In the football coaching business, getting fired goes with the territory. It’s an inevitability as much as it is a possibility.
The coach who leaves willingly is a rare breed – Sir Alex Ferguson immediately springs to mind, an over-achiever, whose over-achievements have been brought into even brighter light of late by the work of David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal at Old Trafford.
In the Absa Premiership this season we’ve already seen a couple of coaches fall by the wayside. Boebie Solomons was axed by Polokwane City after a disappointing start to the season, and likewise Cavin Johnson by SuperSport United. These days clubs love to issue official statements that say something like “parted ways by mutual agreement.” What a load of jibberish. I’d far prefer an honest statement like – “we fired Mr ‘insert name here’ because he stuffed up royally.”
This weekend in the Telkom Knockout last 16 a couple more coach’s jobs must be on the line. AmaZulu face Bloemfontein Celtic in a duel between two coaches severely testing their chairman’s patience. AmaZulu haven’t won a game all season. Celtic’s only win this season so far came against AmaZulu. Celtic coach Ernst Middendorp and AmaZulu coach Craig Roslee could well be called into an office after this weekend, sit at a large wooden desk, and be told to ‘collect their things’.
Vladimir Vermezovic strode into Orlando Pirates in the middle of last season, as strange appointment given his record of having never won a league title when at Kaizer Chiefs. He did manage to pluck the Nedbank Cup for the Buccaneers last season, but this campaign has been inconsistent, and one wonders if Irvin Khoza is starting to get an itchy trigger finger just yet. A third defeat in a row at home to Polokwane City on Sunday will only further stir up the doubters.
Zeca Marques at Swallows is also a man in trouble, even if he does continue to get the oft-dreaded ‘vote of confidence’ from his chairman at the Birds Leon Prins. Swallows fans’ habit of kidnapping coaches that they have had enough of does seem to have died out, but, Marques must still be a worried man, especially after the 3-2 defeat to Free State Stars on the weekend. A tricky trip to Wits, a side who smashed them 3-0 in the league earlier this season, is not the ideal follow up on Friday.
The TKO is the focus of this week’s Phakaaathi, though there is plenty more. We interview Bafana Bafana’s Ayabulela Magqwaka, who can’t get a game at Ajax Cape Town. And then there’s young striker Prince Nxumalo, who can’t get a game at SuperSport United, but of whom new Matsatsantsa coach Gordon Igesund is clearly and admirer. We also look at how some of the Europe-based players from across the continent got on this weekend. So don’t forget to buy the Citizen newspaper today and enjoy your free copy of Phakaaathi!