Orlando Pirates legend Vincent Dumisa Ngobe says “selfishness” has been the downfall of Malawian striker Frank Gabadinho Mhango’s game at the South Africa DStv Premiership side this season.
Ngobe, a former Bafana Bafana midfielder, was quoted by www.kickoff.com on Thursday as saying the 28-year-old forward is not a team player.
Mhango, who was the league’s joint top goal scorer on 16 goals alongside Namibian Peter Shalulile last season, has registered three goals in 17 matches in all competitions in the current season.
Ngobe was quoted as saying: “You see, I don’t want to be judgeful [sic], you see, in our current team this boy Mhango is a good player. But to be honest with you, Mhango is selfish. For me he is not a team player. He is an individual player.”
He added that Pirates players must find a way to work with the Malawian international the same way they did with [ex-Pirates forward] Jerry Sikhosana, who was also perceived as selfish by those who watched from the outside.
“You know the only way to deal with a selfish person… us, we used to sit down and talk. As a result we developed an understanding with him. Let’s say maybe he made a mess of a certain ball, we would say, ‘Man, if you did this and that we would have scored here,” Ngobe explained.
But football analyst George Chiusiwa yesterday said it was unfair to blame an individual player for his failure to score because of the technical and institutional shortcomings at Pirates.
He said Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer would have been the first person to talk about Mhango’s “selfishness” as he knows better about his team’s technical deficiencies as far as scoring is concerned.
“Zinnbauer has said none of that as he has only regretted missing the services of Gaba in some matches. This shows the importance of the Malawian attacker to the coach. With time the striker will rediscover his scoring form as he is only going through a bad patch, which is normal in football,”said Chiusiwa.
He said what Gaba needs now is an honest psychological engagement with his manager and coach as football is not only a technical sport but also a psychological game.
Said Chiusiwa: “He is a fine player, who easily regains his fine form after a downfall. With help, he will be a better scorer again. His struggles in front of goal this term may be its an individual problem as he has not enjoyed adequate game time because of injuries.”