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Brito's selection cast doubts on the Warriors ambitions

by Staff reporter
03 Nov 2023 at 05:38hrs | Views
THE decision by interim coach, Baltemar Brito to include untested and largely inactive foreign-based youngsters for the crucial 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Rwanda and Nigeria in Kigali this month has cast doubts on the Warriors ambitions.

Zimbabwe face Rwanda on November 15 and then host Nigeria four days later with both matches set for Huye Stadium in Kigali, marking an official return to international football after a Fifa ban.

Out of the 28 players called up, 20 are based abroad with Brito preferring them to locally based players who have been in domestic Castle Lager Premiership and Chibuku Super Cup action since March.

What is worrying is that a number of them are not even regulars at their foreign bases, including those in Under 21 teams in the UK.

In an exclusive interview with Zimpapers Sports on Wednesday, Brito said his selection was in the best interests of the country.

However, more interesting was the claim that they made their selection based on the competitiveness and minutes the preferred players have had to date.

Here is a look at how the foreign-based members of the Warriors have fared at their respective clubs so far this season:

GOALKEEPERS

1) WASHINGTON ARUBI

The 38-year-old Washington Arubi has 0 appearances in the DStv Premiership for SuperSport United this season with Stuart Ricardo Goss the preferred choice in all 10 matches so far.

Despite conceding nine goals in 10 matches, Goss boasts of four clean sheets.

Arubi made two appearances in the CAF Confederation Cup against Botswana's Gaborone United in September.

He also featured in the MTN Super 8 quarter-final against Stellenbosch, losing 0-1 after extra time.

So since joining SuperSport United on July 19 on a one-year contract, Arubi has played a total of THREE matches in THREE months.

2) MARTIN MAPISA

The 25-year-old goalkeeper has played just 90 minutes for his side Malaga City in the Tercera Division, a FIFTH-TIER league in Spain. Mapisa has played one game out of eight so far this season, a 0-0 draw at home to Torreperogil on Sunday.

Until Sunday, Mapisa had not played this season.

3) MARLEY TAVAZIVA

Marley Tavaziva joined Brentford B on a two-year scholarship in the summer of 2022. Brentford have him as an English citizen on their official website as well as the Premier League site. He currently has 0 appearances for this season in the Premier League.

DEFENDERS

4) TENDAYI DARIKWA

The 31-year-old Darikwa has started in all nine matches for second placed Apollon Limassol in the Cyprus top league. He has a goal and three yellow cards to his name.

5) MUNASHE GARAN'ANGA

The 22-year-old centre-back has featured in six matches out of 10 for Sheriff Tiraspol in the Moldovan Super Liga so far this season.

He featured in four Uefa Champions League qualifying matches and three in the Europa League and substituted once.

In total he has featured in 13 matches for Sheriff Tiraspol this season.

6) BRENDAN GALLOWAY

The 27-year-old left-back has NOT featured for Plymouth Argyle so far this season in which the club has played 14 matches in the Championship so far in the 2023/2024 campaign.

He is a victim of a long-term hamstring injury while Plymouth manager Steven Schumacher revealed last week that Galloway was close to returning to full training.

The last time that Galloway featured in the league was way back on April 18 (2022/23 season) when Plymouth Argyle beat Shrewsbury Town 2-1, lasting 45 minutes.

7) JORDAN ZEMURA

The 23-year-old left-back has started in just one of Udinese's nine Italian Serie A matches but has been part of another eight as a second half substitute for a cumulative 229 minutes.

Zemura made it to the starting XI on Sunday and played the opening 62, his longest spell, in the 1-1 draw against Monza.

He made history when he became the first Zimbabwean footballer to play in the Italian Serie A in August after a spell at English Premiership side, Bournemouth.

8) TIVONGE RUSHESHA

The 21-year-old joined Reading in the English third tier, League One on an initial one-year contract, with an option for a year extension, after being heavily involved in our preparations ahead of the start of the 2023-24 season. He is listed as a Welsh national although born in Zimbabwe.

He has made seven appearances out of their 14 league matches so far, making four starts and 336 minutes cumulatively and contributing one assist. Reading are bottom of the 24-team log.

9) TEENAGE HADEBE

Teenage Hadebe has featured in 12 MLS games for Houston Dynamo, which is 35% of the team's matches in the season. He managed one goal. The season was hampered by injury as he underwent surgery in May, side-lining him until September.

MIDFIELDERS

10) MARSHAL MUNETSI

Marshall Munetsi has so far played in every match for Stade de Reims in the French Ligue 1 in the current season.

The 27-year-old midfielder has played for 801 minutes in the 10 matches of which he started in nine and was as a substitute in one.

Munetsi is among the top performers in the French Ligue 1 so far this season and currently lies third on the assists chart with three and has also scored two goals for a goal involvement of five while a yellow card is also on his record.

11) MARVELLOUS NAKAMBA

The 29-year-old Nakamba has featured in ALL 10 matches for Luton Town in the English Premier League and was substituted for the first time on Sunday against his former side, Aston Villa. He has three yellow cards so far in the campaign.

Nakamba is currently second on the Premier League's tackles chart with 37 while Fulham's Portuguese star Joao Palhinha leads the chart with 45.

12) TINO KADEWERE

The 27-year-old Tino Kadewere has so far played a total of 125 minutes in four matches that he has featured for Olympique Lyonnais in the French Ligue 1.

He was included in the starting XI in only one of the four games with his last appearance for Lyon coming on October 1 against Munetsi's Reims. He played 22 minutes as they suffered a 0-2 loss. He is yet to find the target this season. He is listed among strikers for the Warriors.

13) ANDY RINOMHOTA

The 26-year-old midfielder has not been involved much in Cardiff City's Championship matches in the 2023/2024 season.

In fact, he has played just 12 minutes in one appearance where he was a substitute way back on August 6 in a season opener against Leeds United. Cardiff have since played 13 Championship matches without Rinomhota but he has been deemed good enough for the Warriors.

14) ISAAC MABAYA

The 19-year-old is in the Liverpool Under 21 squad and has played in three matches out of seven of the 2023-24 English Premier League 2 Division 1.

15) GERALD TAKWARA

The 29-year-old former FC Platinum midfielder, who is being used as a centre-back, has played in all seven for in the Yelo League, a second tier league in the Saudi Arabia. He started in five matches while being introduced as a substitute in the other two.

STRIKERS

16) PRINCE DUBE

The former Highlanders forward has three goals for third-placed Azam, who have so far played eight games in the Tanzanian top league's 2023/24 season.

Jean Baleke of Young Africans is the current tops-corer with six goals. Dube's game time could not be immediately established.

17) TERRENCE DZVUKAMANJA

The 29-year-old Dzvukamanja has featured in a combined 14 appearances for SuperSport United in the South Africa Premiership side's league and cup commitments since joining them from Orlando Pirates in the off season.

He has so far scored three goals, two of them in 10 DStv Premiership matches.

18) ADMIRAL MUSKWE

The 25-year-old Admiral Muskwe has made five appearances, three of them as a substitute, for Exeter City in the English League One. He has played for 225 minutes in total and is yet to find the target.

He played 60 minutes in Tuesday's 2-3 defeat against Middlesbrough in the League Cup.

19) LEON CHIWOME

The 17-year-old Leon Chiwome has so far made just two appearances in the Premier League 2 Division One out of the seven played by the Wolves Under 21.

20) TAWANDA MASWANHISE

The 20-year-old winger has made four appearances for Leicester City's Under-21s in the Reserve League, scoring one goal and playing a cumulative 286 minutes.

His only goal was in the 2-3 loss against Norwich on September 2 while his last appearance was for 45 minutes in a 1-3 loss to Middlesbrough on September 25. Maswanhise also played the one game in the EFL Cup, featuring in the last 23 minutes of a 1-7 demolition at Wigan Athletic.

Source - The Herald