Muchambo wants some love

HARARE - There were times Jorum Muchambo contemplated quitting football last season as the criticism simply refused to die down despite his commendable performances in goal for CAPS United.

Goalkeepers have the most difficult job in world football. Infield players can miss endless chances down the other end but will be forgiven by fans.

However, for a player between the sticks, making a single mistake can prove catastrophic.

With Edmore Sibanda out injured for the first half of the season, Muchambo was the United’s first choice keeper but the team’s fans never really welcomed the decision.

Although he went on to put in decent performances, the former Chapungu and Monomotapa keeper was made the scapegoat every time Makepekepe failed to pick up maximum points.

Muchambo is the first to admit that he made mistakes which led to United conceding goals in some high profile matches during their march to the 2016 Castle Premiership title but he feels at times the scrutiny on his game got personal.

“Whenever you do something good, there will always be some people who will have something negative to say no matter what,” Muchambo told the Daily News on Sunday during Makepeke’s awards ceremony on Thursday night in the capital.

“I used those negative comments and turned them into positives by telling myself I needed to improve my game to silence the doubters.”

Footballers are human beings after all, a fact which fans and the media seem to forget.

Although Muchambo tried to block out the criticism, at the end of the day the message would reach home.

“You get to a point when it really starts to affect you in a bad way and the criticism turns to hate. Even some things I read in the media are totally baseless and at times unfair,” he said.

“I’m not saying the fans and the media should not criticise me but you need to use facts and not just make personal attacks.

“At times, I would ask myself if I should keep on playing football if people are only seeing my mistakes but keep quiet when I do well.”

Muchambo points to his statistics from the just-ended season to back up his argument.

“I played in 18 matches out 30 in the league last season and in those matches, we only lost once against How Mine 2-1 in Bulawayo,” he said.

“At the same time the team won 10 of those matches and I kept 11 clean sheets. It is a very good record but everyone seems to forget about those stats when discussing my performances.”

The 32-year-old gives credit to the strong character instilled in him when he used to be in the uniformed forces during his Chapungu days.

“What kept me going is the strong mind I developed whilst I was still a soldier. When you join the Air Force, you come across many difficult circumstances that you must overcome,” he said.

“I had to dig deep and summon the inner soldier in me to make sure I remained focused on improving my game.”

When Sibanda returned for the second half of the season, Muchambo was relegated to the bench but he reckons he is ready to fight for his place in 2017.

“I enjoy a very good relationship with Eddie. We used to play together at Chapungu and when he returned to CAPS United, he was the first person to encourage me to work hard,” he said.

“The only edge he has over me is that he has more experience due to his time with the national team but I will keep on working hard until I get another chance.”  

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