- "So who is good enough? The player getting game time in Zimbabwe PSL or Zambia? As for the coach... Why exactly is he worried? Has he not seen players on the bench at their clubs doing well for the national team? Giroud scores goals for France while he sits on the bench at his club..."
WARRIORS coach Zdravko Logarušić has come under fire from fans and a former Zimbabwe international for utterances he made regarding Aston Villa and Zimbabwe midfielder Marvelous Nakamba’s lack of game time at the club.
The Croatian said he was worried that Nakamba is yet to start in Villa’s opening four games, playing cameo roles while he got the nod only in the English premiership side’s cup games.
“Our small problem is still Nakamba, he didn’t play the last four games, I think it’s because maybe the coach didn’t change the team, or because it’s a winning team,” said Loga.
The statement stirred a hornet’s nest, with former Zimbabwe international and CAPS Utd legend Alois Bunjira saying Logarušić’s kills Nakamba’s confidence at a time he needs it most.
Responding on a Zimbabwe Voice news platform, Bunjira said his doubts in the Croatian have all been confirmed.
“A player who starred in the Champions League and was the best in their group in his position for Club Brugge…is suddenly not good enough? A player who was signed from Holland to a big club in Belgium? A player signed from Belgium to England is suddenly not good enough because he is competing with Douglas Luiz?
“So who is good enough? The player getting game time in Zimbabwe PSL or Zambia? As for the coach… Why exactly is he worried? Has he not seen players on the bench at their clubs doing well for the national team? Giroud scores goals for France while he sits on the bench at his club.
“Quatinho was a bench warmer at Barcelona but a regular for Brazil. He must give us a break. Those statements are not good for player confidence. I now doubt this coach.”
Bunjira, who has not made secret his intention to one day run for ZIFA presidency, said Logarušić has a tendency of saying all the “wrong things”. He described as outdated the notion that players who get benched are less match fit.
“Logarušić says a lot of wrong things. It is an old mentality that players who are not playing used to go to the pub and drink.
“A modern coach should know better. It is better to talk about mental fitness than match fitness. Every player is conditioned and is match for, whether in the first 11 or not.
“Players that dont feature in a match for 45 minutes or more, will get a tougher conditioning session on the first day back at training while those that played only regenerate. Those that didn’t get a sniff of the match get an intense practice match during the week or play with the reserves.
“Every first team member is kept in tip top condition and ready to play. What if Nakamba is called upon to play in the Villa next match? Will they say “he is not match fit”?” Bunjira wondered.
Nakamba was an unused substitute as Aston Villa scored late to beat Leicester 1-0 in the Premier League.
Apart from CAPS United and Blackpool in the domestic league, Bunjira also played for various South African clubs in the early 2000s including Mamelodi Sundowns, Bidvest Wits, Jomo Cosmos and QwaQwa Stars. He also featured for the Warriors between the mid-1990s and 2004.
Responding on the same platform, other football fans suggested that the Warriors coach was spending more time entertaining media than getting on the ground and preparing for the grueling battle against Algeria in Harare next month.
“The Warriors must be preparing for the crucial back-to-back 2022 Afcon qualifiers against Algeria next month,” a fan told Zimbabwe Voice.
Zimbabwe face the Desert Foxes on November 12 and 16 in an empty National Sports Stadium in Harare. – Zimbabwe Voice ■