On Thursday, we published a story in Supporters Club about supporters' opinions regarding the two assistant coaches of Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, Doctor Khumalo and Tebogo Moloi, respectively. We've seen that the article was not as balanced as it should have been, so here are some things to consider about "Tebza" and "Doc" before we throw them to the flames.
Starting with Khumalo, many supporters are curious as to why he is a permanent feature in Naturena, whereas, with other teams, when a new coach comes in, he usually brings his own assistant with him. There is also a suspicion among supporters that the amount of respect Khumalo commands detracts from the possible respect Steve Komphela should be getting, and this may lead to a mismatch between coach and players.
The problem is that, sometimes, the perception is different from the reality. While Amakhosi fans may be emotional because of the relatively poor season the club has endured, we must understand that Khumalo has been in the team for a long time, he was also an assistant coach when Stuart Baxter was in charge, and helped oversee a successful period while in his current post. Baxter chose to work with Khumalo, and so did Komphela.
Coming to Moloi, he is not as permanent a feature as people may think. Roger De Sa had his own assistant. Vladimir Vermezovic was assisted by Eric Tinkler and Tebza was his second assistant. So, while Pirates fans can understandably be disheartened by some of the lows experienced this season, we must understand that Moloi did not come to hold his current position by fluke, and Irvin Khoza is a rational man who would not put him there by accident. Furthermore, Pirates' turnaround in form has not happened completely in the absence of Mr. Moloi.
Finally, it is important to understand the value of these two men in our footballing community. They are both legends of the game and legends of the club, and they have wisdom to impart in terms of what it means to play for that specific club, something not many coaches can say they have. We don't get a look into what goes on behind the scenes, so we like to speculate, and it is okay to speculate because in the absence of information, that is all we have.
But we must just consider one thing – can you imagine how powerful it must be for a youngster to walk into Chiefs or Pirates for the first time and be mentored by a living legend in the form of Doctor Khumalo or Tebogo Moloi?
They are two powerful weapons to have in your armoury.