By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
Having finally broken his goal-scoring drought in spectacular fashion on Sunday, albeit for the Warriors, attention will be on striker Prince Dube this afternoon when he leads Highlanders’ front line against Chapungu in a Castle Lager Premiership match at Barbourfields Stadium.
Despite putting up good performances for Highlanders in all the games that he has played, the 22-year-old is yet to eject the Bosso faithful from their seats with a goal at Barbourfields, but his performance against Mauritius in the second-leg of the first round African Nations Championship qualifier reminded his doubters that he can be a weapon of destruction.
His hat-trick saw him join the Warriors’ football royalty comprising legends Shackman Tauro, Vitalis Takawira, Gilbert Mushangazhike, Agent Sawu and Peter Ndlovu of yesteryear as well as Knowledge Musona of the present generation.
“Football is constantly evolving. Yet no matter the tactical trends, the formation fads that can alter leagues and seasons, one thing will never change: the importance of scoring goals. It’s why the most expensive players, and those who receive the biggest pay packets, are often the attackers who put the ball in the back of the net on a consistent basis.
“Yet these players are not infallible. They have their hot streaks, spells of form when everything they hit flies in, and their cold streaks, periods when the ball doesn’t drop to them in the right area or goalkeepers pull off the spectacular time and time again,” writes Adam Newson in his column Revealed, Europe’s most wasteful strikers.
Newson notes that it’s also worth remembering that none of the attackers on his list are bad players; ‘in fact, some are having fine seasons with their respective clubs. It’s just that they have missed a significant amount of opportunities in front of goal’.
The last line fairly summarises what Dube has been doing; missing or hitting the woodwork now and again, but the top drawer showcase on Sunday left many convinced and wishing that such performances can be turned into club colours and today’s match might just be that.
Deployed as a false No 9 in a 4-2-3-1 setup, Dube showed how destructive he can be if given a free role.
The scoring form of a team’s top striker is usually the difference between defeat, a point or maximum points and there are many such games where had Dube scored, maybe the Bulawayo giants might not be languishing within touching distance of the dreaded relegation fence.
Highlanders’ coach Mandla Mpofu is hopeful that Dube’s national team goals will give him further confidence when he dons the black and white jersey.
“He scored three goals and created seven. I hope he brings that form to the club. The boy is a good player to coach, he has been playing well despite failing to score. We hope that his performance (on Sunday) will boost his confidence going forward. It is a matter of time before he starts scoring for Highlanders,” said Mpofu. The Chronicle