JOHANNESBURG - Giovanni Solinas clearly does not believe in the rotation principle that has worked so well for the club he hopes to usurp as South African champions.
The new Kaizer Chiefs coach, yet to win an Absa Premiership game after three matches, has lamented his club’s hectic schedule, describing it as being made for "robots, not for human beings".
However, while he admitted to having a big enough squad, the Italian coach spoke against using players alternately in order to keep them fresh for a campaign that will often see them playing three games a week.
The Amakhosi technical head clearly has not been following the ways of his Mamelodi Sundowns counterpart Pitso Mosimane, who has managed to keep the club successful in spite of a schedule that has seen them having very little rest between matches in the last three seasons or so.
Mosimane’s ability to manage his squad, giving certain players rest at some stages of the season, has ensured that the fatigue aspect had very little impact on Sundowns’ campaigns either locally or on the continent. Solinas, though, is clearly against rotation.
“Yes, we have a (big) squad but the problem is you can’t change too many players because if you do, you lose the confidence, you lose the shape. You can’t change too much,” he explained.
That could well be, but why then complain about a hectic schedule a mere three matches into the season when the schedule is set to become even more chaotic later with the introduction of continental football.
Yesterday we played @KaizerChiefs
we tried our best but unfortunately our best was not enough.
The game as 1-1 draw.
We now have to get up and prepare for @polokwane_city this coming weekend. pic.twitter.com/xrfXQFZcC4
Following his team’s 1-1 draw with Baroka FC on Tuesday night, the Italian coach lamented the lack of rest between their matches, Amakhosi having played on Saturday, then on Tuesday and now scheduled to play again on Friday, away to Maritzburg United (8pm kick-off).
“My players played on Saturday, then we travelled (to Polokwane). No time for recover(y); no time for training. So in the end of the game, we feel a little bit fatigued," he said. "It is not easy playing every two days and travelling.”
The Chiefs coach then complained about the schedule. “This fixture (list), this calendar is for the robot, not for the human being. It is not possible to play every two days and travel.”
Solinas said because of this busy schedule it is difficult for him to get to work properly on fixing his team’s weaknesses. “The players work hard in the training but we need the time to improve. And to improve, a team needs training sessions.
"In a training session you can fix the mistakes but we don’t have time to train because we play Saturday, we play on Tuesday and we travel a lot. Now we travel from Polokwane to Durban (Maritzburg), no time to train. But when we have time, I believe we will improve.”
What Solinas misses, though, is that he does not have time, not when he is in charge of a Chiefs side who are in desperate need of success following three seasons of no official silverware. The sooner he delivers that maiden league win, the easier he will sit in one of the country’s hottest coaching seats.
And the match against Maritzburg could be just what he needs given the Team of Choice’s poor start to the season. But Maritzburg coach Fadlu Davids was at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday and he’d have spotted weaknesses in Chiefs’ play that he will hope to exploit. With Solinas loath to rotate his team, Davids might just know exactly what he will be up against.