Mutuma defies critics

HARARE - Defending Castle Premiership champions Dynamos laboured to beat Motor Action on Sunday, but they had Rodreck Mutuma’s first half header to thank for the precious three points.

Mutuma has dramatically fallen out of favour with the DeMbare fans this season.

The same fans, who worshipped the ground he walked on last season, have surprisingly turned against “The Prince”, booing the 2011 Golden Boot winner each time he has possession.

It is hard to understand where the love was lost between the Glamour Boys faithful and the ginger-haired forward when one takes into consideration that last season Mutuma found the back of the net 14
times in the league to finish as the country’s deadliest striker.

He has already scored eight times this term, just five shy of last year’s tally and with eight games still remaining.

What this means is Mutuma only requires a strike rate of 0,75 goals per game to equal or even better his record of last season.

But football fans are hard-to-please, a fact any footballer must take in his stride.

Even a great player is only as good as his last game, and as Mutuma is finding out this season, it’s easier to get to the top than to stay there.

The season has been an indifferent one for the tall striker, who lived under the shadow of Takesure Chinyama before his move to South African giants Orlando Pirates.

The emergence of Farai Mupasiri on the scene has also meant Mutuma is no longer the revered forward at the popular club.

Despite all this, the former Sporting Manhenga man still enjoys the support of the most important person in his career so far — Dynamos coach Calisto Pasuwa.

Pasuwa sees the value Mutuma brings to the side and has continued to give him game time despite the constant criticism coming from the terraces.

At the weekend, the forward was by far the best player on show for the defending champions on an afternoon most Dynamos regulars were clearly below their best.

Mutuma not only scored the solitary goal that handed DeMbare the all-important three points, but he also led the frontline well alongside Martin Vengesayi.

The headed goal against Motor Action was Mutuma’s eighth goal of the season.

Although it is still a far cry from Shabanie Mine striker Nelson Maziwisa’s current tally of 15, Sunday’s goal was a confidence-booster for the Dynamos forward.

“My job is to score goals and it doesn’t matter who I score against.

“I’m paid to score goals and that is what I do,” Mutuma told reporters after the game.

“When I saw Denver (Mukamba) making the run with the ball towards the corner, I knew I had to get in position inside the box.

“This is what we have been doing all week long at training and I knew he was going to cross the ball into the box. The coaches have been telling us that whenever Denver goes wide the strikers must make the run into the box and today it paid off for us.”

It is still some eight games to go before the season ends, and if Dynamos are to retain their title this season, Mutuma will be an integral part of their plans despite the discontent amongst the fans.

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