Shoulder to shoulder

Steve Khompela”, “Just a philosopher”

It might have been his education, humbleness or probably his philosophical analysis when coming to football that he finds himself being a coach.

Being under watch for years as a football star in the late 90’s was incredible and great football player of that era. Khompela was one of the few football players amongst hundreds of players in South Africa that could express themselves fluently in English. Do not get me wrong, I am not saying fluently speaking English makes one a philosopher. Speaking English then especially as South African footballer said a lot about the level of one’s education. Anyway the man is highly educated and shrewd. Honestly I did not know much about him except that he captained Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana during that era. He moved abroad to play for Turkish club called Fernebache. He played innovative football, until he retired and became a commentator in one of the television station. He did commentary in Turkish language that is how brilliant the man is, he learned Turkish.

Now I look at the man how dismally he is when coming to coaching football, he can’t put his football analysis into practice. Kaizer Chiefs is the 11th team Khompela is coaching, since his soccer fraternity as coach began if not mistaken. Khompela has nothing to show in his cabin as coach. He has never won a silverware through his coaching career. When brat Bobby Motaung appointed him as Chiefs head coach, he was doing it because Chiefs couldn’t reach agreement with Stuart Baxter.  When Khompela got appointed I asked if he is a calibre of a coach Chiefs wanted!? There were so many doubts to several Kaizer Chiefs supporters, having looked at his coaching career including myself. The man’s theory, philosophical analysis are superb and always on point, I can’t dispute that. But he really sucks when coming to practicality of it. Despite the calibre of players at Chiefs, gradually continues to fail to do better. You may try to persuade some of us to give him some time, but each time, Khompela’s record speaks for itself. He is not being practical and innovative when coming to his approach of beautiful game. Playing tried and tested like Sphiwe Tshabalala, Renilwe Letsholonyane, Bernet Parker etcetera not only substantially giving them game time, ridiculously relying on them to win the games instead of young and talented players like Pule Ekstein, George Lebese and so on. The fact that these youngsters are hungry and want to make their mark, it is intriguing for supporters to watch them displaying what they made of. Giving these youngsters adequate game time is part of nurturing them, giving them confidence to do better each game.

After all they are the future, supporters need to see them while they are still young. The younger they are, the better they can produce fruitful results. The better they can prolifically express themselves in their soccer boots not wearing them on the bench.

Khompela’s coaching career; 2002/03 Manning Rangers won nothing, 2003/04 Dynamos won nothing, 2004 South Africa U-20 won nothing, 2006/07 Maritz burg United won nothing, 2008 South Africa U-23 won nothing, 2008/09 Free State Stars won nothing, 2009/10 Platinum Stars won nothing, 2012 South Africa (caretaker coach) won nothing, 2014/15 Maritzburg United won nothing, 2015/16 Kaizer Chiefs won nothing even though the season is not yet done. A man of more than a decade coaching experience, I would expect a silverware from him. One of my friends said “he is not a championship coach, he must be applauded for his consistency. He is doing good job of winning nothing” I fully concur with him.

So what makes you think the man will take Kaizer Chiefs to greater heights, since he wins nothing? The answer is, nothing!  Please Khompela get a job at SABC as analyst, the public will be very happy to see you in their tellies showing your smile analysing football not on side lines, showing your wrinkles.

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