By Dingilizwe Ntuli
Head coach Madinda Ndlovu’s five-minute post match press conference following Highlanders’ 0-0 deadlock with Herentals at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday betrayed a gaffer who is in denial of the real goings on at Bosso.
Ndlovu looked forlorn as he told football writers at the beginning of the presser that it was going to be brief.
He then repeated his previous utterances that his charges are playing good football and lack only the finishing touch.
To be precise, Ndlovu said all the ingredients of football are put together, but at the end of the day there is no one to eat the food.
The only people that can eat the food Ndlovu is talking about are his players and the question that begs answers is why is there no one to eat the food that he would have prepared with his two assistants? Something is fundamentally wrong if his players are unable to partake of his football ingredients.
Could it be that his ingredients are not suitable for his current crop of players or the players are refusing to eat his food?
Is there a probability that they could climb into his food if he changed the ingredients that they have evidently failed to eat in the last eight matches?
Somehow Ndlovu’s comments imply a reluctant coach failing to take full charge of his team.
It’s normal for coaches to protect their players publicly and defend glaringly poor performances, but hopefully Ndlovu confronts them behind the scenes.
Surely yesterday’s performance was poor by all standards and no amount of peppering can sugarcoat that wretchedness.
Self belief is missing in the players and the same can be said of the technical team, as nothing they do or say inspires any confidence in the boys.
If the truth be told, most players’ performance yesterday resembled lost sheep without a shepherd. Imagination was lacking, tactics static and confidence absent.
Former Giants coach in the National Football League Bill Parcells once wrote that the only way to change people is to tell them in the clearest possible terms what they’re doing wrong and if they don’t want to listen, they don’t belong in the team.
Ndlovu has to be brutally honest with his players about their performance and must tell them face-to-face over and over again. Sometimes the truth will be painful and sometimes could lead to an uncomfortable confrontation, but that’s the only way.
Only the truth can get Highlanders out of the mess it has created for itself. It’s high time the club’s processes are set aside and the truth be told. This covers the players, coaches, executive, board and supporters alike.
The truth can only be found in answering why Bosso are performing so terribly? Is the problem the players, the coaches, the executive or the board? If heads have to roll for the truth to come out, so be it because it’s no longer hilarious anymore.
Supporters sacrifice their meagre earnings to watch a team they love wholeheartedly and they can’t be held emotional hostages by coaches’ shortcomings, players’ poor performances and management malfunction. The Chronicle