JOHANNESBURG - Let’s face it, Kaizer Chiefs made a mistake with Steve Komphela. There, you’ve been thinking it, now I’ve said it.
What will be important ahead of next season is to choose a successor that will right all his wrongs for the past three years almost.
Komphela, quite unfortunately, has done more harm than good, and the coach himself will admit that much.
Of course at the end of his tenure next month, we will applaud the former Bafana Bafana and Amakhosi skipper for having tried to refresh an ageing team by the introduction of young players like Ryan Moon, Wiseman Meyiwa and Siyabonga Ngezana to build for the future – a future he is unlikely to be part of.
We will admire how, in his first season, Chiefs played expansive football and reached two cup finals in four months.
But failing to win those was the beginning of a downward spiral that the club never recovered from.
It’s evident now that were he to be offered an extension upon the expiry of his deal, this would clearly rub the fans up the wrong way.
So, the next best thing is to be absolutely meticulous in who you hire as his replacement.
The Motaung family will not be short of potential candidates, given the stature of the club and its rich history. No doubt they will recover from three terrible years, but it’s going to take some doing.
In as much as Komphela has proven to be a complete disaster, Chiefs have in the past made some pretty decent appointments.
Think back to the late Ted Dumitru, Stuart Baxter and even Muhsin Ertugral or journeyman Paul Dolezar to an extent – and this is only in the Premier League era.
The point is that the status of the club alone can attract great coaches, regardless of how the previous three years have worked out.
But will it be a foreigner or a local coach?
One thing is for sure – Komphela has hurt any chances of Kaizer Motaung considering a South African coach again. It was the first time since 1994 that the chairman has hired someone within these shores.
It’s very possible that he will feel he has been vindicated, and those who have criticised him about waiting so long to give a local boy a chance will now retreat back into their corners.
The new coach will have to hit the ground running, starting with the MTN8 or leading the log table from the first kick of the ball in the upcoming season.
Anything below means the fans will be very despondent, and the coach will not be afforded enough time because of the scars of the Komphela “reign of terror”.
Something tells me Motaung is going abroad. There is no one available in SA currently to do a job at Chiefs – all the best ones are occupied.