rather conveniently seen the light.
Only the brave can bet on seeing the tall dreadlocked frame of Nhamoinesu on the plane to Egypt because of his stunts in the past and more importantly the fine form of the boys who have been doing duty at left back.
Devine Lunga and Ronald Pfumbidzai have been so good that Mhofu can be forgiven for asking “Costa who?”
But then again in the eyes of some cynics Chidzambwa can never do anything right.
When he led Zimbabwe to their maiden Afcon appearance in 2004 the veteran gaffer was said to have sneaked the Warriors into the continental showcase through the back door.
Now Mhofu has taken us back to Afcon and this time he is accused of doing so through boring football.
Those with devilish traits even accuse Chidzambwa of getting bribed to choose some players.
The unsubstantiated allegations hurt the gaffer.
“I am 67 years old and am slowly going towards retirement so please let me retire in peace,” said Chidzambwa as he announced the squad for the final Afcon qualifier against Congo Brazzaville.
“I am open to criticism …but alleging that Mhofu is taking money from players is not fair.
“The privilege you (media) have is that you analyse the game after it has been played but us we have to set the team and analyse before it’s played. A coach cannot foretell that a player will go off form before the game, you can only find out a player is off form after you play him.”
Put on your seat belts, we are about to hit some turbulence as we head to Egypt! Sunday Mail.