ON Wednesday this week, Simba had an edge over their arch rivals, Young Africans when they lifted the Community Shield through spot-kicks after registering a goalless draw by the end of the 90 minutes regulation time.
Soccer fans from both sides were treated to a classic match, much as Simba miserably failed to live up to what their fans had told whoever had cared to listen to them in the last one or two weeks about their planned ‘massacre’ of their arch soccer rivals.
As it finally turned out, the game had to be decided through spot-kicks, a clear testimony that both teams need to go back to the drawing board to work out on their scoring problems.
One of my avid readers, former international and Simba’s right fullback, Daudi Salum, faulted Simba’s coach on his former club’s failure to win the match within 90 minutes regulation time.
Let me give him space to say what he told me over the phone on Thursday, this week. “Simba’s failure to win within the 90 minutes regulation time can be attributed to the fact that they did not play as a team. Throughout the match, it was nothing, but a show of individual skills…they were literally playing to the gallery, and that ultimately robbed them victory.
Personally, I blame the coach. I ask myself, what were they doing in South Africa and later in Zanzibar? The coach should have forged team work which could have given them a sense of purpose, which is nothing but scoring goals.
It is a pity that after spending so much money in buying players, what the fans are treated to are players’ individual skills. Daudi Salum later reminded me what they used to say during our good, old days, chenga twawala lakini twafungwa siye.”
This can be translated as, we are successfully dribbling through them, but we are losing the match. Daudi Salum quoted a former Simba coach as saying Simba would register a hat-trick (score three goals through one player).
According to Daudi, the for mer Simba coach said Young Africans were going to be inflicted with ‘tsunami goals,’ meaning that apart from goals scored by other players, there would be one hat-trick.
“I really don’t know what forced this coach to say what he said,” Daudi adding, “probably he wanted to be closer to the present Simba leadership.” Daudi Salum, who during his days was popularly known to his fans as Bruce Lee, given the manner with which he took on his opponents on the pitch, stressed the need for the coach to concentrate on team work.
He singled out Haruna Ni yonzima for playing well, but criticised him for the same problem, show-casing of individual skills. Personally, I saw the match quite different from Daudi Salum in that Simba were lucky to have won through spot kicks!
In fact, they should thank their stars that their arch rivals had, a few weeks back, sold their dependable winger, Simon Msuva, to a Moroccan club. Had Msuva been around, I don’t think Simba would have survived during the regulation time.
Msuva’s absence gave us a sense of how blunt the present Young Africans’ forward line is. However, much as they were blunt as far as their forward line was concerned, they managed to tame Simba strikers.
In fact, it was clear from the match that the Young Africans technical bench had worked on their team to ensure that they contained Simba. They knew that Simba had registered better players, including their former dependable midfield maestro, the Rwandan national team’s skipper, Niyonzima.
And, because Yanga knew how strong, in terms of collection of players, their rivals were, they worked on their team to ensure that they did not concede any goal. For instance, Emanuel Okwi was nowhere to be seen and so were other strikers like Shiza Kichuya.
Simba’s failure to win the match within the regulation time, should now serve as a major lesson to Tanzanians that matches are won through hard work, coupled with team work. If hard work is not effectively combined with team work, the ultimate result is failure and that is what almost happened on Wednesday.
To Simba team and the management, what transpired on Wednesday should serve as a rude awakening that their technical bench will need to work hard on the team. That simply splashing out money around is not going to bring them success.
Agreed, Simba have a collection of very good players. But the players now need to be forged into team work. Their fans are not interested in seeing their individual skills because they already know how talented they are.
In fact, that is why the players were registered by the club for this season in the first place. Young Africans have however, a different problem. They need to work on their strikers, now that Simon Msuva is not around.