But Pirates in celebratory mood as Ertugral resigns
Player power is not tolerated at Orlando Pirates and does not exist there ‚ Bucs chairman Irvin Khoza said in the wake of head coach Muhsin Ertugral’s hasty resignation on Wednesday.
Ertugral resigned after Pirates’ shock 6-1 Premier Soccer League embarrassment by SuperSport United in Nelspruit on Tuesday night.
The Buccaneers were leading 1-0 at the break‚ and conceded all six goals in the second half.
Speculation is rife that the phenomenon of player power – where players conspire to lose to oust unpopular coaches – was at hand.
Khoza said he did not believe his players would use player power.
“We are fortunate at Pirates that we have never experienced that. As soon as we see that happen, you must know there is something wrong with those players,” the Orlando Pirates chairman said.
“If you resort to player power, we will say to theminister or the speaker of parliament: ‘Look, we have got a candidate here for politics – can you take him?’ “We don’t have time for that. “If we had you identify the problem and deal with it decisively.”
“If you leave that, it will create a cancer that is going to destroy the team. Sometimes you’d rather let them go‚ and start afresh. “Players must play for the right reasons ‚ and not engage in player power,” Khoza said.
“More often than not, it is players on a downslide who do. “But Pirates have not experienced that‚ for now‚ and hopefully it won’t happen in the future.”
Khoza’s assurance stands in contrast to appearances, though.
Pirates players walked out of the meeting at the Rand Stadium on Wednesday when Khoza announced Ertugral’s resignation with relaxed grins on their faces and almost appeared to be in a celebratory mood.
It raises two questions.
Firstly‚ are there ruling cliques within Pirates’ squad who rebel against disciplinarian coaches? Secondly‚ if a rebellion against Ertugral perhaps happened, and so quickly‚ how extreme can the coach’s notorious temper and poor management skills be with bigname players?
Khoza did not want to say whether Ertugral’s notorious short fuse played a role in his demise.
“The issue of the coach’s temper‚ obviously that is unconfirmed. “That’s why I can’t conclude on the [Edwin] Gyimah issue and the [Brighton] Mhlongo issue‚” he said.
“That’s why we asked for an investigation to understand, because we can’t just say that is the reason. “The players also‚ we can’t just absolve them. There is also an issue on their side sometimes.”
“Whether they come late‚ or they over-party, or whatever. “There are a lot of other factors from the players too. Sometimes the coach is frustrated because they are not responsive,” Khoza said.
“There are many factors. So right now I can’t just talk‚ because I want to satisfy myself on all the issues.”
Early issues pointing to possible cracks in Ertugral’s relationship with the squad were goalkeeper Mhlongo’s early relegation to the stands and an airport bust-up with defender Gyimah in mid-September.