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BAD DEBTORS: Past sins catch up with Dynamos as US$10k player … – New

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By Darlington Gatsi

PAST transgressions seem to be catching up with Harare giants, Dynamos as they are entangled in a player debt conundrum with Aces Soccer Youth Academy being owed more than US$10 000 in arrears by the Premiership side.

Dynamos, in 2019 signed three players from Aces who were valued at USD$1 500 per player.

The Harare giants promised to settle the debt they owed to Aces in 2019 but failed to honour their end of the bargain.

With football bouncing back from Covid-19 induced hiatus Aces and Dynamos agreed to renew the contracts for another year with each player having increased in value of US$2 000.

Just like the previous year DeMbare failed to settle the transfer fee accumulating to US$10 000.

Aces are also infuriated with the silence over the arrears, with Dynamos illegally fielding Emmanuel Jalai in the current season without an agreement.

Falling into Aces’ debtors book is another Castle Lager Premier Soccer League side, Black Rhinos who have not honoured a transfer fee of Philip Gweva amounting to US$1 000.

Piling further misery on Aces is Harare City which has not settled a US$2 000 loan fee for Arthurnacius Jena.

The debts from the top clubs are proving to be cumbersome to the football hub that has produced some of the finest players in the county.

In a letter written by the academy gleaned by, Aces is seeking intervention of the mother body for the clubs to settle the transfer fees.

“Due to our Director’s being on the SRC Board, we have held back from taking legal action against these Clubs, but it has become obvious that they are taking advantage and abusing our goodwill.

“Besides, we believe that through these actions, they are contravening FIFA Club Licencing regulations. We hope that your intervention will bring closure and avoid the need to escalate,” read the letter.

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Misfiring strikers a big letdown – Bambo – The Herald

Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter

FORMER Zimbabwe international Moses Chunga says misfiring strikers are letting down the traditional giants Dynamos, CAPS United and Highlanders in their quest for turnaround this season.

The Big Three, as they are often referred to, started off the season on sound footing but they somehow appear to be losing the plot before the campaign has even reached the halfway stage.

Interestingly, the giants share common traits as they have been poor in front of goal, with their strikers the biggest culprits. It’s quite a paradox that they also have some of the best defences in the league.

Highlanders have conceded the least goals after letting in only three in 11 games while Makepekepe are the second best with only four goals conceded in 10 starts. Dynamos follow in third place with five goals in 11 games.

But the problem with the Big Three is they haven’t been scoring enough, especially in the last five games, which has seen them ceding considerable ground in the championship race.

Bosso have two goals in their last five outings, both coming in identical 1-1 draws with minnows Cranborne Bullets and against GreenFuel last Sunday at Barbourfields.

In total, the whole team has eight goals in 11 games. This is a poor run by any standards. But Bosso’s strikers, unlike the comatose DeMbare brigade, have at least shown signs of life with at least a goal apiece for Washington Navaya, Stanley Ngala and winger McKinnon Mushore this season.

Loanee winger Calvin Chigonero is the club’s top scorer with two goals, courtesy of a brace he scored in the 2-0 win over Yadah at the National Sports Stadium recently.

He is a distant away from the current top PSL leading scorer Fortune Binzi of Manica Diamonds who has so far bagged eight goals.

Bosso’s top goal scorer for last season, Lynoth Chikuhwa, has been a pale shadow of himself. He is yet to get off the mark, despite the big expectations that had been placed on him.

He even missed a good chance to pick himself up when he missed from the penalty spot in the goalless draw against Chicken Inn.

But the backline marshalled by goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, experienced pair of Peter Muduhwa as well as Mbongeni Ndlovu, wingbacks Andrew Mbeba and Archiford Faira has been watertight.

They have limited the danger to a goal in every 330 minutes, which translates to a goal in three-and-half games.

This is probably the reason Bosso have remained the only unbeaten team this season and managed to stay in second place, behind Ngezi Platinum Stars.

But the worrying fact is they have played the most draws this season — seven in 11 games.

DeMbare have also featured in many draws — six and winning only three games from 11 is not good enough for the Harare giants.

It all comes back to poor finishing. They have 10 goals in 11 starts and it does not reflect well on the investment put in by the Glamour Boys when beefing up their squad during the pre-season.

Jayden Bakare and Ghanaian Emmanuel Paga are the only strikers that have scored for Dynamos this season while Tinashe Makanda, Eli Ilunga, Tendai Matindife, and Nyasha Chintuli have all fired blanks.

Injured defender Frank Makarati, with two goals to his name, is the Glamour Boys’ leading scorer after 11 games. DeMbare have scored just one goal in their last five outings.

Dynamos legend Chunga is worried by the poor conversion rate and told The Herald the current crop of players at the traditional giants lacked ambition and do not have a big player mentality.

“Barren spells are common in football but if you look at the trends, it’s no longer a spell. It’s more of a worrying situation when players that are being paid to score are not delivering on their mandate.

“To be honest, I think some of the guys playing for these big teams are not good enough. If you cannot motivate yourself when you play for a big team like Dynamos, then you are not a big team player. You are below average and you don’t belong there.

“During our days, I would personally 0challenge myself if it happened that I didn’t score in two or three games. To go for longer than that, I would feel I wasn’t the Moses Chunga that I wanted to be and the Moses Chunga that people wanted to see.

“So I had to push myself, and so did the other players back then. But here we have strikers going 11 games no goal and it looks normal for them.

“I remember, in one season I played 26 games and scored 46 goals. Right now you can count 32 games played so far between the three giants — Dynamos, CAPS United and Highlanders — and they are nowhere near that figure (with 26 goals between them in a combined 32 games).

“The missing link is the lack of proper development from the grassroots. These guys sometimes lack the basics, which are taught at a young age and then nurtured through different stages until one develops into a complete player,” said Chunga.

Dynamos have one goal in the last five games, which they scored last Sunday in the 1-2 defeat to Ngezi Platinum Stars at Baobab. This was their first goal at the venue since 2016 when the platinum miners were promoted.

Before the trip to Ngezi, Dynamos had featured in four barren draws against Triangle, Herentals, Manica Diamonds and Highlanders, in succession.

Chunga wants the current crop of players to emulate the yesteryear greats who used to light up the stage especially in the big games.

The Dynamos legend boasts of a landmark feat of scoring 46 goals in a season during the 1986 campaign, something which is yet to be matched by any player in post-independence Zimbabwe.

That impressive goal-scoring record, in the year that Chunga was also crowned the Soccer Star of the Year, was characterised by 10 double strikes and three hat-tricks.

“Fans have big expectations for these players at these big teams; that is why they respond with power when a person like Denver Mukamba waves to psyche them up during a game.

“But that alone is not enough because it’s not the supporters who score the goals. It’s the players, they have to do just that and win games.

“When the goals don’t come as expected, that is when the supporters end up looking for scapegoats and they find them in the referees.

“Of course they (referees) do make their mistakes but the real issue is fans are not getting the value for their money from the people they put their trust in, hence the frustrations and anger.

“At the end they bark the wrong tree by attacking referees like what happened in some matches recently. Violence, however, has no place in football,” said Chunga.

CAPS United supporters caused mayhem at the National Sports Stadium last Sunday after their team was held to a 1-1 draw by new boys Simba Bhora.

Makepekepe’s finishing is also a cause for concern, with just eight goals in 10 matches. Just like Highlanders, they also have two goals from the last five matches.

William Manondo, who was the Golden Boot winner last year with 17 goals, has made a slow start. He scored his third goal last Sunday in the drawn game against Simba Bhora.

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Pakistan’s three captains have changed for the ODI series against … – YouTube

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Who can stop Man City? Challengers need big offseason to set up … – New

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By Associated Press

Who can stop Manchester City?

That’s the question being asked at the end of another Premier League campaign when Pep Guardiola’s team proved too strong, winning the title for a fifth time in six years.

A look at who might be best-placed to bring down City next season:

ARSENAL (2nd place)

Juggling another run at the title with the demands of playing in the Champions League looks to be Arsenal’s biggest problem. Squad depth became a growing issue at the end of this season — look at the collapse in the defensive stats following the injury to center back William Saliba, for example — and it will be even more stark when the team has to play high-level games twice a week. Reinforcements at left back, center back and central midfield are needed, especially if Granit Xhaka leaves. However, Mikel Arteta’s squad — the youngest in the Premier League — will be better for the experience of going toe to toe with City before eventually falling short. “We understand where the level is,” Arteta said. “If we want to be the real deal, we can’t be happy with what we have, and we have to be next season much better. I think we have some great foundations, that is true but in sport you have to prove it again.”

MAN UNITED (3rd place)

In Erik ten Hag, United appears to finally have the manager to build a longer-term project after he led the team back into the Champions League as well as into two domestic cup finals. The Dutchman will need further backing in the transfer market, though, which is why it’s crucial that the sale of the club goes through sooner rather than later. The Glazer family is currently weighing up offers from Qatari banker Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, though could yet stay in control and get external investment. Amid the uncertainty, Ten Hag gave a warning on Sunday after United’s final league game. “The club knows if you want to play top four and compete for trophies in this league, then you have to invest,” he said. “Otherwise you don’t have a chance, because other clubs will.” Top of the list of requirements is a striker, with England captain Harry Kane a potential option now that he has just one year left on his Tottenham contract.

NEWCASTLE (4th place)

Newcastle has arrived and, given that the Saudi-controlled northeast team has the wealthiest owners in world soccer, it is probably here to stay. Will this summer see the club really flex its financial muscles for the first time since the 2021 takeover, having spent sensibly rather than lavishly in the intervening 20 months? The likes of Callum Wilson, Dan Burn, Miguel Almiron, Jacob Murphy and Joe Willock have been dependable squad members this season as Newcastle secured a return to the Champions League for the first time in 20 years, but they might be unsure of their futures if the Saudi ownership want to bring in some higher-profile names, which it can afford. Central midfield and wide forwards are areas that needs to be strengthened. The likelihood for the foreseeable future is that Man City and Newcastle will occupy two of the four Champions League qualification spots.

LIVERPOOL (5th place)

A strong end to the season saw Liverpool go unbeaten for its final 11 games and was a sign that Jurgen Klopp might have found a formula that can drive another title push. Trent Alexander-Arnold looks at home in his new hybrid defender-midfielder role, Cody Gakpo appears a natural replacement for Roberto Firmino in the deep-lying striker role and the promise of strengthening in central midfield with younger, fresher legs should address the team’s biggest weakness. However, the big question remains: by not qualifying for the Champions League, will Liverpool be able to attract the type of quality players needed to challenge Man City? Jude Bellingham has been a long-term target, for example, but is likely to choose a team in the Champions League. Alexis Mac Allister of Brighton might prove to be a more realistic option.

CHELSEA (12th place)

Chelsea is the great unknown because who really knows what its American owners will do next? Having spent more than $600 million on players in their first two transfer windows in charge, will Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital go big again this offseason after an unacceptable 12th-place finish? They may not even afford to do that, with the priority likely being trimming a large squad to adhere to financial regulations and give incoming manager Mauricio Pochettino a tighter group of players to work with. Romelu Lukaku’s return from a loan spell at Inter Milan gives Chelsea another option up front, while the futures of midfielders Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic are uncertain amid the rebuild.

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