Soccer Scene: No end to coaching musical chairs

Johannesburg – The PSL coaching musical chairs have begun in earnest after Durban-based side Golden Arrows coach Mandla Ncikazi shocked soccer followers by quitting his job on Wednesday then stunningly joined Orlando Pirates on Friday.

In the recently concluded PSL campaign, Ncikazi turned Abafana Bes’thende into one of the most competitive teams in the Premiership and Pirates could not have identified a better man to lead the almost struggling Soweto giants.

Despite his successful season, PSL coach of the season award nominee Ncikazi, 52, took over the coaching reigns at Arrows last October when Steve Komphela stepped down to join PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns in Tshwane.

The award was eventually bagged by AmaZulu’s Benni McCarthy. Under Ncikazi’s guidance Arrows won 11‚ drew 14 and lost five of their Premiership matches during the recently- ended season, falling short of a third-place to book them a berth in the CAF Confederation Cup after being charge for a season.

To say tactician Ncikazi stunned the lovers of the beautiful game with his move to Pirates is not understatement, but then we know the relationship between Bucs and PSL chairman Irvin Khoza and his league CEO and Arrrows boss Mato Madlala.

The duo clinched the deal to move Ncikazi from Durban to Joburg, plotting the coup behind the scenes since the end of the season.

Talks have been bubbling over that Pirates are on the verge of firing their German mentor Josef Zinnbauer. We are all aware how coaching has become a thankless job in Mzansi, and perhaps in the world of football.

Zinnbauer is the same man who won the MTN8-Wafa-Wafa for the Buccaneers last December and took them to a comfortable third place on the log ahead of Arrows to qualify, for the second season in a row, for the CAF Confederation Cup next season. Football stalwart Khoza always has an ace up his sleeve.

Zinnbauer’s appointment one and half seasons ago stunned everyone, and Khoza always prides himself for being unpredictable when it comes to his chopping and changing of coaches. It is something he does not do at the stroke of a pen but with thorough consideration.

We know that Khoza has been under immense to say we know the Sea Robbers supporters are up in arms, they want Zinnbauer out and as usual Bucs are mum on their next coaching move until Khoza hit the local soccer fraternity with a thunderbolt announcement of Friday.

We’ve seen it happen before, the Sea Robbers’ head honcho Khoza has this tendency of springing surprise when it comes to replacing coaches. And Ncikazi’s move to occupy the Bucs hot seat is the latest in the Pirates chief’s master strokes.

The date for the start of the new 2021/22 season has not been announced and unfortunately, we are still going to be subjected to many of these musical chairs both at coaching and player transfer level in the next coming weeks.

Xolile Mtshazo

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