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Middendorp fondly recalls late Chiefs star ‘Scara’ Ngobese

'I liked him as a player, but he would often get carried away'

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Emmanuel 'Scara' Ngobese in action for Kaizer Chiefs in their Caf Champions League match against Esperance at Olympia Park Stadium in Rustenburg in April 2005.
Emmanuel 'Scara' Ngobese in action for Kaizer Chiefs in their Caf Champions League match against Esperance at Olympia Park Stadium in Rustenburg in April 2005.
Image: Gallo Images

Contrary to popular belief, when Ernst Middendorp coached Kaizer Chiefs in his first spell in the 2000s he was a huge fan of the late Emmanuel “Scara” Ngobese, though he admits the mercurial midfielder used to drive him up the wall. 

Middendorp dispelled the myth he did not get along with the talented but flawed Ngobese at Amakhosi. 

Ngobese often over-elaborated on the ball, displaying his skills, and sometimes infuriated Middendorp who wanted the midfielder to use his skills to hurt opponents, not to play to the crowd with showboating. 

“The late Scara Ngobese was definitely a fantastic player, there is no doubt about it. He was outstanding with his skills and what he could contribute, but he would often get carried away,” Middendorp said. 

Outspoken coach Ernst Middendorp talks about his fondness for the late Emmanuel 'Scara' Ngobese, coaching Kaizer Chiefs, showboating, working with South African players, what he thinks of Rulani Mokwena and Pitso Mosimane, and more.

“I liked this player and I used to try again and again to convince him to use his skills for the benefit of the team. He is one of the players who probably should have been at a higher level. 

“He had all the skills, the body and the physique. He had everything to make it happen on the field and he definitely should have made more of his natural ability and basic skills.” 

Though Middendorp tolerated Ngobese and his tricks with the ball, the German mentor has made it clear he doesn’t like showboating. 

“Showboating is a description of a scenario and every professional player should forget about it.

“Using your dribbling skills, your one against one or one against two success is fantastic and no coach in the world will stop it. But sometimes you have players who are around the box in the final third and you know they are skilful and you ask them to go into the box and put defenders under pressure, take a shot or look for a penalty. 

“Then you see a player taking the ball and running into the midfield, showboating, putting the knee on the ball, and I am asking myself and everybody if this is what you want to see?

“Then we ask, 'why didn’t we score the goals to win the match?' Use your dribbling skills, use your repertoire of tricks and skills to help the team make assists and score goals."

Middendorp coached Ngobese at Chiefs in a first stint at Amakhosi from 2005 to 2007. He had a second stint at Naturena from 2018 to 2020.

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