JOHANNESBURG – You will remember that more than a month ago Kaizer Motaung, the Amakhosi chairman, backed under-fire Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas when he’d gone five Absa Premiership matches without a win.
It’s likely that the boss still feels the Italian mentor has potential to end the club’s three-year trophy drought, but then again a lot has happened since.
An irritable Solinas faced the media following the Soweto derby defeat to rivals Orlando Pirates at the weekend, and it became clear that his job security remains at risk.
Here are just THREE reasons why Solinas could be walking a tightrope:
Solinas in denial
Following the Soweto derby at the weekend, the Amakhosi coach was taken to task over how he picks his back four after they had collapsed when Pirates put them under pressure and eventually won 2-1.
The Italian seems to be in denial, insisting that his defenders are the best in the Premier Soccer League. This means Solinas is claiming that Chiefs, who have - on average - conceded a goal in every match since he took over, boast the finest rearguard in the league and are ahead of log leaders Bidvest Wits, Bloemfontein Celtic and even Polokwane City, the club that are currently enjoying an impressive defensive record.
It only suggests that Solinas won’t change his approach as well as tactics to fix what is clearly an issue for the Glamour Boys.
No trophy yet
He might have asked for time to adjust to life at Chiefs even though well aware of the pressure that comes with being at a club the size of the Glamour Boys. But the reality is that no matter when Solinas arrived, the expectation is still to deliver silverware - especially given he inherited a team that had not been able to win a trophy in the previous three seasons under his predecessor Steve Komphela.
Chiefs were dumped out of the MTN8 earlier in the campaign, stretching the drought even further. They will now host SuperSport United in the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals on Sunday afternoon and that surely is a must-win fixture for the beleaguered Amakhosi coach, who signed a two-year contract with an option to renew back in July.
Taking on the press
Many of his colleagues will tell him that a war with the media is one you never win. Their role is to ask questions for the millions of Amakhosi fans that aren’t privileged enough to get to take issue with the coach’s decisions.
But Solinas has recently been irritable with journalists - first following the penalty win over Black Leopards in the cup and then again after the Soweto derby defeat.
He’s on a hiding to nothing because that usually isn’t a good look for the coach to tell everyone that only his opinion matters when he has clearly got it wrong.