There are many different ways of judging the success of a coach. In light of these uncertain times, in which Steve Komphela's charges are bringing in more misery than trophies, we look to the past to garner some wisdom from Kosta Papic and Pirates in 2005.
I stumbled upon an old Soccer Laduma magazine (called Fulltime). In it, a Pirates supporter, Johannes "Mzion" Mofokeng was interviewed, and this is an excerpt from that interview 11 years ago, when Kosta Papic was still the coach of the Buccaneers.
SL: Will the Pirates supporters stand behind the coach if the new campaign doesn't start well?
Johannes Mofokeng: "Papic did something that other coaches have been unable to do in recent history. He managed to win over the hearts of the die-hard supporters who don't usually take nonsense from coaches. He did this by not making excuses when he lost games. He didn't ask for a season to find his feet. He didn't complain about not knowing the players' strengths and weaknesses. He just got on with the job and we recognised that. That is why, even though we lost the league, we are still happy to support the team and the coach."
So, what lesson can we learn from what "Mzion" said in 2005? It is clear that supporters can see through diplomacy. Supporters don't like smooth-talking coaches and they don't like excuses. Perhaps this is something Komphela can learn from Papic as the supporters' patience wears thinner and thinner.
Do you agree that a coach with no excuses will win the supporters' hearts over?