Who’s next on the ca­su­alty list?

While some departures by coaches were ex­pected, oth­ers came as a com­plete sur­prise. Ti­mothy Molobi ex­plains that noth­ing comes as a shock in foot­ball any more

CityPress - - Sport -

Eight games into the sea­son and al­ready the league is bleed­ing coaches. Ex­actly 31% of the coaches – five in to­tal – have va­cated their hot seats, and it’s not over. There are still ca­su­al­ties com­ing our way as we are not even a third of the way into the new sea­son.

Af­ter this week’s turn of events, when the fifth coach quit, the ques­tion is: Where will Muhsin Er­tuğral, Roger De Sá and Ser­ame Let­soaka go now?

Or rather, who will fill their shoes at their pre­vi­ous clubs? Will it be an­other fa­mil­iar face or a new man for the job? There are po­si­tions that need to be filled and coaches who need to step up to the plate, so let us hope that this is the end of the cir­cus.

It has be­come a trend in the PSL in the past few sea­sons for the same faces to be hired and fired, only to be re­hired and fired again ... all in one sea­son.

It is hard to tell when it comes to club bosses as, more of­ten than not, they like re­cy­cling coaches.

So it should not come as a sur­prise if the coach­ing merry-go-round con­tin­ues in the Pre­mier­ship, with few va­cant po­si­tions.

The trio were the lat­est in the on­go­ing “sack­ing coaches” busi­ness. They fol­lowed in the foot­steps of Al­lan Freese and De­nis Lav­agne, who were the first two ca­su­al­ties of the sea­son. Matches: P(7) W(2) D(4) L(1) Pts(10)

While Er­tuğral’s rush of blood to the head made him quit on na­tional tele­vi­sion, he was al­ready skat­ing on thin ice as re­sults were not forth­com­ing. He only had two league vic­to­ries un­der his belt, which were achieved in the open­ing two games.

But the fact that his side dropped 11 points in the sub­se­quent five matches proved that life was not rosy for him at Pi­rates. On pa­per, there is am­ple cre­ative tal­ent in the Bucs team.

How­ever, Er­tuğral failed to make them gel as a team as he used dif­fer­ent line-ups in al­most all the games. He was also guilty of de­ploy­ing play­ers out of po­si­tions, as he did with Ab­bubaker Mo­bara, who was shut­tling be­tween de­fence and mid­field.

Er­tuğral’s first mis­take was to alien­ate some se­nior play­ers who have been the core of the Bucs team. The likes of Ayanda Gcaba were rel­e­gated to the Mul­tiChoice Diski Chal­lenge team, while Rooi Ma­hamutsa and Lehlo­honolo Masalesa have also dis­ap­peared from the team.

In­stead, he opted for new­com­ers Jus­tice Cha­bal­ala and Them­bela Sikhakhane, who have not done any­thing ex­cep­tional. Issa Sarr, who has al­ways formed the core of the team, was also side­lined in the open­ing few games, but has since been re­called to the team.

Be­fore he joined Bucs, there were ques­tions around his tem­per and man­age­ment style, and whether he was the right man for the job.

It did not take long for this to come to the fore when he openly clashed with Ghana­ian in­ter­na­tional Ed­win Gy­imah at Cape Town In­ter­na­tional Air­port and they had to be re­strained.

This was af­ter he sub­sti­tuted Gy­imah in the game against Ajax Cape Town the night be­fore. Their re­la­tion­ship has not been the same since. Gy­imah dis­ap­peared from the start­ing line-up and resur­faced a few games later.

Er­tuğral was his own worst en­emy at Pi­rates. It was a case of the Pi­rates’ way or the high­way. It did not come as a com­plete sur­prise when De Sá threw in the towel last week as re­sults were not forth­com­ing. In fact, Ajax are the only side to still reg­is­ter a vic­tory this sea­son. The Ur­ban War­riors have been strug­gling for form since win­ning last sea­son’s MTN8 – which they failed to de­fend af­ter finishing out­side the top-eight bracket. Two points in six games was not a good re­turn on in­vest­ment and some­thing had to give. Freese was shown the door af­ter only five games in charge and fol­low­ing a 4-1 loss to Su­per­Sport United. Although he could al­ways ar­gue that he was on the right track af­ter amass­ing four points from five games, it was not to be as the axe fell. He would have felt hard done by. Freese was not do­ing badly, con­sid­er­ing that he had just pro­moted the club into the Pre­mier­ship. Some might think Stars were too quick to pull the trig­ger on the French­man af­ter only three games in charge, but that is the na­ture of foot­ball. Stars did not waste time in show­ing Lav­agne the door, ar­gu­ing that the em­ployer-em­ployee re­la­tion­ship had bro­ken down. Stars have now gone five more games with­out a win since Lav­agne’s de­par­ture. They lost once to Kaizer Chiefs and drew four.

PHOTO: BACKPAGEPIX

OUT OF SORTS Coach Muhsin Er­tu­gral re­signed on the spot af­ter a 6-1 ham­mer­ing by Su­per­Sport United

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