THE BOYS REMAIN, BUT OF COURSE, THE GLAMOUR IS GONE
IF Dynamos was a public company listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, the Glamour Boys’ value would have shed about half its value, in the past year, in a remarkable plunge that puts into focus the way things have gone off the rails.
Let’s take points earned, during the championship race, as a rough representative of value with the winners of the marathon being declared as the company that is the most profitable and which is in the best of health.
Last year, DeMbare finished the race with 70 points, only two points adrift of eventual winners FC Platinum, in what was celebrated as a huge leap in the right direction for the country’s biggest football club.
A number of their fans expected them to go one step better this year and capture the league title, a success story they last scripted four years ago under the guidance of Callisto Pasuwa .
That was during a golden period for them when they won four titles on the bounce.
But, it has been a nightmarish season for these Glamour Boys.
And, today, they find themselves battling the grim possibility that they could be relegated this season given they only sit three points off the danger zone with games fast running out.
A 0-3 humiliation at the hands of Highlanders at Barbourfields on Sunday was largely ignored, in a domestic football family whose focus was firmly on the events in Brazzaville, on the same day, where the Warriors picked a point in an AFCON qualifier against Congo.
But that humbling defeat, the worst they have suffered at the hands of their fierce rivals in living memory, spoke volumes of how these Glamour Boys, who some analysts dismiss as the worst Dynamos team of all-time, have lost their way.
And, at Rufaro yesterday, the crippling shortcomings that have stalked their adventure this season, where they have been short on quality and long on mediocrity, in which their inconsistency has been the only consistent theme, were crudely exposed.
Against a Chapungu side that has its own demons of fighting relegation, the fading Harare giants could not even get one serious shot on target throughout 90 minutes of sterility, in which they typically huffed and puffed with little dividend.
Back in the days when they were the dominant force in domestic football, when winning the league championship was a big part of their DNA, when Rufaro was the theatre of their dreams, they derived a lot of pride in their nickname as Glamour Boys. And, for a good reason, too. Dynamos represented purity in the game in this country, might not have played the game with a swagger but they were specialists in winning matches. Specialists in imposing themselves on the opposition and, at the end of the marathon, standing tall and proud as the champions.
Once, in a while, like all mortals, they would fail to win the league championship.
But, like true champions, like the dominant beast in the kraal and like the superpower that they were, back in those days when a trip to Rufaro for their opponents meant a tough examination, and possible humiliation for their opponents, DeMbare would bounce back.
Now and again, to reclaim the league championship.
But, things have changed, and the effigy they sent into battle at Barbourfields on Sunday, disguised as Dynamos, which they then paraded at Rufaro yesterday, disguised as the Glamour Boys, is an insult to their reputation.
For the first time in the history of this proud club, even using that nickname of Glamour Boys, which is representative of both beauty and quality, in reference to them, appears an insult to the English language given how far they have been misfiring of late.
In the past one year alone, Dynamos have lost a staggering 30 percent of their value, and their fans have been voting with their feet by staying away from their matches.
After 25 games last season, DeMbare had 53 points, within striking distance of the leaders and, after the same number of games this season, the Harare giants have 30 points — which means they have lost 23 points somewhere along the way.
They are just three points clear of the team that is occupying the last place in relegation trouble and, given the way they have been poor this season, it’s possible they could be staggering towards relegation at the end of the season.
Last year, after 25 games, they had won 16 matches and now, after the same number of matches, they have won just seven matches, less than half the number of games they had won at the same stage last season.
Last year, after 25 games, they had lost just four times and now, after the same number of matches, they have been beaten nine times, which is more than double the number of games they had lost at the same stage last year.
And, if you think that’s the worst part, then you are wrong.
So far, this season, DeMbare have the worst attack in the championship race and their return of 20 goals is the same as Bulawayo City in their league of infamy.
By this time last season, the Glamour Boys had scored 44 goals, which is more than twice the number of goals they have in their kitty right now.
If you think Shabanie have been struggling, which is certainly true, then spare a thought for these Glamour Boys because the Zvishavane miners, the poorest club in the league, have even scored more goals than DeMbare.
Even their defence has been poor and they have, at this stage of the campaign, conceded eight more goals than last season.
If we give Dynamos an extra bonus point, for every point they have gained in the championship race this year, the Harare giants will only get to 60 points and only one point better than FC Platinum. Surely, there can’t be a bigger humiliation than that.
If Dynamos and Chapungu combine their points tally, coming together as one united team in this championship race, they will still be behind FC Platinum in the championship race.
But, there is something that is even more humiliating.
If these Glamour Boys win their next four games, and CAPS United decide to go on holiday and donate points from their next four matches to their opponents, DeMbare will still not overtake the Green Machine in terms of points in the bag. It certainly can’t get any worse than this.
IT’S ALL GLOOMY . . . Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa and his son Panashe (right) start the long and lonely trip to the refuge of the dressing rooms after the Glamour Boys’ poor show against Chapungu in a Castle Lager Premiership match at Rufaro yesterday