Palacios? Really? Buc up guys

2012-03-17 15:14

The real reason for the suspension of Pirates coach Julio Leal may not be known.

It would take a lot more than the club’s statement that “the coach expressed that he could not see his way forward” and offered “to do what is right for the club” to convince many.

Although he would not openly admit it, Pirates chairperson Irvin Khoza, whose team currently holds all four PSL trophies, seems to have made four coaching errors in the last eight months.

The suspension of Leal, who has won two trophies so far and was four points away from the top spot when he was put on ice, once again demonstrated the club’s weakness.

The removal of Leal from the Bucs bench resulted in the team suffering their first league loss of the New Year after five matches when they were humiliated in a 3-0 loss to Santos on Wednesday.

Leal’s appointment in August last year was seen as another mistake by Khoza as the Brazilian was regarded as being unsuitable for the top job.

Leal, who twice lost jobs at AmaZulu and Moroka Swallows, was clearly not the right man for the job. But just as he was starting to do well, he was thrust into the wilderness and might not re-emerge from his suspension.

However, the biggest mistake Khoza made was to dismiss Dutchman Rudi Krol, the man who led Bucs to a historic treble last season.

If Krol hadn’t been fired perhaps all this wouldn’t be happening. But that’s not guaranteed.

In trying to redress all their errors, Khoza seems to have bungled again by installing Augusto Palacios as caretaker coach.

There always were issues with Palacios as he was accused of sabotaging coaches at Pirates on more than one occasion.

Palacios has been out of top-flight football for too long a time to be trusted with one of the most demanding jobs in the PSL.

There is no doubt about the Peruvian-born mentor, as he has been at the helm of not only Pirates but also Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana.

But the question is why is he going back to his past trend of cropping up whenever a coach is fired while he hasn’t achieved much when given an opportunity?

What this means is, as an insider, he can wreak havoc so that when things go wrong he is able to take over. More like making the soil fertile for himself by working underground.

Ideally the job should have been given to assistant coach Teboho Moloi – if it wasn’t for allegations of the former midfielder pulling in the opposite direction to the coach.

There have always been calls for former players to be involved and this would have been the perfect opportunity for Moloi to be in charge.

Pirates have not addressed all their issues by suspending Leal, as there have been allegations of
ill-discipline among the players.

Perhaps Leal is paying for his faux pas of referring to Khoza as Dr Irvin Sokhela, his former boss at AmaZulu.

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