HARARE – Drastic changes in all aspects of Zimbabwean football are needed to help resurrect the game which now resembles a “horror movie”, a leading junior coach has said.
United Kingdom-based football coach Phillip Zulu described the Warriors’ recent poor performances at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament in Gabon where they were knocked out in the group stages as a wake-up call to the football establishment.
The former CAPS United player, who is now nurturing young players in England, said he tried to help Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa but was treated with contempt.
“One of the things I tried in vain … was to share basic knowledge of how modern football has changed, and in particular international tournaments both at junior and senior national teams that still depict an outdated coaching module that is nearing a 50-year fossilised underground burial,” Zulu wrote on social media in regard to the Warriors performances in Gabon.
“Zimbabwean football is a sad joke and what we are witnessing is a horror movie, too terrifying to watch and a nerve-wrecking experience of gross incompetence at a global stage.
“I vividly remember very well when I sought to assist the coaches, through the then (Zifa) technical director Takaendesa Jongwe but with very little success.
“I was referred to…Pasuwa, Saul Chaminuka, and other coaches, bubbling with confidence I sought to hook up with Pasuwa first and share with him my intentions but what really shocked me was the negativity towards new ideas, the renounced reasoning to learn something from fellow folks was just staggering to say the least.
“As someone who once played with Pasuwa at the now-defunct Screen Stones FC, I felt encouraged to talk to a former player and team mate, it was the same with Lloyd Mutasa when he was still at Platinum FC and most shockingly, he was the only one who asked me to come and share with him.
“The rest didn’t like a guy coming from afar, they hated such intrusions in their football domicile and it was frustrating and heartbreaking to realise that ignorance was sky high and ruled daylight.”
Zulu, who has helped young footballers earn professional contracts at various English Premiership and Championship clubs, was particularly incensed by the 4-2 loss to Tunisia.
“The humiliating loss to Tunisia in the last group stage game in the Afcon is testament of our paucity of how the game works at that level both as players and coaches,” he said.
“Looking through this carnage, the football, debris of the worst kind — the aftermath of this inferno has got to be soberly attended to with honesty and pragmatism.
“The display, the general patterns of play, the technical and tactical abilities and knowledge of the game at this level can best be described as below average and an extension of egos by some pub revellers, alcoholic addicts and social nostalgic folks who clamour and over talk about having kicked a ball somewhere in their tender ages.
“This is the eureka moment to all those that have constantly accused me of not being patriotic with my excessive criticism of these poor players who have by-passed the learning process of basic football.”
Zulu added: “Any soul out there with a decent knowledge of the game should be troubled and seriously disturbed.
“We have by far a better group of young boys here in UK playing for professional academies; they definitely could have made a huge difference. The current squad is not good enough save for a few guys out there, namely (Knowledge) Musona, Khama (Billiat), (Marvelous) Nakamba and (Tino) Kadewere.”
Zulu also took a swipe at Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa for failing to put in place junior development programmes.
“I openly declared that the game is dead, the only ultra immediacy and importance was to bury it without any delays. Can I blame the players only? Maybe not but such poor display from the majority of them is highly unacceptable,” he said.
“Where is national junior football development, where are the coach education programmes and a robust national and international undertaking?
“Nothing; its Chiyangwa… trying to find relevance in the football corridors abroad by dining wining with acclaimed stars and the renowned faces. Zimbabwean football is a horror movie, far too much to watch and a vile trajectory of more of the same.”