Mark Gleeson

Give 110%? Not possible!

2012-04-26 09:08
Sport24 columnist Mark Gleeson (File)
The Premier Soccer League has a long list of rules and regulations that it firmly enforces.

Failure to adhere to them can prove expensive as AmaZulu learnt several seasons ago for wearing the wrong colour socks, or Thanda Royal Zulu found out to their cost when they were fined R50 000 for failing to have a stretcher-bearer on duty when they were still in the top-flight.

Talking nonsense, however, is unfortunately not on the list. But it should be.

In particular, the phrase “going back to the drawing board”.

It was used again on Sunday by Doctor Khumalo after Kaizer Chiefs lost to Santos in Cape Town in their latest setback.

I don’t think he literally meant Chiefs have to now go right back and revise their strategy or playing style.

I’m not sure he even knew what he was saying. It popped out of his mouth as if his brain was on autopilot, spewing forth the language that all coaches seem to talk in when in front of a barrage of microphones and cameras.

The same goes for “giving 110 percent” or “taking it one game at a time”.

They are all nonsensical but they are spouted out every week, and dutifully copied down by compliant reporters who never challenge coaches on the nonsense they speak.

It is now time to change that, if not for self-respect then in the name of performing our duties properly and ensuring the public is not fed a load of weekly horse manure.

I have now lost count of the number of times I have heard a coach seek to deflect a question looking at possible future scenarios with the banal “one game at a time” quote.

It is patently rubbish. Any coach who is taking it “one game at a time” is not doing his job properly. Top coaches are always planning games ahead, scouting the opposition, working their strategy, rotating players, seeking to peak their side’s physical performance etc.

Giving 110 percent is of course impossible. You can only give 100 percent; that is the maximum!

And this mythical drawing board! I’d love to see where is this thing is that coaches seem to head back to every week.

And if I had R1 for every time a haggard looking coach told me he was not feeling any stress, I’d be punching out this column on a beach in Mauritius right now rather than a muggy office.

Hopefully the PSL will consider future fines for coaches who spout a load of nonsensical clichés, full of easy platitudes and throw away lines! A punishment for bringing the game into disrepute with drivel.

The football product in this country deserves better analysis from those at the heart of the game. It is already such a bonus for fans that they get to hear from the rival coaches before and after every televised game. It is a chance to educate and inform, to explain plans and tactics and then analyse afterwards whether they worked or not.

Coaches need to understand it is a mature audience that is watching and listening. The South African public wants, and deserves, better.
Mark Gleeson is a respected television commentator and Editorial Director of Mzanzi Football.

Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

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