But the 50-year old mentor will not want to go out this way – without a trophy in three years at the helm of one of the biggest clubs in Africa. It does more harm than good for his CV.
Komphela has what is now genuinely a last chance saloon situation to win silverware for Amakhosi when they host Free State Stars in the semi-final of the Nedbank Cup at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium at 8:15pm this evening.
He was asked earlier in the week about the need to finally end the drought and possibly save his job, but the coach knows he has perhaps reached a point of no return. As tempting as it might be for Chiefs chairman Kaizer Motaung to extend his stay at the end of his three-year contract in June, the risk of going another season empty-handed is one the boss is unlikely to entertain.
Motaung has come out with two strongly worded statements in the space of three months, expressing his disappointment at the lack of success under Komphela and also promising another squad overhaul, and maybe even a coaching change. “We were hoping that with coach Steve Komphela now in his third season that more positive results would be forthcoming, but that hasn’t happened as yet. We have now gone 2.5 years [sic] without winning a trophy and that’s disappointing. But we won’t throw in the towel,” Motaung said in January.
Chiefs were still considered Absa Premiership title contenders at the time, but are now no longer in the championship race following several poor results that killed any mathematical hopes of winning the chase.
When Amakhosi suffered a humiliating 3-0 loss to Chippa United two weeks ago in front of their home supporters, leading to unruly behaviour from the fans and not only costing the team three valuable points but forcing the Premier Soccer League to slap them with a R200000 fine, which is suspended for the next two years, Motaung spoke out yet again.
He promised changes to the playing personnel, remarks, again if you are reading between the lines, which Komphela did not necessarily agree with.
The coach said this week that he did not favour changes to a team if consistency is the primary objective to a winning team. In that same interview, Komphela also said he would not be too concerned if another coach comes in and finishes the job he started nearly three years ago when he took over from Stuart Baxter, who had managed to win four trophies in the same number of years in charge.
The Nedbank Cup could very well be Komphela’s way to protect his pedigree, one which has taken a knock during his time at Naturena. But it won’t save his job – that much seems clear.