Eddie Chikamhi and Mukudzei Chingwere
THE fearful prospects of relegation are slowly turning into reality for Dynamos after the Harare giants plunged into the drop zone at the weekend following what has now become a routine defeat at the hands of FC Platinum.
DeMbare, who fired coach Lloyd Mutasa last week, need to work out an escape plan in their last six games of the season, which include the rescheduled Harare Derby against CAPS United.
They will also play Black Rhinos, Herentals, Triangle and Mutare City in Harare and then travel to Nichrut for the last match of the season at Ascot.
The new men in charge of the side — Lloyd Chigowe and Murape Murape — know they need to start picking up points as a matter of urgency.
But the big question is whether they have the right playing personnel and the capacity to call the correct decisions from the bench to turn the fading giants into winners again following a miserable run in their last five games.
Since their 3-0 defeat to Highlanders early last month, which was their biggest loss to their old foes in the history of the decades-long Battle of Zimbabwe, Dynamos have never recovered from that blow.
They have not only failed to win a game in those last five league matches, but have also not scored a goal in over 450 minutes of play.
DeMbare fired blanks in the goalless draw against Chapungu, the defeat by Harare City (0-1), Bulawayo Chiefs (0-0) and Saturday’s reverse at Mandava which ended in a 2-0 loss.
The poor run of play for which Mutasa and his assistants were the biggest casualties, has left Dynamos hard pressed to win at least half of their remaining league matches and also hoping that their rivals in the relegation dog fight drop points.
Dynamos, with 31 points, still have a glimmer of hope as they are only separated by a point with the trio of Yadah, Bulawayo Chiefs and Nichrut.
Chapungu are also in the relegation mix on 33 points.
However, Dynamos interim coach Chigowe has remained adamant the Glamour boys will rise, while imploring the club’s fans to rally behind the embattled giants.
Chigowe, who only had one training session with the team before departing for Mandava last week, said he was encouraged by a dominant second half display by his charges at FC Platinum.
“The glamour will be back when we get a win. The performance was fine against FC Platinum, but we just need to panel-beat one or two things to get a result. We missed two of our senior centre backs and I think that cost us the game.
“Dynamos is here to stay . . . they will not be relegated. We have seen enough to believe that it can be done, the whole second half FC Platinum were defending for their lives.
“I only trained for 30 minutes with the team before the game and if we had more time with the boys then we could have done far much better in this game. I was just appointed and was already on the road with the team.
“We just gave the players shape, but they were not prepared for this kind of game and in our next game, I am sure we would have worked with the guys more and they will be ready,” said Chigowe.
Dynamos have gone through one of their most depressing periods that even their supporters have turned their backs on the team.
Attendances have been low of late and surprisingly on Saturday while the team was on the road to Mandava, various chapters of the club’s supporters organised clean-up campaigns in different parts of the country in the fight against cholera.
“To the supporters I just want to say this is their team and there will be no other Dynamos that will come, they need to support us and push the team in the final matches.
“Yes, results have been bad, but Dynamos supporters need to rally behind the team in their numbers as we fight against relegation.”
Chigowe also felt the confusion over the status of Brett Amidu had unsettled the midfielder who he had thrust into the starting side.
Amidu, on loan to Dynamos from FC Platinum, had a slow start into the match, but later turned on the magic as he began to pull the strings for the visitors.
He had initially been barred from playing in line with the loan deal between the two clubs, but such is the desperation at Dynamos that they could not afford to leave him out of the travelling party. After he was included in Dynamos’ starting team, there were some pre-match bickering to whether he is eligible to play against his parent club or not, but he was later allowed to play and Chigowe believes the confusion surrounding his eligibility distracted him in the earlier stages of the game. “He was in the starting 11, but during warm-up FC Platinum said he cannot play against them and he had to take off his playing kit. “But after some consultations he was allowed to play, the confirmation only came a few minutes before kick-off and we drafted him back to the starting team.
“It affected him very much and he needed more time to get going, you cannot be pulled out and back like that. It affects a player psychologically. “It affected even the whole team, but once he was stable the team was on top of the game, but it was too late to rescue the game after conceding early goals,” said Chigowe.
While the majority of their supporters and stakeholders are anxious about the situation at the club, there have been divergent voices in the football circles as some people think Dynamos deserve to be relegated because of their failure to adopt a proper business approach to the game.
Former CAPS United forward Alois Bunjira yesterday poured his heart out on Facebook, where he claimed that DeMbare and other big teams in the league are suffering because of lack of professionalism.
Bunjira believes the problems at Dynamos are much deeper than the lack of results on the pitch.
“I wouldn’t mind Dynamos getting relegated. That would definitely be a lesson to them and others that are not doing things right and running football clubs like tuck shops.
“Those that are only being interested in gate takings and neglecting the core business of running a football club, (it) will always catch up with you.
“This situation at Dynamos, we long predicted it. It was long coming. Other top clubs being run in similar fashion face similar demise in the near future. Nowhere to run. You cannot sustain a top club without development structures and zero business model, unless the coffers are bottomless. After this, I hope the people running football clubs and football in the country will sit down, apply their minds, and start running football properly, the way it should be.
“Having said all that, Zimbabwe football need Dynamos and I hope they survive or bounce back if they get relegated,” wrote Bunjira.