Absa Premiership

Will Solinas do an Italian job at Amakhosi?

2018-07-15 06:07
Giovanni Solinas (Getty Images)

Johannesburg - The first reactions to Giovanni Solinas’ appointment as the new Kaizer Chiefs coach said it all.

Many supporters disapprove of his appointment and are not convinced that he will be any better than Steve Komphela was.

To many, Solinas’ appointment smacked of desperation on the part of Chiefs after they failed to net their targets last season.

Amakhosi were initially linked to Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter, Botswana side Township Rollers head coach Nikola Kavazovic and Belgian Luc Eymael, but they ended up with Solinas as a last resort.

The Italian’s CV does not inspire confidence and those who have already condemned him have reasons to do so.

He did not last long in most teams he coached.

Despite possessing a Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) pro licence, the Italian has only won one major title in his career.

He guided ES Sétif of Algeria to win the North African Cup Winners Cup eight years ago.

Solinas has coached seven clubs since 2010.

In 2011, he joined CR Belouizdad and left empty-handed four months later. Just two years after that, he was back in Algeria to join JSM Béjaïa, where he helped the team qualify for the Champions League.

During this period, he jumped ship to join MC Oran in June 2013, but was fired within five months.

Despite not lasting for long in any teams, Solinas doesn’t stay jobless for any length of time.

In December 2013, he was back in the saddle again, this time leading Saudi Arabia team Al-Faisaly FC out of the relegation zone to a respectable log position.

However, he is yet to impress to the point where he should be even considered for a team of the Glamour Boys’ stature.

His longest time with one team was less than two years.

Many locals know him from his time at Free State Stars. Ironically, this is where he spent most of his coaching career.

In the 2015/16 season, in his first stint with Stars, he finished at the bottom half of the table, occupying 12th position.

He left in May 2016, citing personal reasons.

After rejoining Stars in September 2016, things went from bad to worse as he took the team further down, almost relegating them to third from the bottom and finishing 14th.

It is worth saying that he did not finish the season with Stars as he was fired in January last year, but, by the time the campaign ended, the damage was already done.

Solinas’ failure to hold on to his previous jobs could have contributed to his lack of success.

But if you are doing well, no one would want to let go of you.

Just look at Zinedine Zidane, who lasted for three seasons at Real Madrid after being appointed as coach in January 2016.

The Frenchman won a historic three consecutive UEFA Champions League titles, and when he left Madrid - citing the pressure of winning - fans were not happy, for obvious reasons.

Chiefs supporters were advocating Komphela’s removal for months and he was finally removed in a rather violent and unforgettable way.

Amakhosi fans vandalised the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban and burnt cameras after their team was eliminated by Stars in the semi-final of the Nedbank Cup.

The only real reason that might have influenced the Soweto Giants to appoint Solinas could be his experience coaching in the CAF Champions League.

Chiefs football manager Bobby Motaung recently said that they were looking for a coach with continental experience.

Chiefs supporters, after going for three seasons without silverware, will be crossing their fingers that Solinas is not another Komphela.

They suffered a lot during Komphela’s tenure and cannot afford another trophy-less season.

Or maybe it is Solinas’ time to do an Italian job at Amakhosi and prove all of his detractors - Chiefs fans are notoriously headstrong - wrong.

Only time will tell.

Read more on:    kaizer chiefs  |  giovanni solinas  |  soccer


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Tuesday, 17 December 2019
Wits v Mamelodi Sundowns, Moses Mabhida Stadium 19:30
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