WARRIORS coach Zdravko Logarusic is in danger of falling into the same old trap many a foreign coaches fall into when they come to Africa – preaching to the choir.
Coaches that come to the continent from Europe seem to have the belief that theirs is a mission to make us have a football Damascene moment.
And Loga is beginning to show traits of being a self-anointed messiah.
The Croat finally made his bow away in Malawi on Sunday, overseeing a drab goalless draw against The Flames before coming out to say he was quite surprised by just how good the hosts were.
“I am happy with the result because we just had one training session together. I think five of the players did not train with the team. They just came in from different areas.
“This is good for me as long as we don’t get injuries. Secondly, it allowed me to see some things about our team and thirdly Malawi surprised me because they are much stronger than I expected,” said Loga after the affair with Malawi.
And he wasn’t done.
The new Warriors gaffer chose the aftermath of that match to also lecture us about how football must be played.
“African supporters love the passing game, quick passes and quick moves but I don’t want Zimbabwe to be just a passing team,” Loga is quoted as saying by Soccer24Zimbabwe.
“Let’s be versatile; If we need quick passes let’s make them, if we need quick counter attack, then so be it. During the Malawi game, the players were not fit, so we made more passes and less running for the ball to do the running and not the players.
“I’m very optimistic and convinced that with the talent at our disposal, we can do it. We will do everything we have to do to put smiles on the people of Zimbabwe,” added the Warriors coach.
Logarusic, Logarusic, Logarusic!
How many times have I called thy name?
Man you really have some nerve.
Maybe, just maybe, I am reading the gaffer wrong but Logarusic is slowly but carefully painting himself as the man who has been dispatched by the football gods to bring light to these isles.
However, interactions with lads who made the trip to Malawi make me believe that I am not very far away from the truth.
Soccer players by their nature always compare coaches, they run the ruler on a new gaffer based on his drills and team talk within the shortest period of time.
And once they do that they shape their opinion and attitude of the man – or woman – in charge.
“Amana coach wenyu bho here? (Guys is this coach the right person from this job?),” was the question most Warriors players asked themselves after their first encounter with Logarusic.
The Malawi game was Loga’s chance to hook the Zimbabwean players and have them on hallo forever.
But instead of charming his way into their hearts the Warriors coach bragged about being from the same country as Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.
Loga bamboozled the lads with weird instructions that became even weirder when he attempted to use the tactical board for illustration.
Given the shambolic manner in which Zimbabwe prepared for that sparring match against Malawi very few people expected fireworks from a hastily assembled team that also featured a couple of potbelly popping players led by one Tafadzwa “Fire” Rusike.
Given the way players such as Marvellous Nakamba and Teenage Hadebe patrolled Harare night clubs when they were supposed to be in camp there was no way one would have expected a swashbuckling show in Blantyre.
However, the way the team looked uninspired and shapeless, the body language of Loga’s assistants – Lloyd Chitembwe and Tonderai Ndiraya and the general vibe that came out of the camp there is every reason to worry that at US$7000 a month Loga will turn to be a very expensive gamble.
It’s Gold Again!