TENDAI NDORO’S sudden slump in form will deny football pundits a chance to reignite a the age-old debate on whom between him and Cuthbert Malajila should lead the Warriors in attack.
When Kallisto Pasuwa was the Zimbabwe national soccer team coach, it was always Malajila.
Pasuwa was ready to die by his convictions, turning a blind eye to Ndoro’s storming start to the season with Orlando Pirates in favour of his vice-captain’s graft.
Ndoro’s mother even felt the need to speak out after watching her son, who averaged a goal a match in the first 11 games of the season, warm the bench at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
Christrina Ndoro revealed that she could not eat after her son was left out of the Warriors starting XI for Senegal game.
“I was pained that day and did not eat my supper,” she was quoted as saying by our sister paper BMetro.
Now Ndoro’s form has slumped dramatically, having managed to add a single goal – a penalty – to his tally and his 17-game drought has seen Pirates coach Kjell Jonevret drop the 28-year-old former Chicken Inn man lose side starting place at the club.
So there really is no debate at present as to who should front the Warriors attack. But Pirates coach Jonevret believes Ndoro needs just one goal to get his groove back.
“When you are a striker, it is important to score goals and do it pretty often. He (Ndoro) is a little bit down but in training he is always good in and around the box, but right now it is like he is not getting into the position where he can score.
“But when you have a player like this we should work with him because we know he is a good striker,” the Swedish coach told Kick Off last week.
Malajila is in a better place at Mamelodi Sundowns.
He is hitting a purple patch at just the right time and last week he scored a priceless winner as Gavin Hunt’s side surged towards the title.
The 31-year-old forward, who has won a title with Mamelodi, might have scored just three league goals in 23 appearances this term but his winner against Pirates midweek was a priceless strike, giving his side the edge in the title run in.
Khama Billiat, with six goals in 17 league appearances, has not looked anywhere close to the man who was last season’s Player of the Year but his class is undoubted and he will be guaranteed a place when Norman Mapeza calls up his squad for Zimbabwe Afcon qualifier against Liberia at home next month.
At Golden Arrows, Kuda Mahachi, Danny Phiri and Knox Mtizwa are doing the business but the same cannot be said for the Kaizer Chiefs duo of Edmore Chirambadare and Michelle Katsvairo.
It’s telling that each time Amakhosi coach Steve Khompela speaks of Chirambadare, all he can speak of is “Eddie’s hard work” and not goals.
Football gossip here has it that Katsvairo will be loaned out before the start of next season; while Willard Katsande has been ever-present for Chiefs.