JOHANNESBURG - With Kaizer Chiefs hogging the headlines this month with the purchase of three players and the appointment of a technical advisor, coach Steve Komphela’s contract has again come under the microscope.
He has just four months left and there has yet to be any mention of an extension.
“The anxiety builds when you are not sure,” Komphela said Wednesday when asked about his future. “And you are uncertain when you are scrambling all over the place. But that is not so with me. I am a man of process, I am working here and looking as far as going until the last day - contributing in a manner in that when you leave, or stay, you have done your job in a manner that is highly respectable.”
What works against the coach is the fact that he has not won anything (with the exception of pre-season cups that generally count for naught) since being hired in June 2015 to replace Stuart Baxter, a man who collected four trophies in three years.
“I look at the log table (Amakhosi are fourth after 16 games) and it is worrisome,” said Komphela about Chiefs’ chances of winning the championship. “We have conceded nine goals, that is the best defence in the league at the moment along with Maritzburg United. But everybody else has gone beyond.
"We are not as free-scoring, maybe that is why we had to come up with this intervention (signing two attacking midfielders and a striker). We have played too many draws (joint second highest in the league) even though we have only lost three matches. I think we are the only team that has lost this number of matches and have conceded the least number of goals. It is a cause for concern. Maybe (Siphelele) Ntshangase and (Leonardo) Castro will help us.”
The announcement on Tuesday of Rob Hutting as a technical advisor sparked some speculation that Komphela was headed for the exit door, this despite the club being clear that the Dutchman was hired in consultation with Komphela.
Hutting’s unimposing CV or lack of information on where he has worked and what he has achieved, suggests there really is no hidden agenda behind his arrival - he appears far less qualified than Komphela for the Chiefs job.
Bobby Motaung, the Amakhosi football manager who, along with his father Kaizer Motaung, has been criticised for not backing Komphela until it was too late with the “quality” of signings, said the coach’s contract has not been discussed yet.
“People think we set Steve up for failure, but that is not true because we brought him here to be successful. It is unfortunate that it has not worked the way we would have liked up to now. Unfortunately, coaches are judged by trophies they win,” Bobby said.
“But he came in and changed the team around. You can check the transformation of the team and it’s structure, Steve has done very well after taking over from Baxter. The team has got its own identity that he is playing with. He has integrated the development with the first team. It’s a journey, not something that happens overnight. He has been patient and we are trying to exhaust the supportive measures. We will make pronouncements at a later stage on his future. But at the moment we are still trying to beef up.”