Absa Premiership

McCarthy momentum stutters as Pirates resume duties

Benni McCarthy (Gallo)
Benni McCarthy (Gallo)

Cape Town - It cascaded onto the Premier League scene with the impact of an unstoppable avalanche as reports began to circulate in the local media assuring all and sundry that former ace goal-scorer Benni McCarthy was poised to take over as the Orlando Pirates coach.

Indeed what now appears an apparently unenlightened source proclaimed that the Buccaneers' strongman chairperson, Irvin "The Iron Duke" Khoza, had already concluded a deal with McCarthy and "an announcement to this effect will be made tomorrow."

That was two weeks ago - and everyone is still waiting with bated breath for the confirmation!

And now, with Pirates due to resume their Premier League fixtures on Wednesday with a game against Platinum Stars at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, it is still caretaker coach and club Director of Development, Augusto Palacios, who remains in control.

So what has emerged is something of a mystery as to why the media was so convinced it would be McCarthy in the Buccaneers' hot seat by now - this despite the adamant insistence from Khoza that no definite decision has yet been made as to the club's long-term coaching position.

McCarthy himself, after insisting that he had received no overtures from Pirates regarding the coaching position of the club where he ended his playing career, later admitted he would love to fill the role.

And the suspicion exists that it might have been from within McCarthy's camp, if not the former Bafana striker himself, that the reports of an imminent betrothal originated - and were spread with gusto.

In addition, while it is believed that McCarthy's name has come under consideration among many others as to who will become the Pirates' coach, the club hierarchy have misgivings over his lack of experience in the role.

And to be realistic, despite recently obtaining a UEFA A coaching certificate, McCarthy has yet
to fill the role of head coach on even a single occasion, with his experience in this department limited to one brief assistant coaching position in Europe that did not exactly set the world alight.

So it will still be Palacios controlling operations on the Pirates' bench against Platinum Stars and, intriguingly, if the Buccaneers hit top form from the outset, will Khoza continue with any plans he might have evolved in order to make a change?

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