Leave decisions to the right people

2014-10-11 00:00

AT the time of writing this column, Ama­Zulu coach Craig Rosslee’s future was still up in the air. A horrible start to the season has seen Usuthu go through their first seven league matches without a win — the only club in the league yet to notch up a three-pointer. Pressure on the coach has been growing with every winless display, and it spiralled out of control last week.

A group of AmaZulu supporters had had enough, and they stormed towards the club’s People’s Park training complex to voice their concerns.

As it turns out, general manager Peter O’Connor and marketing manager Lunga Sokhela were pitch-side watching Rosslee prepare the troops for a Telkom Knockout clash against Bloemfontein Celtic two days later. The result was a series of abusive lines hurled Rosslee’s way while O’Connor was reportedly bombarded with questions as to why the coach hadn’t been given the sack yet.

People’s Park is open to the public, even when Usuthu are training, and it is not uncommon to see supporters popping in for a quick peek at the pros. But angry supporters are another story altogether.

Rosslee was unfazed throughout the altercation, conducting his session without paying the obsessed mob any attention at all.

The result, though, suggested that there were some feathers ruffled. Rosslee was sidelined — relieved from his coaching duties for the weekend — with the board citing “security reasons” as one of the factors in their decision. Sokhela himself has apparently received a few concerning text messages from supporters too. The fans clearly want Rosslee out, and it looks almost certain that they will get their way, if they haven’t already. There doesn’t seem to be much sense in keeping him around, and it doesn’t help that the only win that the team have managed to register so far this season (the cup win over Celtic) came with Rosslee sidelined.

The club’s stance has been that they would use the international break to take their time and explore all options on how best to move forward. But as fickle as fans are, this bunch will want Rosslee gone next weekend as much as they do now.

Crazed fans and poor results can clearly be a dangerous combination. The truth is that no coach deserves to experience what Rosslee went through last week. That isn’t what football is about. We can sit in the stands at matches and call for a coach’s sacking, we can vent our frustrations online and to our friends and we can think our coach the biggest muppet in world football, but the second we take matters into our own hands, there is a problem.

It does seem strange that a professional outfit trains in a space open to the public, and that is also perhaps something that needs to be looked at.

It’s been a tough few days for Rosslee, but the hard truth is that he has achieved very little in his time at the club, despite promising much. Now seems like a good time for new beginnings.

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