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Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter not bothered by criticism on social media

Kaizer Chiefs head coach Stuart Baxter addresses the media during the club’s media day at the Chiefs Village in Naturena on Wednesday

FILE - Kaizer Chiefs head coach Stuart Baxter addresses the media during the club’s media day at the Chiefs Village in Naturena on Wednesday. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Apr 13, 2022

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Johannesburg — Kaizer Chiefs’ coach Stuart Baxter is not worried about the critical opinions of social media users as they are not privy to the important details.

Baxter’s second spell at Chiefs wasn't warmly received by everyone. His naysayers strongly felt that the head coaching job should have been offered to club legend and his current deputy Arthur Zwane last year.

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And after being in charge for the better part of the season, he has done little to shut up his detractors.

Chiefs are on course to extend their trophyless run, across all competitions, to seven seasons. A feat that's defying for a club that's deemed ‘the Cup Kings’.

Such that Mamelodi Sundowns’ faithful, who could see their beloved club bag a quadruple this season, including a record fifth title in a row and the African crown, have taken a swipe at Chiefs, including Baxter.

But the British-born coach isn’t bothered about what the people say about him on social media .

“I don’t need to take part in social media. I don’t need to speak or listen to the opinions of some people that make a profession out of going online and commenting about things that they don't really have the deepest knowledge about,” Baxter.

“It’s got to be the knowledge of a supporter. And I don’t mind the supporters having their banter and sitting at bars, or wherever, discussing or criticising."

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Baxter, moreover, says he’s not bothered by Sundowns’ success, suggesting that he prefers to be criticised by people who know more about football.

“If I get hammered for what Sundowns are doing, for me that’s not the best line of criticism,” Baxer said.

“If get hammered because someone came to watch me at training and said 'you were not organised, the players didn’t enjoy it or the tactical aspects were wrong,' then I’ll listen to that. Not many people have that much knowledge.

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“I’ll listen to you guys (the media) because you watch us all the time. But social media is something completely separated from that. A lot of opinions of people with less information."

However, Baxter said he was really concerned about young players who get hammered on social media.

“When you’ve got young players that are deeply affected to the point of depression and medication, I don’t think the advice from me would be to switch into social media to such a level,” he said.

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“You have to take part if you want to. But you also have to be able to take a step back from it and see social media as a phenomenon. It’s like a judge and a jury.

“So we have to be able to do that. I can’t be able to sit down with every player. I don’t know who gets hammered.”

Baxter added that he knows of a young player that was forced into using a banned substance because of the stick he got on social media.

"I am saying it's an irrelevant part of our society. It is there," Baxter said.

"But for the players I don't think I can advise them to part in it. In fact, I know one young boy who started to use banned substances because he couldn't handle the stick he was getting on social media.

"With mental health being an issue, my only advice to people is try to have the right distance if they are going to take part in social media."

@Mihlalibaleka

IOL Sport

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