|Rahman’s year of suspense|
|Saturday, 07 July 2012 21:13|
Gumbo’s elevation in February to the highest coaching post in the country on top of his envied position as mentor of the country’s richest football team FC Platinum had presented the gaffer a unique platform to score big on both the domestic and international scene in one fell swoop.
Of course, it has always been a Herculean task. Not since Charles Mhlauri claimed a rare double in 2005 — that of steering CAPS United to the league title at the same time guiding the Warriors to the 2006 African Cup of Nations finals — has any local coach matched that feat.
The ambitious Zvishavane-based side have cracked the whip on their highly prized mentor and handed the reins to his junior, a man that Gumbo himself moulded and later recruited to be his trusted lieutenant.
The unheralded Tendai Rukuni, who managed three victories in the total three assignments he handled during Gumbo’s absence, is now in full control of the expensively assembled side in a development that must have left prospective candidates from among our reputable coaches kicking themselves in fury.
That FC Platinum would give him the sack at a time the former Cyprus-based footballer needed their refuge, exposes the harsh cruelty and general thankless nature of football.
Because who, among his critics, can accurately point out Gumbo’s failures? Certainly not any of us here. All that has turned up after hours of searching and researching, are his successes.
A friend tells me he fears the Zvishavane miners may have parted with their biggest asset to date. He feels FC Platinum should have left Gumbo to complete not only the current season but also the next. The Caf Confederation Cup exponents have not yet shed their co-title favourites tag and Gumbo, boasting four championships in Zimbabwe (2), Malawi and Botswana, was the best man to spearhead that assault.
If you talk to Nelson Matongorere, Zimbabwe’s senior coaches instructor, he will tell you a coach must sign a three-year contract at the minimum, which is the only possible time-frame for him to attain the targets he has set for the team.
It is only forgivable to dismiss the coach after a full three years of trying.
He was expected to further fine-tune his line-up this winter and conjure up an invincible 11 for the remainder of the season.
Gunners’ acrimonious divorce with their title-winning mentor Moses Chunga did neither party any good. The 2009 champions have struggled for results since the departure of the coach while the same can be said for Bambo wherever he has worked in the aftermath.
Zifa have already assured us it is.
The Warriors were paired against Angola, in an outcome that evokes memories of the Cosafa Cup when our clashes with our Southern African neighbour always provided spectacles. We have won the regional competition a record four times and Angola thrice.
The last time the Warriors played Angola was in 2005 under the magical combination of Mhlauri and Chunga that once held the nation spellbound. It was in back-to-back Group C fixtures of the joint 2006 World Cup and African Cup of Nations qualifiers and we lost 1-2 in Luanda before thumping the Palancas Negras 2-0 at the National Sports Stadium on return.
Shingi Kawondera and Benjani Mwaruwari got the goals.
Gumbo had played a part in the earlier part of that campaign, getting us two draws against Gabon (away) and Algeria at home and an away win over Rwanda.
Ample time is what he has now after being freed from his club commitments. He has been given all the space to spy on our opponents and to assess our foreign-based players.