6 February 2017
DYNAMOS coach Lloyd Mutasa was forced to wield the axe to create a better environment for star player Denver Mukamba, assistant coach Murape Murape and the young players.
The victims were Sydney Linyama, Stephen Alimenda, Rodreck Mutuma and Jacob Muzokomba, as revealed in the past weeks.
Although Mutasa is adamant that the decision to axe the senior players was reached after considering many factors, H-Metro understands that the negative influence was key factor.
“The decision not to retain those players was reached after considering other issues like age, issue of injuries, their capability, discipline and commitment to work.
“However, for Denver it is also time to prove everyone wrong because we do not know who was influencing who, if at all they were influencing each other negatively. He must show what he is made of because we do not doubt his talent while Murape must move to another level,” Mutasa said.
It is believed the negative influence from the rejects made Mukamba’s revival, after return from South Africa, mission impossible.
The same characters were also accused of undermining Murape’s authority, something that left the young assistant coach preoccupied with other battles other than that of assisting the coach.
Youngsters, the sources say, were not spared in what became a toxic environment that led to a disastrous 2016 season.
Mutasa, who has now received the backing of club president Kenny Mubaiwa, has since challenged Mukamba to rise up again while encouraging his assistant Murape to quickly grow up and assume a fatherly role at the club.
“I cannot say by removing some of these senior players, we were creating an enabling environment for Denver as such because you can never know who was influencing who as I have said,” Mutasa added.
On Murape, he said:
“For someone who was still learning the ropes, I must say the conditions were difficult for him. I think as we go into this season, it is time he totally grows from being a player to a coach. We are all there to give him all the support and I believe he should assume a fatherly role to all players regardless of the challenges.”
Mutasa is not known much for being tough on players, something that most football analysts say is his greatest weakness in his quest to be successful.
The latest episode has however, shown his ruthless side.
“Yes, in life you should show some patience and tolerance but I believe there comes a time when you cannot tolerate a situation anymore.
“How can you explain a situation whereby a player comes to training for two weeks and decide to give an excuse for the other two weeks? And he decides when he wants to come and play for the team.
“It passes the wrong message to the young players and it discourages the entire team. That you cannot tolerate,” said Mutasa.
“And then a player decides to show what he is capable of on match day and the fans are happy with him. Then, when it comes to training, he just does not put effort because he knows the fans love him. That again, disrupts the team.
“My belief is that you only play as good as you train. If you are not working at training, you cannot expect preferential treatment. The work ethic is very important to us as a team.”
The former FC Platinum coach says they could not tolerate going into the season, further revealing why they had to wield the axe.
Other observers had pointed that the players they axed where not the worst in terms of performance.
“We believe even the way that a player relates to our leadership, says a lot about his contribution to the club.
“How you talk to the management, to the coaches and everyone around you, defines what we are as an institution.
“You may have a player there you think is good enough to play for the club but if he cannot be a positive influence or have a certain level of respect for others, we are not building anything,” he said.
“I expect a player like Masimba Mambare to try and help young Musa Madhiri grow because they play the same position. That is very important for us if senior players can have such a relationship with the youngsters. We respect you more as a player for that.
“We are impressed by the way players like Mambare, Ocean Mushure and Obey Mwerahari conduct their business. They are positive influence to the other players and we expect them to be that way going into the new season. It is not always about talent but how a player influences the next player.”
Mutasa added that they cannot however generalize when it comes to players they axed.
“As I said the reasons are not the same but when we decided, we took into consideration many things to do with what we think can be a successful future for us,” he said.