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Change of attitude could unleash a monster of player in Gabadinho Mhango

Gabadinho Mhango of Malawi. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Gabadinho Mhango of Malawi. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Jan 28, 2022


Johannesburg - It is not often that a revered coach and a disciplinarian such as Gavin Hunt regrets losing a player who has “moods and stuff” – except if your name is Gabadinho Mhango, Cosafa’s best player at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

The then Wits coach cried foul after losing Mhango to Orlando Pirates during the 2019/20 term, saying: “Do you think I didn’t want to keep him? Oh, yes, I wanted to keep him. With all his moods and stuff, I would have kept him here."

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Lethal as he may have been for Wits in front of goal, Mhango’s ill discipline had always thrown a spanner in the works. Hunt had to do without him for six games after being suspended following a spitting incident.

Perhaps one would have thought that a change of environment would have done Mhango and his career a world of good. That appeared to be the case at first, the Malawian getting off to a great start at Pirates.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Gabadinho Mhango’s wonder strike a definite Afcon goal of the tournament contender

However, in his third season at the club, Mhango has fallen down the pecking order, with new signing Kwame Peprah the leading No 9. It’s worth a mention that Mhango brought that to himself especially after making the tabloids.

In September last year the Malawian was rumoured to have failed to foot a bill over R26 000 at a night club in Pretoria. Again, it’s worth mentioning that the incident took place four months before Mhango’s outing at the Afcon.

You see, it’s a tournament such as the continental showpiece that can either make or break a player – and even turn boys to men. And that’s why every Bucs fan is reeling with excitement over having a confident Mhango back in their fold.

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The second half of the season will test Pirates’ character – if they are going to finish in the top two and challenge for silverware. The return of goalie Richard

Ofori might solve some of their problems at the back but they need lethal strikers too.

That’s where Mhango comes in: he’s got speed and a knack for goals. That he scored three goals for The Flames at the Afcon, including a potential contender of the tournament strike against Morocco, proved just how good he is.

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ALSO READ: When we win, the whole country celebrates, says Malawi’s Gabadinho Mhango

Mhango’s goal against Morocco in the last 16 loss received international plaudits. But he’ll know that few international clubs will be keen to enquire about him.

Football is a contact sport.

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And therefore, players are bound to clash now and again.

But it appears that Mhango is untouchable – even to his teammates as well, considering he once fought over a set piece with Kabelo Dlamini against AmaZulu.

Sure, he may have scored a beauty from that set piece, but it’s small margins like acknowledging that “not everything is about me” that will make him a fully fledged footballer.


IOL Sport