Pirates fans calling for Krol to be axed

2010-12-12 09:18

That all is not well at Orlando Pirates is ­obvious since supporters have called for the head of coach Rudi Krol after the club’s heavy 3-0 loss to arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs in the Telkom Cup KO final last ­Saturday.

This is the opposite of the ­euphoria that erupted on October 2 when The Buccaneers ended a 10-year trophy drought by beating Moroka Swallows to lift the ­­­R8-million MTN8 trophy.

The fact that Pirates had ­eliminated the same Chiefs 2-1 on aggregate over the two-legged semi-final of the same competition had granted Krol, previously under fire, a reprieve.

Things have gone pear-shaped, however, and not only are fans calling for his dismissal, but the Dutchman is also set to be hauled over red-hot coals when he and his technical staff meet with the club’s chairperson, Irvin “The Iron Duke” Khoza, this week.

Khoza was in the US last week to collect an award on behalf of the SA 2010 Local Organising Committee from the African American Institute.

The club’s number one supporter, Mzion Mofokeng, fired the first salvo this week, saying Pirates had proved too big for Krol. He called for him to do the honourable thing and call it a day.

“The man has failed us even though he has everything at his disposal to succeed,” fumed ­Mofokeng.

“He has been around more than any other coach we have had, but he has still not achieved. The management knows our feeling and we have even sent letters and called the office to tell them how we feel.”

The outspoken supporter said some of his fellow fans were calling for the return of Serb mentor Kostadin Papic.

Former Chiefs mentor Murhsin Ertugral’s name has also been bandied about for the hot seat.

The incident where Pirates players were seen gesticulating at each other and pointing accusing fingers at goal-minder Moeneeb Josephs, after he gifted ­Amakhosi striker Sthembiso ­Ngcobo with the first goal, showed ­divisions within the team. This added fuel to talk that there were two camps within the playing staff.

This was exacerbated when the gifted Andile Jali stormed to the dressing room after being substituted by Tlou Segolela in the second half, without the traditional shaking of hands with the coach and his team-mates on the bench.

The unrepentant Jali was quoted on the club’s website as saying: “It is not that I struggled. When things do not work out for you, you have to change your tactics. It was a tough game and I was trying to find ways of getting the ball forward. We cannot be playing in our half because it is dangerous if we lose the ball there.”

Jali’s comments were a response to Krol’s utterances that he had substituted the player because he failed to follow the instructions given to him before the game and at half time.

It is questionable how the club’s management could give a player the platform to criticise his coach, who is virtually his direct boss.

Krol refused to discuss the Jali remarks on the club’s website.

This goes against his remark made on television soon after the game, when he said “that’s his problem and not mine” when asked about the incident.

Before last week’s final, there were reports that there had been an altercation between midfielders Mark Mayambela, Teko Modise and assistant coach Craig Rosslee when they refused to take his instructions at training.

However, this week the players denied these allegations.

During last week’s final, Rosslee and Krol were seen arguing with each other on the bench when a substitution was supposed to be made. There are also allegations that Krol did not select the team that beat Chiefs in the MTN8 semi-final second leg.

Further whispers in the corridors are that Krol looked surprised at the team that took the field against Chiefs last week.

He has also been blamed for continuously benching Modise, while others took a swipe at him for sidelining veteran defender Lucky Lekgwathi, who was blamed for Chiefs’s first goal in the ­previous encounter.

A defiant Krol said yesterday he was not worried about his future at Pirates and was looking forward to the meeting with Khoza.

“It’s one of those regular meetings where we see how best we can improve the team,” he said.

He said preparations for today’s league game against Bloemfontein Celtic had gone well.

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