By Innocent Kurira
History will record that he is the first foreign coach to lead the Warriors to the Afcon finals, but stats will prove he is one of the worst coaches to take charge of the senior national team.
Zdravko Logarusic has won just one match in 11 outings and it is no surprise the football family is calling for his immediate sacking.
The country has once again been forced into discussions over the appointment of foreign coaches over locals. Loga took the country to the next Afcon finals, but how many points did he accumulate to archieve that feat?
Joey Antipas laid a firm groundwork for the Afcon 2021 campaign, contributing four out of the eight points that saw Zimbabwe qualifying with ease for the continental showpiece.
All Loga contributed was his one win since assuming the Warriors’ job.
Should Zimbabwe continue to place trust in unknown foreign coaches that locals only get to hear about when they are appointed?
In the four previous times that Zimbabwe have been to the Afcon, Sunday Chidzambwa was in charge twice, with Kalisto Pasuwa and Charles Mhlauri making a single appearance each. Chidzambwa is the most successful coach in Cosafa Cup history with four titles, won in 2005, 2009, 2017 and 2018.
The country has always done better with local coaches. The latest under-performance at Cosafa has seen even some football players chipping in with their thoughts on the composition of the national team technical setup.
Former Highlanders’ striker Mkhokheli Dube said: “It’s high time we start believing in our own coaches in Zimbabwe. What a pathetic showing at the Cosafa Cup. I’m really embarrassed. Time for a change. The numbers don’t lie. Our league not playing is not an excuse, Namibian League is not playing as well, but they are winning. We can’t say local coaches have failed in Afcon; they have qualified us, which used to be our target, but we can’t have a coach failing in Cosafa leading us in Afcon.
“Before our goal was to make it to Afcon, now that we have been qualifying regularly, it makes sense to have a good coach going to Cameroon in January, hence my point of getting a local coach because I don’t believe we have the right person right now looking at the numbers.”
Cape Umoya forward Gabriel Nyoni also tweeted: “If it was a local coach, he was going to be tossed left, right and centre I tell you.
Chimbopai ma-local coach mukana nenguva yamunopa vamwe iyo. Ngiyabonga.”
The Chan disaster is still fresh in the memories of many and it has not worked in Loga’s favour. He lost all three group games and a section of fans have not forgiven him for that embarrassment.
The move to shut the door on some players that have not honoured previous call-ups has been met with mixed reactions and also has the possibility of dividing the dressing room if not properly addressed.
With the World Cup qualifiers around the corner, it remains to be seen if Loga will be able to silence his critics and write another piece of history with the Warriors. The Chronicle