By Robson Sharuko
It’s probably a sign of how the mighty have fallen that Dynamos’ sorry collapse – losing all their last three league matches for the first time in their proud history – hasn’t provoked the kind of outrage which should have greeted such a stunning meltdown.
Maybe, it’s because the noisy neighbours, CAPS United, also suffered their own sensational collapse and probably became the first team, in a two-horse race for the league title, to finish third in the history of football.
Or, maybe, it’s because this was a season the Glamour Boys family had already marked as a transitional one, providing their leadership with the licence to experiment with the madness of entrusting the club’s fortunes in the hands of Lloyd ‘‘MaBlanyo’’ Chigove.
Maybe, it’s because mediocrity has become very acceptable, at the country’s biggest and most successful football club, finishing ninth – 18 points adrift of eventual winners FC Platinum – has become something that can now be celebrated.
Last year, when Chigove was handed the baton to complete the season, the Glamour Boys finished in 11th place, six points clear of Nichrut – who occupied the final relegation slot – with 42 points from their 34 league matches.
What was significant, about that, was the vast gap that existed between them and champions FC Platinum, with 32 points separating the two teams, after the Zvishavane miners won the league title with 78 points.
With the two teams having been separated by just two points, the previous season when FC Platinum won the championship with 72 points and DeMbare finished second on 70 points, the stunning decline of the Glamour Boys, in just one season, was very graphic.
The Zvishavane miners again won the league title last year, with 78 points, while DeMbare slumped down the table to finish with just 42 points after winning 10 games, drawing as many games, and losing 12 matches.
In terms of the championship race, FC Platinum gained a 6,47 percent in value, when compared to the previous season when they had just edged DeMbare for the title, while the Glamour Boys lost 27,45 percent in value.
But, if their fans thought this was just a passing phase, the results this season should have sent some alarm bells ringing in their camp.
Although coach Tonderai Ndiraya managed to stabilise a patient which Chigove had left on a death bed, the Glamour Boys’ failure to progress beyond just stringing some draws showed that the journey back into the light will be a painful one for the country’s biggest football side.
That no one appears to be complaining, after the Harare giants again finished closer to the bottom, with only four points separating DeMbare from the team that occupied the last relegation slot, than to the top, probably confirms there is little hope for an immediate return to glory.
The statistics make for some sad reading.
DeMbare won just three games, in the second half of the season, drawing 11 and losing three as they donated 30 of the 51 points that were on offer.
Their three wins came against teams that were eventually either relegated (Mushowani Stars and Chapungu) or just scrapped to fight another day on the final day of the season (Herentals).
During that miserable run, DeMbare scored more than one goal in just four matches and those games, once again, were either against the teams that ended up being relegated (Hwange, Mushowani Stars and Chapungu), or the one that just managed to stay afloat on the final weekend (Herentals).
The misfiring DeMbare strikers failed to score in six of those matches while the Glamour Boys’ final slot on the table, just four points better than the last relegation slot, meant that just one defeat, in a game they won, would have seen them in relegation trouble.
The 18 points that separated them with FC Platinum means the Zvishavane side could even have afforded to forfeit five of the matches they won and still finish in a higher position than the Glamour Boys.
DeMbare scored just 28 goals, in the league, the same number of goals they scored the previous season, in an illustration that nothing had changed on that front.
It’s when those 28 goals are put into context, compared against how the other clubs fared, that the true miserable picture of the story that unfolded at the Glamour Boys this season emerges.
Mushowani Stars, who were relegated about three or so games before the end of the campaign, scored 36 goals, eight goals more than what Dynamos could manage all season.
That the Mashonaland West side finished bottom of the table should be an embarrassment for those whose jobs was to try and score goals for Dynamos.
Hwange, who were the second club to be relegated, scored more goals than De- Mbare with the colliery side scoring 30 goals compared to 28 for the Glamour Boys.
TelOne, who crashed into Division One on the final day of the season, also scored more goals than Dynamos with the Gweru side on target 32 times while Chapungu, who also went down, boasted a better strikeforce than DeMbare.
Bulawayo Chiefs (33), Yadah (34), Herentals (31), who fielded a 48-year-old forward in their ranks, and Harare City (35), who were all in danger of going down on the final day of the season, scored more goals than the Glamour Boys.
Golden Boot winner, Clive Agusto, who only played half the season before moving to South Africa, had scored 14 goals, on his own, by the time he left for greener pastures.
That means an individual scored half the entire number of goals which Dynamos eventually scored at the end of their campaign as a team.
DeMbare’s defence was solid, conceding 28 goals, but while defences win a team championships, the Glamour Boys have to find a way to score at the other end for them to start winning matches again if they are to challenge for honours again.
Meanwhile, former FC Platinum president, Nathan Shoko, has congratulated the team for winning their third straight league title in the just-ended season.
Shoko said the club was now being fully rewarded for the firm foundation that they set when they arrived in the domestic Premiership in 2011.
He pointed that they started calling themselves Pure Platinum Play, from their entry into the league, and the private investment firm, which has been sponsoring the club, was formed in their first season in the top-flight.
Shoko also praised his successor, George Mawere, for guiding the ship well.
‘‘George has done so well in carrying the FCP torch since receiving it,’’ said Shoko. ‘’Leadership is a marathon and he is running his stretch since receiving the baton stick, he hasn’t gone back to run his predecessor’s stretch but has progressed forward.’’ The Herald