Khoza wants pretty football

The employment of Brazilian Julio Cesar Leal as the new Orlando Pirates coach this week finally revealed why club chairperson Irvin Khoza did not extend the contract of Dutchman Ruud Krol, despite his impressive achievement in guiding the Soweto side to a historic treble.

Although Pirates won three titles in a single season, the type of football they played apparently lacked the quality Khoza wants to be associated with them and the beautiful game.

Khoza did not say much at a media conference to announce the appointment of Leal on a three-year contract, but in the few words he used, it was clear that the Pirates chairperson wants the bewildering interplay of the samba kings to be part of the game of the South African champions.

“Leal’s coaching experience and his philosophy of employing an attractive brand of attacking football fits in snugly with our new direction,” Khoza said, indicating that he wanted a clean break from their rigid, uninspiring and, to rub it in, unimpressive style that was preferred by Krol.

“With his [Leal’s] experience, we hope that he will assist us with plans that we have set for ourselves,” Khoza said. “The team should be playing the kind of football that rekindles the old Pirates culture.”


If anything, that statement indicated why Pirates ditched a man who transformed a team that sometimes hardly looked like the champions they became. Clearly it was just not good enough; it simply did not represent the Pirates culture. Pirates are a breed apart. They want to win with the style, arrogance and swagger associated with the Brazilians.

Leal himself said that, with the quality at his disposal, he wants Pirates to be described as an almost indefinable, mystical team with a particular style of movement and attitude evident in everything they do. But, above all, he wants them to score goals, many goals for that matter, which must have been sweet music to Khoza’s ears.

Leal enjoyed relative success with AmaZulu, a modest team with limited resources, but it was only after changing their stereotyped way of hoofing the ball up-field and implementing an attractive, rhythmic approach that they won a legion of followers.

He also instilled confidence in a Swallows team that was flying on a wing and a prayer when he arrived and he led them to the Nedbank Challenge triumph.

Leal is under no illusion about the challenges that face him in probably the hottest seat in South African football but he said that he was up to it.

Although some supporters have grumbled about not retaining Krol, Leal promised that Pirates will score a lot more goals this season and that challenge comes up next month when he guides the team against Tottenham Hotspur and Kaizer Chiefs in the Vodacom Challenge.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

The secret behind the Josef Zinnbauer magic

The Orlando Pirates coach has masterminded a dramatic turnaround at the struggling club he joined just over four months ago. Now, they are league contenders

PSL pushes pause on football

The League is on halt for now but we still know almost nothing about what the future holds

Instinctive Chiefs prove their title credentials

Amakhosi have flipped the popular narrative on its head, winning the Soweto Derby 1-0, and are now favourites to lift the PSL trophy

Bucs weary of Chiefs’ Derby trap

Pirates look unstoppable, but few Soweto Derbies in recent memory have been this important

This year offers golden list for boot

For the first time in recent memory, the PSL’s forwards are giving us a scoring race to be excited about

Pirates Fives conquer the world

The team representing South Africa won the F5 World Cup held in Cape Town
Advertising

Subscribers only

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

More top stories

Malawi court judges win global prize

Members of the small African country’s judiciary took a stand for democracy to international approval

Durban city manager says NPA erred in his bail conditions

The corruption-fraught metro is coming to grips with having a municipal manager who is on bail for graft, yet has returned to work

Why anti-corruption campaigns are bad for democracy

Such campaigns can draw attention to the widespread presence of the very behaviour they are trying to stamp out — and subconsciously encourage people to view it as appropriate
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday