When the 2006/2007 Mascom Premier league kicked-off, one team remained winless because of their wastefulness in front of goal. But the team was a marvel to watch as they tore opponents apart with their neat passing game. The side is none other than Gaborone United.
Normally, when a team performs like that, football master tacticians often say,” It’s a matter of time before the team starts winning matches.” In such cases, the coach cannot be blamed because he would have done his assignment of getting the team playing and creating chances. If the team’s best strikers fail to score, the coach should normally be exempted from blame.
To former Gaborone United coach, Stanley Mwaanga, it was not to be. The Zambian tactician got the “Money Machine” playing some attractive and attacking brand of football. Nothing came out of it because his strikers would often miss scoring chances even when faced with an empty net. He was unceremoniously sent packing from the team’s camp and he is currently jobless.
The GU management would do well in making a serious introspection before they hurl four-letter words at people.
One of the team’s players felt pity for Mwaanga as he was doing everything right. Word reaching Sunday Standard Sport through the grapevine has it that the player is due to face the music as the management felt he was undermining it’s authority.
The team management moved swiftly to entice Zimbabwean Luke Masomere to steer GU to dizzy heights. Guess what? GU these days is a sorry-sight. While they have not departed from their profligacy in front of goal, they have moved a step backwards, thus failing to play a traditional GU game of flowing football. The team’s midfielders have lately resorted to pumping balls up field with the hope that one of their foreign legionnaires, either Ronald Chikomo or Augustine Chanda, would collide with one such opportunity and score.
This type of play has proved difficult because, as a matter of fact, both Chanda and Chikomo are classy players who would prefer the balls played at their feet. Out of frustration, the duo has tended to drop back deep into midfield to collect loose balls and this has disturbed the shape of the format employed by the coach.
Perhaps what boggles the mind is that in former Wonder Sporting midfield dynamo, Mosalagae “City” Gaborone, and former Township Rollers kingpin, Tshepho “Schoolboy” Molefhe, GU boasts two of the country’s most creative midfielders.
GU fans obviously know what the duo can offer and, due to frustration, they have frequently cried, “City and Schoolboy are dead.”
In sum, GU has lost their loved, attractive and attacking style of play. They can hardly string four passes before the ball gets intercepted.
During their loss to a rejuvenated Lobtrans Gunners last week, GU was outplayed in all departments. Had it not been for the goalkeeping abilities of the ever-alert Kgosietsile Senjoba, the score line would have resembled that of a netball encounter.
Many are of the view that GU’s axeing of Mwaanga was ill timed, seeing that the team did not struggle creating opportunities.
Said Buti Tawele, a stauch GU diehard, “To these guys (GU players), even if you employ Jose Mourinho, they will not win as they are. They are very good players who are also the envy of many a team. I do not know what the problem is.”
Some attributed the team’s situation to witchcraft.
“These guys whom we elect in the team’s management fight for positions. Those who are ousted in posts get bitter and end up wishing the worst for the team,’ said Olebeng Mabotsa of Old Naledi, where the team is based.
Concurred Lesh Modikwa, also a GU fan, “Yes, this is pure boloi (witchcraft). The players are not themselves on match days. At training, they are always sparkling and you would not believe what you see on match days.”
Word reaching Sunday Standard Sport is that prior to the Gunners encounter, the coach had resolved to invite possible line-ups for the match from every stakeholder in the team, ranging from officials, players and supporters. Indeed, a sign of desperation for success.