S'Busiso Mseleku

Who's the next coach to go?

2016-11-21 13:58
Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)

As the Premier Soccer League (PSL) heads for an extended break that stretches from December to the end of January, talk is not about the clubs themselves, but more around the coaches.

The pertinent question is 'Who or which coach is next?'

Who is going to be the next PSL coach to be fired? Who is going to be the next Bafana Bafana coach to replace Shakes Mashaba - that is if he is indeed fired as expected following his latest spat with his bosses at the South African Football Association (SAFA)?

Already, three names of local coaches - Roger de Sa, Eric Tinkler and former Bafana mentor Pitso Mosimane - are being bandied about as possible replacements.

Expectations would have been that SAFA would have gone for a foreign, well-experience coach following the disaster they’ve experienced with Mashaba.

However, the weak Rand might actually force them to go the local route.

It is a fact and has emerged time and again that as good as they are, South African coaches are really not up to international standards. Not only at Bafana Bafana level, but even at club level our clubs have failed to make a mark – save for Mamelodi Sundowns who were recently crowned African Champions League winners.

So if SAFA does eventually go for another local coach, I can swear that it will have all to do with the finances.

Turning back to the domestic league, since Denis Lavagne (Free State Stars), De Sa (Ajax Cape Town), Allan Freese (Highlands Park), Serame Letsoaka (Bloemfontein Celtic) and Muhsin Ertugral (Orlando Pirates) have all departed, the question is who is next?

Looking at recent results and log standings, there are several candidates and surprise, surprise, Steve Komphela is in that list.

Despite having guided Kaizer Chiefs to a short stay at the summit of the league table, performances have not been impressive and the 2-1 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns this past Saturday, must have taken his position back to being precarious.

A look at the log would show that currently there are a few coaches whose positions are not safe.

Let’s start by those who seem to be safe - if only for now.

They include Gavin Hunt whose Bidvest Wits are sitting on top of the log with 19 points from seven matches followed by Clinton Larsen whose Lamontville Golden Arrows are second with 17 points, Cape Town City FC’s mentor Eric Tinkler in third and Stuart Baxter whose SuperSport United are placed fourth.

Those whose fortunes don’t look very bright, are Ajax Cape Town’s Stanley Menzo and Giovanni Solinas of Free State Stars and four-time league champion Gordon Igesund is still not that safe as he has yet to move Highlands Park out of the danger zone. They sit just fourth from the bottom with six points from eight outings.

Despite being only third from the bottom with five points, Pitso Mosimane is quite safe in his job. Reason for the club’s unfamiliar position is that they have only played four matches.

However, the entire scenario painted above, might change - even dramatically - even before the end of the week as there are several league fixtures.

Platinum Stars host Ajax Cape Town, Maritzburg United visit Cape Town FC and Pirates travel to Chippa United on Tuesday.

Wednesday sees Chiefs host SuperSport, Sundowns v Arrows, Celtic v Baroka, Wits at home to Highlands and Polokwane City entertain FS Stars.

The results from these matches might just turn the pendulum.

S'Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning over 30 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

Disclaimer: 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.

Read more on:    psl  |  s'busiso mseleku  |  soccer
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