THE BOYS RE­MAIN, BUT OF COURSE, THE GLAM­OUR IS GONE

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Rob­son Sharuko Se­nior Sports Editor

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

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