Prima donna tantrums bring out big baby in Ey­mael

CityPress - - Sport - Ti­mothy Molobi Fol­low me on Twit­ter @Tim­spir­itMolobi ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

ast week­end, I had the hon­our of meet­ing new Polok­wane City coach Luc Ey­mael. I had been look­ing for­ward to fi­nally shak­ing hands with the Bel­gian be­cause of his ster­ling job at City.

But the meet­ing turned out to be noth­ing worth writ­ing home about. Be­fore we could even shake hands, the Bel­gian went off on a tirade, ac­cus­ing mem­bers of the “fourth es­tate” – jour­nal­ists – of fab­ri­cat­ing sto­ries.

My first and last­ing im­pres­sion of him was not an en­dear­ing one: I was at the re­ceiv­ing end of his vile­ness af­ter sug­gest­ing he should take the mat­ter up with the pub­li­ca­tion that “mis­quoted him”.

He did not take kindly to that, ac­cus­ing the me­dia of hav­ing an agenda against him.

He threat­ened us and in­sisted that we in­tro­duce our­selves be­fore he could grant us the in­ter­view. There is noth­ing wrong with that – we al­ways say who we are and which me­dia house we are from be­fore ask­ing ques­tions.

But this was ap­par­ently aimed at the Sowe­tan news­pa­per for re­port­ing that he had said his play­ers were not good enough. Any doubts I had about whether he had said that evap­o­rated af­ter this en­counter – I now have no doubt that he ac­tu­ally ut­tered those words.

As the say­ing goes, “strike while the iron is hot”, and this was the best time to fi­nally meet the man in black – just af­ter his team had thrown away two points fol­low­ing a 2-all draw with neigh­bours Baroka FC.

To say Ey­mael was seething with anger would be an un­der­state­ment. He was boil­ing and on the verge of hit­ting the roof. The man was livid. The rea­son? He blamed match of­fi­cials and seemed to be­lieve his team was hard done by. But he went about it the wrong way, tak­ing it out on the poor hacks, who had to bear the brunt of his mis­guided per­cep­tions.

We hap­pened to be at the re­ceiv­ing end as well, as he went on a tirade about what had hap­pened on the field of play. He could not con­tain his anger or frus­tra­tion, and went on a rant, in the process of which, he made a moe­goe of himself.

He blew his top as he asked his me­dia per­son to record his in­ter­view.

“I don’t want to com­ment too much, but we know what hap­pened. I have been in Africa for six years and I have seen things,” he said while ex­press­ing his anger about the match of­fi­cials.

My first im­pres­sion was that Ey­mael was not as tact­ful as I thought he was; that maybe he thought he was su­pe­rior be­cause he was from Europe.

His Euro­pean men­tal­ity will, un­for­tu­nately, be his down­fall. He ac­cused Baroka coach Kgoloko Thobe­jane of hav­ing dis­re­spected him when he sug­gested they were go­ing to score three past his team.

This was foot­ball talk and Thobe­jane was just pump­ing up his play­ers be­fore the game. Here is my piece of ad­vice for Ey­mael: stick to what you know best, coach­ing – and make sure you get re­sults.

Rant­ing and rav­ing won’t de­liver re­sults. You have not proven yourself yet, and the best thing is to do the talk­ing on the field of play and make sure you win matches. It is clear that your team can­not han­dle set pieces – Baroka’s two games were from set pieces – and this is the area you need to work on.

The fact that City have con­ceded two goals in each of their three pre­vi­ous games shows that there is a prob­lem at the back, and this is where Ey­mael needs to con­cen­trate.

Vent­ing his frus­tra­tions on mem­bers of the me­dia won’t solve his prob­lems be­cause, be­fore he knows it, he will be back in Bel­gium look­ing for a job.

If I were him, I would make sure that my team was per­form­ing and let the re­sults speak for them­selves. Who cares if he uses his own money to do video anal­y­sis of his op­po­nents, as he said?

Maybe that is the rea­son he has not made a mark yet be­cause he con­cerns himself with things that don’t need him. Ey­mael, if you want to be re­spected, start re­spect­ing oth­ers.

Your Euro­pean men­tal­ity won’t take you any­where if it makes you think you are the best when you are not. And, by the way, re­spect is earned, not given.

Af­ter last week­end’s en­counter, I am look­ing for­ward to many more meet­ings with Ey­mael, as I be­lieve he has some­thing to of­fer South African foot­ball.

But he needs to shut his mouth and let his good ac­tions do the talk­ing.

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