It takes time to build a brand, but not so much to tarnish it. This speaks to one Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic.
No matter what side of the fence you are on, one thing is certain: the former Orlando Pirates head coach is widely regarded as one of the best on the continent.
Despite not winning a trophy during his two spells at Pirates, Micho’s vast knowledge of African football has endeared him to many.
The love he got from the Ghosts was immeasurable, but the same multitudes of admirers were left gobsmacked at the way in which Micho abruptly terminated his spell at Pirates amid sex scandal allegations.
As for these accusations, it is only proper for Sredojevic to answer these allegations because they are of a serious nature and carry serious implications if proven to be true.
The terse line that he posted on his official Twitter account this week was not good enough. He tweeted that he was “relieved that terrible week threatening to destroy me as human being & hardworking coach serving wholeheartedly ORLANDO PIRATES & South African football with sleepless nights & tireless days is back like, Fish in the water, to football training field to serve ZAMALEK & Egyptian football [sic]”.
As a general rule, there is no smoke without fire, and the events that overshadowed his sudden exit from Pirates and the country have hugely dented his reputation.
I agree with those who say Micho could have handled his departure much better, and shouldn’t have brought his “sick mother” into the equation when he knew all along that his final destination was north Africa.
To put it bluntly, he lied because he had initially scoffed at the reports that he was heading to Egypt to join Zamalek.
No sooner had Pirates announced that the head coach had resigned that we heard that Sredojevic was in transit in Istanbul, Turkey, heading to his native Serbia. But then he surfaced with his luggage in Cairo.
But dwelling too much on Sredojevic equates to crying over spilt milk.
Life must go on.
I still believe that a positive aspect of Micho’s departure is that he has opened the door to one of our own, Rulani Mokwena, to prove his coaching abilities.
Mokwena has for the longest time been hailed as a promising young coach in the country. However, this is yet to be proven as he has mostly worked behind the scenes since he entered the professional coaching ranks in 2009.
Now is the time for him to put up his hand and, alongside his assistant, Fadlu Davids, show that he can crack it at one of the biggest football institutions in the country.
South African football has been yearning for local coaches to be given a chance at the so-called big clubs.
In his first official media address at the helm, Mokwena struck just the right chord when he said it would be unwise to even start to think of himself.
Only positive results during Mokwena and Davids’ audition in the dugout will tell if the young pair have come of age to steer a ship the size of Pirates’.
As for their former principal, Sredojevic, it remains to be seen how he will cope under the eccentric Zamalek boss Mortada Mansour.
Mansour is notorious for sacking his coaches at the drop of a hat, and the 22 tacticians who came and left in the past five years paint the full picture of how Zamalek operates.
Only the truth will set you free, Micho!
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