(Last Updated on January 8, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
by Donald Muza
FC Platinum fall at the big stage
FC Platinum left Zimbabwe to play Simba Football Club with a less convincing lead of 1-0 aggregate. It may have been just enough motivation for their opposition who managed to put two goals in the second half additional four minutes to make it 4-0 at the end of both intervals.
It had been a rollercoaster for the Platinum boys and just when it looked most likely to see them go all the way, they have fallen. FC Platinum has proved capable at national level having dominated alongside Ngezi Platinum.
They have won and proved worthy of being champions but perhaps it is time they turned their eyes on the bigger stages. It will take more than just desire to play and win at the big stages.
An extensive scouting system is in need for the club of choice. This will bring in quality and depth to match the demands of the Champions League, a league that comprises of the elite players in Africa.
The selling and loaning of players abroad should also become of mandate to the club. This will enrich players’ development and provide more funds to bring in the technology required for data analysis, player performance analysis and psychologists.
It is a matter of quality at the stage they continue to fall at and with the talent around the club, these factors will bring silverware with.
The end to traditional strikers’ rule
Football has been greatly nourished by traditional strikers like Pele, Giroud, Peter Ndlovu, Kane and Mwaruwari to name but a few.
The trend of traditional strikers leading the line is slowly coming to an end. Football has seen the development of versatile frontline players, players who suit the formation and structure rather than the formation suiting the striker.
This has seen the reliance on wingers and attacking midfielders more than strikers. Liverpool’s frontline is led by Firmino who goes for more than 5 games without a goal to suit a structure of play that enables Salah and Mane to score more often.
While five decades ago this would have been bizarre, it has taken its toll today. Manchester United risks leaving Ighalo and Cavani on the bench to start Martial in order to bring an inter changing frontline play.
Manchester City is slowly blossoming under a false nine structure of play that gives their attacking midfielder a free role. This development has also seen Messi and Ronaldo break goal records set by Pele while playing as wingers.
The football stage has also seen more players evolve and impact off the wings like Neymar, Billiat, Kadewere and Mbappe as opposed to strikers of date.
While this change impacts more, traditional strikers will be impacting less. However a solid stature of one (striker) will forever be a necessity in the box. It will be interesting to see how strikers pose in the decade to come.
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