Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Too many Chiefs for Celtic, but did VV go too far in his post-match critique?

EITHER Vladimir Vermezovic isn't very clever, or he's incredibly brave. You decide. After Kaizer Chiefs' emphatic 2-0 win over Bloemfontein Celtic last night, his frankness was almost alarming.
Despite completely outplaying a useful Celtic outfit, he felt compelled to tell the world on Supersport after the final whistle:"I am not satisfied. The biggest problem is that our guys are not killers. We missed so many chances. I mean, there were opportunities where it would have been easier to miss than to score.
"What can a coach do when they miss chances like that? Next time, those chances may be what win us the game. I am very unhappy. We missed those chances when we were 2-0 up today. But what if we miss chances when it is 0-0?
"I will talk to my players but I am not satisfied."
Fascinating. He wants a gang of killers - and you've got to wonder if he was referring to Sundowns' Katlego Mphela, the Premiership's current joint top scorer.
Personally, I thought Chiefs were dominant in every department including finishing last night. Itumeleng Khune is getting his sharpness back, they were resolute in defence and the midfield functioned well despite the continued absence of Tinashe Nengomasha, the General in the middle of the park. More about him later.
Lucky Baloyi's goal on the half-hour from 30 yards was magnificent, and Lehlohonolo Majoro made the game safe - the former Amazulu striker is looking increasingly adept.
Though Baloyi could have scored at least two more and Bernard Parker toiled in front of goal once more, it was top referee Daniel Bennett's decision not to issue Thabani Stemmer with a red card that was the real talking point.
Watching the excellent SuperSport analyst Thomas Mlambo discuss that decision - and the third minute red card which ruined Ajax Cape Town's night against Free State Stars - was entertainment enough for anybody.
The Celtic goalkeeper was well out of his box when he reached out an arm to deny Siphiwe Tashablala a clear scoring chance with no defender in the offing. Clear red card, but the usually impeccable Bennett went for yellow. Perhaps he's colour blind or somebody had shuffled his the pack of cards in his pocket.
Perhaps VV could have focused on that decision, and allowed his players the chance to bask in a comfortable victory which puts them back in contention at fourth in the Absa Premiership. But no, he preferred to lash his hapless players for their profligacy in front of goal.
Strange. I was at a packed Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday night where goal-scoring was simply not on the agenda. Bad finishing? Ask league leaders Sundowns and champions Orlando Pirates about that. With 60,000 begging for a goal on a night of amazing atmosphere, neither side was able to produce a finish in a 0-0 draw which suited the Downs more than the Buccaneers.
And how about SuperSports United? They went in to the Christmas break looking like contenders, but a distinct lack of firepower has left Gavin Hunt's side looking like desperate also-rans after another 0-0 stalemate yesterday.
Thing is, of course, Serbian struggler VV must know his players are unhappy. His bust-up with Nengomasha appears to be ongoing - originally ruled out of the Soweto derby with injury, he is now officially suspended and didn't play last night - and the past problems with ex-captain Jimmy Tau, Josta Dladla and Abia Nale are now a matter of history.
The New Age, a paper worth picking up (especially as I now have a column running in it) ran this anonymous text message from a senior Chiefs player:"We cannot stand this guy VV. He is rude and abusive and I don't understand why the management is doing nothing as they are aware of our grievances with the coach."
Three weeks ago, I was made aware of similar sentiments in the Orlando Pirates camp. I wrote all about it on this site. Just like Itumeleng Khune today, Monieb Josephs came out and said all was well between the players and the coach. Khune told today: "We laugh it off. People are trying to destabilise the club." Josephs said almost exactly that when rumours surrounded his coach. Two weeks later, Julio Leal was suspended and replaced by Augusto Palacios.
VV should tread warily. He may be going the same way. With three points in the bag last night, he may have been better off not behaving like Sir Alex Ferguson.
Fergie has his players under control. VV clearly doesn't.

1 comment:

  1. Why do you keep making up stories Neal?
    Don't the other boys want to play with you?

    Now stop all this nonsense and come give mama a massage.