The pressure and interest that is being piled on Gabadinho Mhango is scaring me.
Even more after Gaba, the assassin, struck twice Mighty Wanderers into submission in Sunday’s Blantyre derby at the Kamuzu Stadium.
In scoring late in the TNM Super League contest, Gaba put to bed the debate that he simply cannot locate where to place the ball at the Lali Lubani Road.
The brace that killed off Wanderers’ resistance was a big response. A few months ago, Gaba again shut up critics that he was failing to transfer Presidential Cup scoring boots to the league.
Yes, I have always said this boy is special. He is so good, but let us not overstretch the imagination to say that he is scaling the heights of four-legged wizard Kinnah Phiri, let alone late Frank ‘Pilato’ Sinalo.
It is a long way to go boy! You have to prove yourself over and over again for club and country for, at least, the next three years.
You just pray the Bullets sensation’s guardians are providing the safety net from the unedited praise that can break a young man’s career.
You just hope he will remain level-headed and become a finished article; a man able to keep his feet on the ground and make sound decisions. To get to that level, the praise and the comparisons must not be exaggerated.
In that derby, Gaba was voted man-of-the-match. No qualms about it, but I felt there were other players who made the bigger difference. Gaba deserved it, but Bullets’ sweeper Sankhani Mkandawire deserved it even more. Big, strong and tall, Mkandawire took no prisoners with his uncompromising approach.
Talk is about Gaba, but I felt the other decisive factor in Bullets’ three-pronged attack was Diverson Mlozi who kept taking on Wanderers’ defenders even when they often left him in heaps.
Mlozi is so daring and knows the rare art of defending from the front. And I felt substitute Godfrey Masondo applied coach Ng’onamo’s instructions to the letter, switching off the tempo of the game, passing and stopping Wanderers defenders from adding numbers in attack.
I just felt the often underrated James Chilapondwa stood between Wanderers winning and losing. Wanderers won the first league round match 2-1 just when Chilapondwa was substituted.
I have not heard anyone from Wanderers mention it, but I felt, the absence of Gerald Phiri Junior’s versatility, crossing and dead ball skills were greatly missed. Wanderers just lacked an attacking player with aerial presence and box-to-box mobility in the attacking third to trouble Bullets.
You do not find an attacking player standing over 1.8 metres and adept either foot like Phiri Jnr. And age of is on his side.
I felt, Wanderers, minus goalkeeper Richard Chipuwa, whose footwork as well as distribution is far from perfect, saved the Nomads from what should have been a 6-0 humiliation. In short, there was more to the derby than Gaba.