Friday, 14 February 2014

TWO SHOCKERS FOR SOUTH AFRICAN FOOTBALL: VV installed by Orlando Pirates, Khune signs for Rooney agent Stretford

Tough choice: Vermezovic
Two shocking South African football stories broke this morning: first South Africa's top goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune announced he had signed for English agent Paul Stretford's Triple S Group, then Orlando Pirates said they'd appointed former Kaizer Chiefs boss Vladimir Vladimir Vermezović on a three-year deal to replace Roger de Sa.

Stunned isn't quite the word. Both stories are remarkable.

Here's the tweet from @iikhune_32_16 yesterday: " Good to be part of the family!"

Stretford’s Triple S Sports and Entertainment Group was formed after he left his previous agency Proactive over "huge and irreconcilable differences" involving FA misconduct charges and huge amounts of money surrounding Wayne Rooney’s transfer from Everton to Manchester United.

Stretford runs the agency with controversial former Newcastle United chairman Freddie Shepherd and his son Robert. Having left South African agent Jazzman Mahlakgane and spent six months with local agency MSC Sport, Khune is clearly at his wits' end when it comes to that big overseas move.

Sir Alex Ferguson once said: Stretford “was not the most popular man in the world – certainly at our club" when he tried to lure Rooney away from Old Trafford in October 2010.

Perhaps spurred by Andile Jali’s move to Belgium’s KV Oostende, Khune has clearly decided his only hope of playing in Europe is to sign for Stretford and his merry men. Best of luck with that, Itu. Stretford certainly fights hard for what he wants.

Even more shocking was THIS (complete with spelling mistakes, it’s Vermezović not Vermezonic) on the official Orlando Pirates website:

Orlando Pirates is pleased to announce the appointment of Vladimir Vermezonic as Head Coach.

VV has sgned a three year contract with the Club and is expected to start as soon as he gets his work permit. 

‘’I have unfinished business in South Africa. Orlando Pirates, a giant in African football, is offering me an opportunity to fulfil a dream of a lifetime. I am grateful for the opportunity” said Vladimir Vermezonic.

“I have had to study Orlando Pirates very closely from the other side. I am therefore not coming into an unknown environment. It should help because I know the supporters expect me to hit the deck running” added Vladimir Vermezonic.

“VV is not new to the South African condition. His hunger and discipline is impressive.” Dr Khoza, Orlando Pirates Football Chairman commented.

“In football, we are in the business of creating memories, history and leaving behind legacies that inspire generations to come. Coaches have become as much a part of this phenomenon as players. I wish VV a memorable and noteworthy career at Orlando Pirates Football Club” added Dr Khoza.

The Orlando Pirates Chairman, Dr Irivin Khoza, heaped praise and gratitude to the club’s assistant coach Eric Tinkler, who stepped in as caretaker coach when Roger De Sa resigned unexpectedly.

He said, “Eric is a ‘can do’ man that would rather fail doing rather than provide excuses. His work ethic is commendable. His commitment and hard work is not going unnoticed, I am confirming that Eric will continue in his role as assistant coach of Orlando Pirates Football Club”, concluded Dr Khoza.

Quite how the notorious VV, who left at least three Kaizer Chiefs stars in floods of tears during his largely unsuccessful time at Naturena from 2009-12 (a period during which arch-rivals Pirates won TWO TREBLES, he won the Telkom KO in 2009 and 2010) is supposed to solve the Buccaneers’ problems I’m not sure.

The 50-year-old Serbian is certainly renowned as a tough guy. With Stanley “Screamer” Shabalala and Floyd Mbele pulling the strings at a club which is imbued with what veteran captain Lucky Lekgwathi calls “sinister forces”, it’s going to be extremely tough.

VV returned to Partizan Belgrade when he left Chiefs in 2012 and after taking them to the top of the table he suffered a slump and was sacked in April 2013.

Just last week Dr Irvin Khoza was telling us the appointment of a new coach to succeed Roger de Sa was “not a priority”. My thought was that VV was a rushed appointment as Tinkler was about to decamp to Ajax Cape Town with his old mentor De Sa.

But De Sa is no closer to moving 1000km south and Tinkler has been assured he will stay on as VV’s number two. Very strange.

But hey. No room for more defamation suits. Best of luck Itu and VV. I think you may both need it!

BREAKING: here's the Bafana squad to play Brazil on March 5, Khune understudy is SuperSport United's Ronwen Williams, Thabo Nthethe remains in place after his move from Bloemfontein Celtic to Mamelodi Sundowns but no sign of Tower Mathoho or Tefu MashaMIGHTY, Bournemouth's Tokelo Rantie gets the call up front:

Goalkeepers: Khune, Williams
Defenders: Nthethe, Khumalo, Mkhwanazi, Xulu, Ngcongca, Mokeke, Matlaba
Midfielders: Furman, Dikgacoi, Tshabalala, Claasen, Serero, Jali, Manyisa, Patosi, Mbatha, Zungu, Kekana
Strikers: Parker, Rantie, Ndlovu

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1 comment:

  1. Wow this is very strange for Pirates, I hope VV proves us wrong. How could Dr. Khoza not give Eric Tinkler more time. I mean South African coaches are underrated. At least he could have given him until the end of the season. Tinkler already knew some good combinations and which players are on form currently. Now VV will have to adapt to the Pirates style of football, get to know the players and find a winning combination. Because I'm sure he will want to bring in his own philosophy.