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Season for coach-bashing is upon us

By Rams Mabote | Jul 06, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

This column was first published 19 March 2010

IT is the silly season again on our football calendar. With the season over, and generally with only one club happy with its achievements, the focus turns to the coaches.

First to fire the salvo were sources linked to Orlando Pirates, who suggested that Dutchman Rudi Kroll could be packing his bags and heading out of Parktown. Though the rumours are unconfirmed, they cannot be easily dismissed.

Coaching Pirates is a thankless job. Over the past five years we have seen a number of good coaches who were forced to bite the dust because “they” did not deliver the silverware.

After two seasons, Kroll has also failed in this regard and personally I won’t be shocked if he is asked to leave. Already Bafana Bafana assistant coach Pitso Mosimane is linked to the Sea Robbers’ leaky ship.

Across the highway in Chloorkop, Sundowns mentor Bulgarian Hristo Stoichkov did not wait to be fired. Instead, he quit the Brazilians on Tuesday, announcing that via a radio programme.

Those in the know said the temperamental Stoichkov – already in trouble with the league – was going to face an unhappy Patrice Motsepe, whose investment in coach and players has not yielded results thus far.

Kaizer Chiefs coach Vladimir Vermezovic seems set to miss the next flight back to Serbia. True to form, Kaizer Motaung does not seem to be in a hurry to shuffle the pack yet.

But this does not mean that Vermezovic is guaranteed his stay for long , especially if he does not make sure that Chiefs continue with their tradition of claiming at least one trophy per season.

According to reports in this paper on Monday, Owen da Gama could be parting ways with Bloemfontein Celtic. And I guess the fate of a few other coaches will be sealed sooner rather than later.

Pity, though, that this has to be the order of the day. I have written in this space before that success is bred from longevity. If you look at successful teams in Europe, they have kept coaches for a long time.

But here in South Africa, it seems that SuperSport United is the only club to have learnt this lesson and it is paying off handsomely.

Funny that the only team that needed to fire its coach seems set to retain him, in spite of its demotion to the lower league. I will be shocked to near death if Jomo Cosmos fired their coach.

Sometimes I wish we could take ourselves at least half as serious as the world does. We just do not realise how lucky we are as a country.

By July we will have hosted at least three major sport world cups, three of our presidents will have been guests of the Queen of England at Buckingham Palace and we will have hosted two United Nations summits, among other milestones.

South Africa has received disproportionate attention from the world ever since the transition in 1994.

Many of our peers can only look at us with envy . But are we aware of this?

Just yesterday English giants Manchester United concluded a three-and-a- half-year deal with our very own cellphone giant MTN, with the company becoming the exclusive South African telecommunications partner of United.

United could have chosen any other phone provider on the continent, or in India, or China or the United States. After all, the latter three countries have one thing that matters – the numbers.

Instead they chose a South African company, further affirming that barring our challenges and low self-esteem, the world thinks well of us.

I can only hope that se will one day we rise to the occasion and realise that we are a force in the making.



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