The agenda of Steve Komphela


The former Bafana Bafana captain had an agenda - to set the record straight ahead of another encounter against rivals Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

It’s a match that will surely lift the lid on whether Amakhosi have what it takes to defend their PSL title.

Komphela had received a vote of confidence from club chairman Kaizer Motaung a little over 24 hours earlier despite a spate of unfavourable results, which have left Chiefs off the pace as they languish in fourth place and eight points adrift of log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns at the halfway mark of the league campaign.

Komphela’s first bone of contention was that some members of the press believed he had not been honest in his previous comments about the quality of the Amakhosi squad, and that the team he had assembled - or rather inherited - was not good enough to retain the title.

“I want to believe I have always been frank, which is standard,” said Komphela, who is hoping Chiefs bounce back from last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Platinum Stars at their alternative home venue, Cape Town Stadium, in Cape Town.

“I can’t ignore the fact that they (players) are champions. To have reached two cup finals (the MTN8 and Telkom Knockout this season) is okay, but it was not good enough because we would have loved to win.

“I have nothing to be stressed about except to say maybe we could have had better results in the matches we have played.”

Komphela was shielding his players as much as he was reiterating that he is still the right man for the job, despite the view of the fans that the Amakhosi post is simply too big for him. Another question which irked him was regarding his search for a proven goal-scorer, as all five of his current strikers have managed just five league goals between them this season.

“I hope I speak to be understood. I have never said that I need a striker. I merely made a reference about Vasco da Gama who had Sibusiso Zuma in the past, and Moroka Swallows who had Siyabonga Nomvethe or (Mpumalanga) Black Aces with Collins Mbesuma,” Komphela said.

“I always choose my words carefully because what message would I be sending to my five strikers if I spoke out about needing someone else?

“At Chiefs we don’t discuss private matters publicly. We negotiate in private and make public announcements.”

It was a mouthful, but a telltale sign that Komphela has not taken speculation regarding his future lightly. He will cling to Motaung’s warm words in a week where two coaches - Gordon Igesund at SuperSport United and Sammy Troughton at the University of Pretoria - were axed. Motaung reiterated that he would not allow irate fans to dictate who should be the head coach at Naturena.

“Maybe one could draw inspiration to work harder and accept the fact that it could happen anytime to anybody,” added Komphela on the topic of his two contemporaries who have found themselves jobless.

“Football has gone away from being recreational. It’s business, but when you change a coach it’s like changing a team because there is instability. Our principals (chairmen) have always given us maximum support. They know how hard we work and we hope we can give back in the form of (positive) results.”

The Star

Original source: The agenda of Steve Komphela