AN awkward conversation between Roger de Sa and his Ajax Cape Town bosses is surely on the cards - right around the time everyone is expected to be in a festive mood to celebrate the holidays.
I am not trying to throw the coach under the bus but the Urban Warriors haven’t been quite the same since winning the MTN8 title a little over a year ago. It’s been a slippery slope and it does not look like there is a rescue plan in sight.
Ajax were on the receiving end of yet another defeat at the weekend, a 2-0 thumping from Kaizer Chiefs at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night. Their defeat - their third in the loss column in the Absa Premiership - is cringe worthy. They have also gone five fixtures without a win. For Ajax, arguing that their poor start is due to the parting of ways with several key players, can never hold water.
They are a selling club, and have been operating in that space almost since inception. They have a long list of former players scattered across the country with other PSL clubs and also have the likes of Steve Pienaar and Thulani Serero among those who secured lucrative European deals while on their books.
De Sa must be getting some piercing stares during lunch time at Ikamva. He came highly recommended, did the former Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates coach, and has a decorated CV after he guided the Buccaneers to the 2013 CAF Champions League final.
De Sa’s time at Pirates was a mixed bag, however, having achieved the incredible feat of reaching three cup finals, but failing to win any of them. Ajax pounced soon after he resigned from his post with the Soweto giants, and it really seemed like a good fit.
Not long after he’d taken over, the Urban Warriors were making headlines for all the right reasons after a family feud between the club directors in May 2011 had done some serious damage, to the extent that parent club, Ajax Amsterdam, threatened to pull out of the partnership. It came as no surprise that they were almost relegated two years later and that had a lot to do with the politics in the hierarchy, which affected the team’s performance.
It’s all blown over now and there is a trophy to show for it. De Sa was not able to defend it, however, after Ajax finished outside the top eight bracket last season - in 10th place to be precise - and they seem to have hit the pause button on that poor showing and resumed without making any adjustments when the current campaign got under way. I have a feeling it will not be long before their big brothers over in Amsterdam get involved once again. They would hate to see a team they are affiliated to them go down the tubes, never to rise again in top-flight football. Optimists will argue that De Sa needs more time to steady the ship, but truth is that he’s had at least 12 months to improve the performance, seeing that things went south shortly after their cup triumph in September last year.
With Allan Freese sacked haphazardly at Highlands Park yesterday, another coaching post might soon open up in the PSL ...
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