South Africans are reluctant to adapt to modern football – Komphela

After questions were raised about the new style of football that is being implemented at Moroka Swallows, coach Steve Komphela has stuck to his guns and says South Africans are reluctant to adapt to the forever evolving game. 

This after Swallows succumbed to a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Orlando Pirates during their DStv Premiership encounter at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Dube Birds have been playing some eye-catching football, where they build from the back and counter press – a style that has been mastered by teams like Manchester City, Brighton & Hove Albion and now Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League.


Swallows have usually been criticised and caught out at times for wanting to build from the back without the necessary quality of players.

“My biggest question to us as a nation as South Africans is are we ready to adapt? We are reluctant, South Africans are not quick to adapt to the trends of modern football,” said Komphela.

“We tend to be rigid, and we are stuck in old ways even when the game is moving [forward].

“We’ve got to move fast if we must improve the game. Not only players, not only coaches, not only the wonderful people sitting on couches in front of me in terms of educating people [journalists].”

Sundowns best example

Komphela went on to defend his stance, saying his former team Mamelodi Sundowns is the perfect example of an SA team that has got the hang of things.

“If you look at Mamelodi Sundowns, you will learn a lot when they build. If you look at Orlando Pirates, you will learn a lot when they build. You will learn a lot from Manchester City, from Brighton,” he added.


“All those components should not just be stuff that we watch on TV because the game is universal. If you do that (build from the back), then they say, ‘you are risking the thing’.

“I am saying of the teams that build from the back and perceived of high to be at high risk of conceding goals, they are teams that concede the least number of goals.

“Before this match, we conceded seven and Sundowns have conceded three. They build from the back; we build from the back and two of the teams that build from the back have conceded the least goals so far.”

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