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Beware who is thrown under the bus


Bafana Bafana boss Hugo Broos and Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have both been in the wars this past week, writes DUDLEY CARSTENS.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Picture: Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

THIS week has been the tale of two coaches – both of them have been thrown under the bus.

Bafana Bafana boss Hugo Broos and Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have both been in the wars.

But the question is, who’s going to get back up after this kick to the balls.

Let’s kick off with Broos as he gets Bafana ready for a crucial World Cup qualifying double header against Ethiopia – away tomorrow and back home on Tuesday.

South Africa national soccer team head coach Hugo Broos. Picture: EPA, Aaron Ufumeli

The Belgian came out all guns blazing at his first press conference of the week, taking aim at people he says are working against Bafana becoming a successful team.

And when he says “people”, he means the PSL big three – Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs.

Now we’ve all heard the stories of these three clubs dominating the national team in the past.

ALSO READ: Bafana assistant coach denied entry to Pirates match

At times, they have made up the bulk of the national team. And they have used their privilege as the most influential clubs to muscle in on Bafana business.

But this time, they have met their match in Broos.

He pakked uit about Pirates and Downs not allowing him to attend their recent PSL clash – for which they had to apologise.

And then this week, Bucs midfielder Goodman Mosele failed to report to Bafana camp, while Downs scheduled striker Thabiso Kutumela to have his Covid-19 vaccination on Monday – during a Fifa break, when no club activity is allowed.

Broos also called out the league for organising games during the international break at the end of last season.

And finally he spoke about how the league has pussyfooted around his idea to have Springboks-style alignment meetings with club coaches.

It must be so frustrating for fans to hear this, knowing that clubs are out to score own-goals against the national interest.

Like they say, with friends like these, who needs enemies?

Now on to Old Trafford, waar die potte skrooi.

The return of Cristiano Ronaldo, alongside big-name arrivals Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho, was supposed to hand coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the ammunition to gun for glory.

ALSO READ: Solskjaer defends decision to rest Ronaldo after Everton draw

But it hasn’t really worked out like that and Saturday’s defiant strop by Ronaldo after being used as a substitute has divided opinion and heaped pressure on an already unpopular coach.

It seems now that CR7 gets to call the shots about when and how he plays, not the coach.

Even legendary boss Alex Ferguson agrees with Ron.

And before I go on, the irony of Fergie’s candid comment to MMA star Khabib Nurmagomedov about starting your best players is not lost on me.

Fergie would have used Ron as he saw fit and made sure his players knew who was boss – just ask David Beckham after he copped a flying boot to the eye.

Or captain Roy Keane, who he sacked and sold for criticising his teammates’ lack of commitment on MUTV.

Or Jaap Stam, who the Scot met at a petrol station to tell the Dutch defender he was selling him on a whim.

Fergie criticising a coach who he used as a super sub? Whose last-gasp winner off the bench in the 1999 Champions League is the stuff of United legend?

Ja I can’t believe it either.

Whether Ronaldo likes it or not, he is a player in a squad that needs to be managed.

And regardless of his ability, reputation and status, he can’t play every minute of the season – much less pick and choose his minutes.

It doesn’t help his case that when he was called up, with the team leading against Everton, that he couldn’t help get them over the line.

Look, if United want to get rid of Ole, get rid of him because of results. Not because Ronaldo doesn’t like it on the bench.

With United facing Leicester, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City in a daunting run of Premier League fixtures next, Ronaldo, Fergie and the #OleOut crew could finally get their wish.

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