JOHANNESBURG, April 16 – After a three-season long spell in charge of Kaizer Chiefs during which time he has failed to deliver any major trophies, Steve Komphela’s time with the Glamour Boys seems about to come to an end.
There are those who believe Komphela has been let down by his forwards’ lack of finishing prowess. And looking back over the season, there is certainly a case for this, based on a number of games in which Amakhosi dominated their opponents but just could not locate the back of the net.
Others feel the former Chiefs defender has been short-changed by the upper management, who call the shots when it comes to making signings, and who have not covered themselves in glory in this department.
Acquisitions such as Enocent Mkhabela, Keegan Buchanan, Edmore Chirambadare, Michelle Katsvairo, Lewis Macha, Philani Zulu and Bongolethu Jayiya have failed to deliver what was hoped of them. The jury is probably still out on the likes of Gusatavo Paez and Dumisani Zuma, while Kabelo Mahlasela is yet to debut after he was injured just after joining the club.
Indeed, right-back Ramahlwe Mphahlele, signed from Mamelodi Sundowns, has been one of the few success stories, while another former Sundowns man, Leonardo Castro, should still prove a useful addition.
Regardless though of the root of Chiefs’ problems, it appears a large portion of the club’s supporters have run out of patience with Komphela and his complex and on occasion baffling post-match and media interviews, as witnessed a week ago when they pelted the coach and players with missiles after the 3-0 defeat to Chippa United a home.
And while the Amakhosi brains-trust can be credited with trying to ensure stability by not making any hasty decisions and firing their coach, as many of their PSL counterparts often do, it seems a near certainty now that they won’t be extending Komphela’s contract beyond the original three-year deal.
The former Free State Stars and Maritzburg United head coach pretty much admitted as much when speaking after Sunday’s 1-0 win over another of his former clubs, Platinum Stars, claiming his time with Chiefs has made him a stronger character.
“Strength wise I have grown immensely,” he said. “As I go out I must thank everybody, the pressure that you receive makes you a better person. God is preparing me for another challenge be it outside of football or in the game.
“Emotionally I was a very weak person, but ask me now and you’ll even ask yourself how does this guy even stand? Beyond a bit of brains that’s been given to us, the emotions are stronger and that moves deeper into the level of faith. Maybe I need to be more faithful, and the only way to be more faithful is you have to have emotions that are strong, stable so that nothing hurts you.”
Chiefs are currently fourth on the table, behind Maritzburg on goal difference and 10-points behind league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.
However, with his side set to play Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals this weekend, Komphela may still be able to end his tenure at Chiefs on a high note before packing his bags, much like former Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal did by winning the FA Cup before being fired soon after.
The 51-year-old Komphela’s best achievement to date at Chiefs came in his first season, when he reached both the MTN8 and the Telkom Knockout finals, and perhaps things could have worked out differently if those matches had yielded victories.
– African News Agency (ANA)