In the football fraternity things such as New Year resolutions and the like also matter.
Welcome back from a deserved festive holiday break, it is that time of the year again where one either makes a fresh start of things or you opt to stay safe and rather tread the same old trusted lines again, whatever your choice: Good luck for the year ahead!
Likewise in the football fraternity things such as New Year resolutions and the like also matter. You might be aware that as with your annual family gathering (for those lucky enough to still have one), you either emerged more united, resolute, focused and happier, or the direct opposite where you vowed never to mingle with your folk again, the same sort of vibe goes down in the football annals, especially at club level.
In the happier stakes you might be aware that one of Mzansi’s Premier Soccer League teams, Kaizer Chiefs mended their relations with one of their former coaches who had left under a cloud after a brief spell.
Well, German born Ernst Middendorp is back at Naturena. Despite the latest 1-0 setback to Caf Champions League team Mamelodi Sundowns over the past weekend Middendorp is more or less on track in restoring the Amakhosi faithful’s belief in the team.
One hastens to add that his immediate predecessor Giovanni Solinas had the faithful twisting their knickers at his team line-up choices, which gave the undeserved impression that the man was clueless.
The same cannot be said of the relations between club and coach at teams such as Maritzburg United, Lamontville Golden Arrows, Chippa United and Black Leopards and so on.
In Pietermaritzburg the team members had hardly settled down at the festive dinner table away from the club when the team management decided to action their ambitions to have a much higher achievement rate than the “good rate” Fadlu had delivered to that point.
Fadlu was asked to a meeting just at the break (I hope this actually happened) and told his services had been terminated forthwith, Good luck! They called in Turkish born Muhsin Ertugral who is arguably a higher grade coach than Fadlu to take over the reins.
The same sort of thing played out at Free State Stars where the cup winning Belgian coach Luc Eymael (happily mispronounced as ‘look e-mail’ in the townships), was given the boot. I have a slight problem with the goings-on at both these teams, but it matters not a jot here.
At Black Leopards and Chippa United the team managements of both kind of resorted to what is suspiciously looking like a conditioned response after every single match that goes against the team. Fire the coach!
So did Dan Malesela leave Chippa as did Joel Masutha. Of Masutha I do offer that the man’s attitude towards his boardroom was rather abrasive considering that he was but a mere employee.
For Masuta to have publicly declared “a verbal war” against his boardroom was unwise.
But then again, they would not be family, would they?
We have it on good authority that at Baroka FC and AmaZulu the coaches, respectively Wedson Nyirenda and Carl Johnson, are rightly spooked at the management’s insistence on having post-match review meetings with them.
Unlike what went down at your family gathering, here it is not about what and how the coaches said something at the dinner table, which is what triggers family spats in most cases, but what likely lies in store for the team as they approach the last leg of the playing season.
But in common with your brood’s dinner table, it is mostly likely also about those most treasured of the family assets – money; and the club’s legacy that is intimately tied with it.
Welcome back to the daily grind.