The heat is on. Others are already burnt. They have been seen as excess baggage and shown the door. That is the sour side of league football. As a coach you are only as good as your last win. If losses come and there is no immediate indication that things will get better, the door will be thrown wide open. One has already taken the unfortunate walk of shame. Jwaneng Galaxy lost their patience with the man who paved their way to the Premier league.
Oris Radipotsane’s only hold to a coaching job now is as an assistant coach at the national team. Galaxy have on the back of early losses in the league felt he would not make them survive the top flight league. Their intentions have been very clear when they formed the team two years ago. They merged all Jwaneng teams and took the best talent from them to fight for promotion at the first division. They made it in their first year. Thereafter just like their colleagues in Orapa, they intend to ensure that they do not relegate at the end of their first season in the elite league.
Thereafter, just like Orapa United, I take it they would be one and two as mining towns on top of the log at the end of the season. Yet at the beginning things have not gone their way and they are back in the market looking for a world class coach. At Lobatse, a good start to the season has fizzled away with Extension Gunners now dropping down the ladder every weekend. Their temperamental coach Pio Paul has been put on suspension on discipline grounds that the club chairman claims have nothing to do with team performance. Even then one tends to believe that had the club been performing well, the management would not have taken a decision to suspend Paul.
Whatever he did is being used as an excuse to get rid of him before the team’s performance worsens further. With his well-documented temper issues, I do not see him accepting any ill-advised charges against him. He is brave enough to call a spade a spade and walk off from any injustice. Yet my view despite the club’s current indifferent spell was that this was something that he could work his way around. Clubs need to develop a habit of giving their coaches a chance to try out systems and adapt winning formulas. In the case of Paul, he is new at the club and has done well for someone who has just taken the reigns. Gunners and Galaxy are not the only clubs where coaches are in trouble. Gaborone United are being singled out as well.
A coup of sorts is reportedly underway, with the technical director Dragojlo Stanojlovic assuming a prominent role at the bench while the head coach Rahman Gumbo is seemingly sidelined. Indications are clear: his days at the club are numbered. There is pressure across all clubs as they attempt to find their place on the log table far off the relegation zone. This means that at every loss, coaches will have to pay the prize. None is safe; it is only victories that could buy them time.