49-year-old little-known German Josef Zinnbauer was announced as the new head coach of Orlando Pirates but the news has sent tongues wagging among the Ghost fans who are skeptical of the prospects of their team as the new man in charge of their ship has a CV and coaching record that conspicuously lacks trophies.
This is against the backdrop of Pirates’ being a club in dire need and desperate for some piece of silveware after more than four and a half years without silverware since their last trophy success in the Nedbank Cup in May 2014.
Yet, Zinnbauer’s highest-profile posting so far has been a six-and-a-half-month spell coaching Hamburger SV from September 2014 to being sacked in early March 2015.
Zinnbauer was announced as Pirates’ new coach on the club’s social media accounts and official website on Tuesday but the news has generated interest and divided opinion across the South African football fraternity as many fans are of the belief that the devil you know (Rhulani Mokwena) is better than an angel you don’t.
This adds a voice to what Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has been vocal about and spoke against with regards to employment of foreign coaches.
Mosimane believes it’s a myth that foreign coaches are better than their South African counterparts.
“That’s why I talk about local coaches because I’m a local coach. If you give them a chance they can turn things around.” said Mosimane.
“As South Africans, we don’t get the big jobs when we go to Slovakia or Serbia. They don’t take us. I can’t go to Germany, they won’t take me,” he said, adding; “but I talk for the coaches because the team owners will say they haven’t won for the last seven games. But you didn’t lose seven games, you dropped points. It’s sad because I like to talk for local coaches because they can do it,” Mosimane concluded.
Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt also echoed his sentiments, that too many foreign coaches with fake CVs are coming to coach in the PSL and is of the belief that modern football needs bright young minds – people who understand the times and developing patterns of the global game.
“We’ve got to believe in our own. I got given a chance and did my apprenticeship for four years in the first division. And then I got given a chance to find my way through and battled it.”
“A guy like Rhulani, give the man a chance. I am sure his preparation is good. I give credit to Pirates for sticking their neck out to say ‘don’t bring another one in here’. Even guys with funny, fake CVs get a job when we have capable coaches here,” Hunt insisted.
The sincere hope from the Archduke, Orlando Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza is for things to really turn around for the better rather than for the worst.
By Gerald Dandah