Tick­tock for strug­gling PSL coaches

CityPress - - Sport - Sm­se­leku@city­press.co.za

Su­perS­port United beat me to the draw, as they say in Western flicks.

I had al­ready started draft­ing this col­umn when they pulled the trig­ger on coach Cavin John­son on Thurs­day. My col­umn was go­ing to go some­thing like this: “Given the re­sults of the first few Pre­mier Soc­cer League (PSL) matches, it will be in­ter­est­ing to see who will be the first coach to be shown the prover­bial door.”

I was then go­ing to start look­ing at po­ten­tial can­di­dates and John­son was to be one of them, given he had only won a sin­gle match this sea­son.

“That’s not good enough for a club that has won the Absa Premier­ship on three pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sions, along with a few other tro­phies,” I wanted to write.

As a re­sult of this poor start, be­fore last night’s en­counter with log lead­ers Kaizer Chiefs, Mat­sat­santsa a Pi­tori were lan­guish­ing sec­ond from the bot­tom of the log with a mere three points from four out­ings.

I was go­ing to write on and say: “In fact, the bot­tom half of the ta­ble makes for some in­ter­est­ing read­ing and it shouldn’t be long be­fore we wit­ness the usual coach­ing mu­si­cal chairs.”

As you might know, the bot­tom half is where you’ll find names such as Bloem­fontein Celtic (ninth), Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria (10th), Mpumalanga Black Aces (11th), reign­ing cham­pi­ons Mamelodi Sun­downs (12th) and Polok­wane City (14th).

So your guess is as good as mine that any of those clubs’ coaches would be can­di­dates to fol­low John­son.

They in­clude Sun­downs coach Pitso Mosi­mane, who is un­der se­vere pres­sure.

Just as Manch­ester United coach Louis van Gaal ob­served last week – “Two weeks ago, I was the king of Manch­ester and now I’m the devil of Manch­ester.” – Mosi­mane must be feel­ing how fickle the soc­cer world, more es­pe­cially fans, can be.

The Bafana Ba Style men­tor was the butt of all jokes this week fol­low­ing Pi­rates’ sack­ing of his side 3-0 at Lof­tus on Wed­nes­day night.

Talk of Clive Barker call­ing it quits from Black Aces and re­tir­ing to balmy Dur­ban also sur­faced this week.

The coach was re­ported to be miss­ing home. Well, be­ing bun­dled out at the MTN8 quar­ter­fi­nal stage; and win­ning one, man­ag­ing a sin­gle draw and los­ing two league matches, should have the ef­fect of in­flict­ing a cer­tain sense of home­sick­ness.

This is the re­al­ity of foot­ball across the world.

Un­like a sink­ing ship, where the cap­tain is ex­pected to be the last to leave, it is the other way around in foot­ball as far as coaches are con­cerned.

Coaches – or man­agers as our English friends pre­fer to call them – are usu­ally the first ones to be shown the door when things get messy.

As one clever per­son once opined: “Just as death and taxes are an even­tu­al­ity, so is the fact that coaches will be fired.”

It’s the kind of a job in which you never quite know whether you’re com­ing or go­ing; never en­tirely sure of your sta­tion, as it were.

An­other in­gre­di­ent that makes the South African club foot­ball coach­ing sce­nario in­ter­est­ing is that one of the most suc­cess­ful in­di­vid­u­als in that sphere is cur­rently un­em­ployed.

You’ve guessed right! I’m talk­ing about one Gordon Ige­sund – he who has bagged four league ti­tles with four dif­fer­ent clubs – and whose con­tract with the SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion ex­pired to­day.

Talk mak­ing the rounds in foot­ball cir­cles is that soc­cer bosses have turned him into a scare­crow.

We are told ev­ery time a coach loses a match, a club boss would ap­proach that coach men­ac­ingly and then whis­per into his ear: “Do you know Gordon Ige­sund?” Guess you catch my drift. How in­ter­est­ing our lo­cal foot­ball can be at times.

But Su­perS­port spoiled my fun and I can no longer write that col­umn.

Just as death and taxes are an even­tu­al­ity, so is the fact that coaches will be fired


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