Monday, 26 November 2012

Roger and OUT: why Palmgren had to part ways with AmaZulu

Swede dreams: Roger Palmgren

AMAZULU reacted swiftly to their weekend plunge back to the foot of the PSL – by finally sacking Swedish head coach Roger Palmgren.
The final straw came on Sunday, when Mamelodi Sundowns finally registered their second win of the season to creep off the bottom, courtesy of a 1-0 win at Bloemfontein Celtic.
AmaZulu went down 1-0 to Free State Stars at the Moses Mabhida and despite a recent resurgence of sorts – they stand 11th in the Q2 table with a win over AmaTuks and a draw against Sundowns last week – management was forced to act.
Usuthu General Manager Peter O’Connor said on the club website: “We met with Roger and advised him that his services have been terminated with immediate effect and informed the players and the technical team of what has happened.
“Fani Madida will be caretaker coach until we have announced the new coach which will hopefully be will soon.”
Under the Swede this season, AmaZulu recorded two League wins - but one of them came while Palmgren was on leave attending a family bereavement in Sweden.
Palmgren’s career has been largely African based with his spells in charge of the Sierra Leone national side dominating a CV which also features the DR Congo and Rwanda before he arrived in South Africa in 2009 to take over at Thanda Royal Zulu.
Palmgren told yesterday: “I’ve been replaced, some changes had to be made. I’m quite disappointed, we had a record season last season but this season I didn’t get the players I wanted.
“I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved and we’ve produced a lot of talent. This season didn’t go well from the start, but that’s football.”
Madida will probably be in charge for the December 5 clash at Leopards as AmaZulu attempt to improve on a record of 12 games, two wins, three draws and seven defeats.
Despite last Wednesday’s draw at Sundowns, Palmgren – who still boasts Bafana’s veteran AFCON  winning coach Clive Barker on his staff – must have known it was only a matter of time before AmaZulu did what rock-bottom QPR did to Mark Hughes in the English Premier League last week.
Palmgren is not the winner of the PSL sack race this season – he trails in a distant sixth behind  Maarten Stekelenberg (Ajax Cape Town), Roger Sikhakane and Mngqithi (both Chippa United), Muhsin Ertugral (Golden Arrows) and Augusto Palacios (Orlando Pirates).
This story also appears with my regular Tuesday Neal & Pray column in tomorrow.
The PSL Q2 table appears below:
1 Orlando Pirates    4..4..0..0..10..1..12
Mburg United       4..3..1..0..6..2..10 
3 Kaizer Chiefs        4..3..0..1..8..5..9
4 Plat Stars                4..3..0..1..6..3..9

5 FS Stars                  4..2..1..1..3..2..7 
6 Bloem Celtic          4..2..0..2..3..3..6
7 Leopards                 4..2..0..2..3..6..6 
8 Chippa Utd            4..1..2..1..7..6..5
9 Sundowns              4..1..2..1..4..5..5

10 Ajax CT                 4..1..1..2..4..5..4
11 Amazulu                4..1..1..2..2..3..4
12 Wits                        4..1..1..2..3..5..4
13 SuperSport U       4..0..3..1..5..6..3 

14 AmaTuks               4..0..2..2..2..4..2 
15 Swallows                4..0..1..3..4..9..
16 Arrows                    4..0..1..3..2..7..1 

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