Mark Gleeson

Firing and hiring justified?

2010-03-15 07:22
Sport24 columnist Mark Gleeson (File)
Mark Gleeson

When is it time to pull the plug on a coach? Should there be a minimum period to allow a coach to implement his philosophies and plans? Or is the frequent hiring and firing by top South African clubs justified?

We are fast approaching that time of the year again when the speculation over future of several club coaches starts to get more air time and print space and the chattering tongues hint at imminent changes at the big teams.

If the papers are to be believed, Hristo Stoichkov, Vladimir Vermezovic and Ruud Krol are on short straws and could lose their plum jobs soon. Owen da Gama is supposedly departing Bloemfontein Celtic, to be replaced by Gordon Igesund. Steve Komphela is allegedly trying to quell a player revolution at Platinum Stars.

Neil Tovey did not fulfil his mandate to give AmaZulu a top eight finish and could also be on the plank, even though the Durban side were much improved in recent moths.

And Jomo Sono has finally hinted he will be quitting.

These are all rumours for the moment but there’s always a little fire burning when the smoke begins to rise. The next months will tell, but if indeed it transpires as suggested it will be wholesale carnage in the coaching ranks.

Da Gama spoke passionately over the weekend of the need for coaches to be given more time to do their work properly and achieve their goals. 

He said they needed more confidence from their bosses. The need to be able to build up a competitive team over time is imperative, he insists, and no success is guaranteed over night.

But the increasingly competitive world of football, and with the demands of fans ever more insatiable, coaches are well aware that success is almost instantly demanded. It is the rigour of the job. 

They take up this employment surely realising time is against them and few owners can afford the luxury of giving them years to build.

But they insist nevertheless. Perhaps the future is now for different kinds of coaches at the same clubs, those that produce over time but only do at junior level and those who can provide instant gratification. These days you can’t do one or the other. Football is changing.

Support these days is fickle. Fans like, indeed demand, a winner and when their team loses they no longer stay to back them through the bad times. They desert and pick another, more successful, side.

So it seems with clubs and their coaches too. But is it fair? Or should you not be in the kitchen if you can’t stand the heat?

Mark Gleeson is a respected television commentator and Editorial Director of Mzanzi Football.

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.


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