City's McCarthy vs SuperSport's Tinkler: How the coaches stack up

13 October 2017 - 15:21 By Nick Said
Benni McCarthy, head coach of Cape Town City during the 2017 MTN 8 Cape Town City FC Media Open Day and morning training session at Green Point, Cape Town on 11 October 2017
Benni McCarthy, head coach of Cape Town City during the 2017 MTN 8 Cape Town City FC Media Open Day and morning training session at Green Point, Cape Town on 11 October 2017
Image: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy once said of his SuperSport United counterpart Eric Tinkler‚ who he meets meet on the touchline in MTN8 final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday‚ that he should be “thrown out of the game”.

Both have this week moved to cool any talk of hostilities remaining from an ugly incident some six years ago where McCarthy was a player at Orlando Pirates and Tinkler the assistant coach at BidVest Wits.

They had squared up on the touchline after a succession of verbal spats‚ with McCarthy suggesting afterwards that Tinkler was lucky he “didn’t slap him”.

The two former Bafana Bafana national teammates say there are no hard feelings from that night‚ but the potential for an eruption of emotion is still there as they both present fiery characters in the dugout.

McCarthy achieved considerably more as a player‚ but Tinkler is the more experienced coach and already had silverware to his name – ironically when he was coach of City last season and took them to the Telkom Knockout title.

TimesLIVE takes a look at how the coaches match up:


Age: 47

Played for: Wits University (1989-1992)‚ Vitória de Setúbal‚ Portugal (1992-1996)‚ Cagliari (1996-1997)‚ Barnsley‚ England (1997-2002)‚ União de Tomar‚ Portugal (2002-2005)‚ Wits University (2005-2007)

National caps: 46 (1 goal)

Coached: Orlando Pirates (2015-2016)‚ Cape Town City (2016-2017)‚ SuperSport United (2017-)

Tinkler was a tough-tackling midfielder in his playing days and started and finished his playing career with Wits University.

In-between the played in the top leagues in Portugal‚ Italy and England for Vitória de Setúbal‚ Cagliari and Barnsley‚ where his high work-rate and no-nonsense style were valued.

He won 46 caps for Bafana Bafana over eight years‚ playing a major role in them winning the 1996 African Nations Cup and qualifying for the 1998 and 2002 Fifa World Cups‚ though he featured in neither global finals tournament‚ the first through injury.

He captained Bafana at the 2002 Nations Cup‚ which proved his international swansong‚ as the side exited in the quarterfinals.

After finishing his playing career in 2006‚ Tinkler took up an assistant coach-role at Wits under head coach Roger de Sa‚ where he would spend the next six seasons before eventually following the latter to Orlando Pirates.

While at Wits‚ the club won the 2010 Nedbank Cup title‚ but were beaten in the 2011 Telkom Knockout decider by Pirates.

When De Sa left Pirates in February 2014‚ Tinkler stayed on as assistant to new coach Vladimir Vermezovic‚ and then had an 18-month spell as caretaker-coach when the latter departed after just 10 months.

During the time working under Vermezovic Pirates beat Wits 3-1 in the Nedbank Cup final in 2014‚ but lost 1-0 to Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN8 decider.

Under Tinkler as head coach Pirates reached the final of the 2015 Caf Confederation Cup and the 2016 Nedbank Cup‚ but were beaten on both occasions in the decider.

While working at Pirates under De Sa‚ the club also appeared in the final of the Caf Champions League‚ MTN8 and Telkom Knockout‚ but lost all three games.

Last season Tinkler won his first trophy as head coach of Cape Town City – the Telkom Knockout‚ beating his present team SuperSport in the final – and steered John Comoitis’s new team to third place in the league.


Age: 39

Played for: Seven Stars (1995-1997)‚ Ajax Amsterdam (1997-1999)‚ Celta Vigo (1999-2003)‚ Porto (2002-2006)‚ Blackburn Rovers (2006-2010)‚ West Ham United (2010-2011)‚ Orlando Pirates (2011-2013)

National caps: 80 (31 goals)

Coached: Cape Town City (2017-)

Former striker McCarthy may be a rookie coach‚ but he enjoyed a stellar playing career in which he won 14 major trophies at home and abroad‚ including an unlikely triumph with FC Porto in the final of the Uefa Champions League in 2004 against Monaco.

McCarthy remains the only South African to win the Champions League.

He won the Dutch league with Ajax Amsterdam‚ two Portuguese league titles with Porto and the Premier Soccer League at the tail-end of his career at Pirates.

He also won nine other cup competitions and is the leading scorer in Bafana Bafana history with 31 goals in 80 caps over 15 years‚ though he also often opted out of representing the national team to preserve his club career.

He also played for Celta Vigo in Spain‚ and Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United in England‚ before finishing his playing career at Pirates in 2013.

McCarthy was the Premier League’s second-top scorer in 2006-07 for Blackburn with 18 goals‚ finishing behind Chelsea’s Didier Drogba on 20 and ahead of Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo (17).

The job at City is his first as a head coach‚ but he did have experience as an assistant under South African-raised Chris O’Loughlin at Belgian top-flight side Sint Truiden in the 2015/16 season.

- TimesLIVE