Golden boot: Where are the strikers?

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Kudakwashe Musharu

CASTLE Lager Premier Soccer League coaches have attributed the little number of goals scored this season to modern football tactics and the lack of natural sharp shooters.

SUKOLUHLE MTHETHWA
SPORTS REPORTER

Highlanders midfielder Charles Sibanda and How Mine striker Kuda Musharu will share the golden boot $3 000 prize after finishing on 12 goals each.

Highlanders midfielder Charles Sibanda
Highlanders midfielder Charles Sibanda

It was down from Dynamos striker Roderick Mutuma who won the golden boot award in 2011 with 14 goals, FC Platinum forward Nelson Mazivisa who won the accolade after netting 18 goals in 2012, before ABSA Premier League side striker Tendai Ndoro got the same number of goals to win the award last year.

How Mine coach Luke Masomere said the country lacked players who are precise upfront.

“We do not have the quality of yesteryear,” he said.

“We can no longer rely on individual players to score goals. Goals are now spread across the team. If you look at a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, he will score even if his team loses 3-2. In Zimbabwe we don’t have sharp shooters or good finishers.

“The other reason is because coaches are now a step ahead — they are more tactical.

golden-boot
golden-boot

The game has changed.”

Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas attributed the problem to the modern type of play.

“Football is now modern and teams are taking a more defensive approach,” he said.

“Strikers are finding it tough because we have good quality defenders. The strikers are not converting chances that come their way.

Even the national team struggles because we don’t have strikers like Agent Sawu and the late Adam Ndlovu.”

Bosso gaffer Mark Mathe said: “The issue of strikers is very worrying. We used to see strikers scoring 23 or 25 goals, but now the numbers have dropped.

“This is not only in Zimbabwe, it is also happening in South Africa. That is why they have introduced a benchmark for players if they are to win an award.”

Mathe also conceded that football is revolving.

“Football is changing and teams now know how to defend, making it difficult for strikers to score willy nilly,” he said.

How Mine coach Luke Masomere
How Mine coach Luke Masomere

“Modern tactics emphasise compact on the defence. Midfielders should also score. We need to identify natural goal-scorers because sometimes as coaches we end up improvising by using midfielders.”

Bantu Rovers assistant coach Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu agreed with the notion football had changed.

“I think it’s in two ways,” he said.

“Football is now modern. Teams are now tactically aware. Coaches are always under pressure so most will say from the onset its better I defend so that I don’t concede any goals.

“It is our job as coaches to come up with good strategies as well. Sibanda and Musharu scored 12 goals each, but they can still get more goals.”

Strikers are finding it tough to emulate players like Zambian import Chewe Mulenga who netted 24 goals in 1999, Zenzo Moyo scored 22 goals in 2000 while former Chicken Inn striker Evans Chikwaikwai scored 23 goals while turning out for Njube Sundowns in 2008.