The Citizen (KZN)

Acornbush coach’s nutty comments


What is an Acornbush? I spent an admittedly brief amount of time at my computer yesterday attempting to figure this out and I didn’t get close to an answer. Acorns, as I understand, come from oak trees, without a bush component to be seen.

What there can be no doubt about, however, after this year’s Nedbank Cup, is that there is a highly competent football team called Acornbush United (their logo, by the way, is a lion with a football, so still no closer to the Acornbush enigma. (Anyone with answers, please do let us know).

This Mpumalanga-based side dumped Cape Town City out of the last-32, and then on Sunday gave Kaizer Chiefs the fright of their lives at the Kabokweni Stadium. Gustavo Paez came to Amakhosi’s rescue with two late goals, continuing to snap back at critics, myself including, of his signing, but the ABC Motsepe League side still came out of the tournament with an immense amount of credit. Not coming out with quite so much credit however, is Acornbush coach Macdonald Makhubedu, who launched an amazing verbal attack at Chiefs after the game. Makhubedu, I can only assume, went to the Kgoloko Thobejane School of Coaching, where you are encouraged at every moment possible not to engage your mind before speaking.

This season’s best effort from Thobejane was his proclamati­on that Baroka FC could beat Wits 4-0 before an Absa Premiershi­p game at Bidvest Stadium in February – never mind that Baroka were bottom of the table and Wits were among the title contenders. The Clever Boys won 5-0, just for the record.

Makhubedu told SuperSport, to paraphrase, that if Chiefs were the biggest team in the country, then the national team is in trouble. There is losing gracefully, Mr Makhubedu, and then there is losing like that. It is easy to feel a lot of admiration for a side of semi-profession­als that, with 10 men, matches Chiefs for most of a match, but it is impossible to admire someone who shows such a lack of humility.

Second, to be slightly pedantic, Chiefs are not the biggest team in the country right now (ducks and prepares for a barrage of abuse from Amakhosi fans). They are the most popular team in the country, and they probably always will be, but they are short of having the best squad. Mamelodi Sundowns have that, though Pitso Mosimane doesn’t appear sure how to get out of the first rut his side have found themselves in for some time. Mosimane, much like Jose Mourinho, is a superb winner and not a very good loser, which is almost certainly part of what makes him such a successful coach, but also makes his litany of excuses appear a little fragile at times like this. Sundowns, with their resources, should be able to cope, even with the amount of football they have been playing.

In this week’s Phakaaathi, we hear from Mosimane, and from Chiefs’ Siphiwe Tshabalala, who responds to Makhubedu’s comments in the profession­al way one would expect from him.

We also look ahead to Orlando Pirates’ game against Maritzburg United tonight the Buccaneers may just have turned the corner under Kjell Jonevret, but they need to start picking up some Absa Premiershi­p wins.

Elsewhere, we speak to Banyana’s Amogelang Motau, and the New York Red Bulls assistant coach Bradley Carnell. Congratula­tions too, to Phakaaathi’s Player-of-theMonth for March, Joseph Molangoane of Kaizer Chiefs.

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