When Dynamos lost 1-nil to Chicken Inn in the season opener, everyone said the Innscor Africa owned team has become one of their bogey sides.
Parallels to the past when Dynamos failed to win not just its first match but the first five and then went on to lift the title, were immediately drawn.
But when DeMbare squandered a 3-0 lead at the 72nd minute to eventually share the spoils with probably the Castle Lager Premier League’s poorest team, Shabani Mine, neutrals could tell the team lacked quality players and not a coach.
Interim Dynamos coach Biggie Zuze, who is already feeling the heat from the demanding fans after a few games in charge since the demotion of former coach Lloyd Mutasa, has seen that reality.
Senior players largely boycotted the pre-season training, which included the ZNA Charity Shield, demanding that their salaries and arrears on signing-on fees be paid.
Instead of frantically trying to resolve the issue, Dynamos management remained mum, resulting in then coach, Mutasa, fielding unheralded players they had just recruited after marathon trials.
Given that some of the team’s players such as Masimba Mambare and Denver Mukamba, had either left or were facing disciplinary issues, the onus was on management to get into the market and shop for quality replacements.
However, for a team that has been relying on “making the best from available resources” in the past seasons when the rest of the teams were mediocre, Dynamos has found the going tougher against well-heeled platinum miners-backed sides Ngezi and FC Platinum.
Old adversary, Highlanders, went back to the basics and roped in Madinda Ndlovu who understands the politics of the team while management has largely gone professional, and the results are trickling in.
But for Dynamos, which claims to have seven million supporters, finds itself in unfamiliar territory — the bottom half of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League log standings.
Dynamos is on 11th place after amassing 14 points from 14 games. This implies the team has been getting an average of one point per game.
To put into perspective DeMbare’s struggles so far this season, the league has 18 teams and the bottom side, Bulawayo City — which is in its first season — has 10 points from as many games.
Additionally, Dynamos shares the same number of points with Yadah FC while newcomers Nichrut is a point shy of the 1998 African Champions League runners-up.
Bulawayo Chiefs and Shabani Mine are two points adrift of DeMbare while Mutare City Rovers are three points behind.
The statistics are a cause for major concern among Dynamos supporters, who at one point resolved to boycott the team’s games until it started winning.
After chalking one win following Mutasa’s sacking, Dynamos fans have been going back to the stadiums to watch their favourite side, but after last Sunday’s drab 0-0 draw with Yadah FC, demonstrations have resumed as the supporters want management led by Kenny Mubaiwa to step down.
Zuze stoked the flames against management recently after Dynamos’ clinical mauling by defending champions FC Platinum, saying the team is failing to attract quality players.
“You can see the way the Platinums (Ngezi and FC Platinum) have invested into their players. They can be able to attract very good players because they are investing in them.
“But for us, we have a big problem which needs everyone in the family of Dynamos to come and give support wherever is needed because that is where we are failing. We are not investing in the players.
“FC Platinum have quality players in every department, good and motivated players. And for us, we have youngsters who are still learning, and I feel we need a good utility player in the squad who can give the youngsters the motivation because we are lacking somewhere, somehow there,” said Zuze.
Zuze explained that players require financial “motivation” to do well. Currently, DeMbare owes its players some money, making it difficult for the coaching department to motivate the team “because they start to think about last year when they won the most games in the league, but they were not paid some monies for that.”
DeMbare does not have a decent record of attracting top players in the recent past, even during Callisto Pasuwa’s era which ended in four consecutive league titles.
Players have been signed on one or two year contracts, paving the way for most of them to leave at the end of their contracts to seek greener pastures.
The current high-riding Ngezi is made of largely Dynamos first team players who left in frustration.