THE BREAKDOWN: Beating Chiefs, Pirates & Downs & What Benni Needs To Do To Succeed At City
What Does Benni McCarthy Need To Do To Succeed At Cape Town City?
New Cape Town City coach, Benni McCarthy, will have a difficult act to follow after Eric Tinkler’s success last season. In the Breakdown today, we take a look at the key areas that the Bafana legend needs to keep working on.
McCarthy was appointed as City’s new coach on Tuesday, with the club acting quickly to replace the recently departed Eric Tinkler, who was brought in to fill Stuart Baxter’s vacated role at SuperSport United. However, the former FC Porto striker will have his work cut out for him if he is to reach the same heights that Tinkler did in the season where he finished third in the Absa Premiership and lifted the Telkom Knockout trophy. This is what he needs to focus on to replicate Tinkler’s success:
Keep Manyama and Ngoma at the club
Both Lebogang Manyama and Aubrey Ngoma have been key to City’s incredible 2016/17 season, with the former finishing as the league’s top scorer with 13 goals and the latter finishing as the league’s top provider, with 12 assists. In fact, in terms of goal contributions, goals and assists, both players account for 32 of City’s 47 goals this season combined. That’s 68% of City’s goals that can be directly attributed to one or the other. Mamelodi Sundowns have allegedly tried to tap up the stars and, even if nothing materialises with the Brazilians, you can be sure that the top teams will be out to secure their signatures. However, a man of Benni McCarthy’s reputation should be able to convince them to stay and learn some of the tricks of the trade under his tutelage. However, even if both players remain at the club, McCarthy would also need to explore other avenues through which to find the back of the net in order to make sure that the club aren’t dependent on their two stars.
Keep winning against the big teams
Against some of the league’s most established teams, Cape Town City have a remarkable record. They managed a league double over Mamelodi Sundowns, beat Chiefs once, drew the other game, beat Wits once and drew the other game and drew twice against Orlando Pirates. SuperSport United were the only club that has won a title in the PSL era to beat the Citizens, having drawn the other game. One league loss in ten games against the league’s most established sides is no easy feat and McCarthy needs to instil the same winning mentality in his squad to ensure that they don’t slip up against their toughest opponents.
Retain away goalscoring record
City’s record on the road last season was certainly one of their strongest points. They finished third on the PSL away table, with 22 points, five behind league leader’s Mamelodi Sundowns. This is largely a result of their record as the highest scoring team away from home, with 22 goals in front of the opposition’s fans. McCarthy needs to ensure that his team does not hesitate to attack the opposition while playing in less familiar territories.
Score first, put pressure on the opposition
When it came to the opening stages of games, Eric Tinkler made sure that his team was the fastest out of the blocks. City scored eight goals within the first 15 minutes of games and another nine in between minutes 16 and 30, both of which were the highest tallies in the PSL. Scoring early on automatically put the opponent on the back foot and allowed the Mother City outfit to take control of the game.
Focus on morale
As a newly established club, John Comitis stated at the beginning of the 2016/17 season that stability was the club’s first target, given the overhaul of the rebranding from Mpumalanga Black Aces and the relocation to Cape Town. City exceeded expectations by some margin and pulled off what some may call a “fairytale story”. The morale in the City camp is high and confidence is brewing. However, City will now be identified as one of the teams to beat in the league, which creates added pressure. Furthermore, players could get complacent and rest on their laurels. If anybody knows about the secret to consistent success and longevity, it would be Bafana Bafana’s all-time leading goalscorer and Benni McCarthy needs to retain the same spirit in the dressing room that led to such a successful campaign for the newly-formed team.
If Benni McCarthy can keep the aforementioned points in mind during his maiden campaign as a coach, there is little doubt that we could be in store for another great season for Cape Town City.