Pollen Ndlanya says Kaizer Chiefs’ Middendorp decision shows they ‘are confused’

24 May 2019 - 12:00
By Marc Strydom
A file photo of Pollen Ndlanya.
Image: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images A file photo of Pollen Ndlanya.

Kaizer Chiefs’ decision to bring back Ernst Middendorp to the club when the coach had previously not succeeded there shows that the Soweto giants’ management “are confused”‚ says former Amakhosi striker Pollen Ndlanya.

Middendorp’s second stint at Chiefs has gotten off to a poor start.

The coach replaced the muddled Giovanni Solinas in December‚ and Amakhosi showed early signs of improvement. But in the past two weekends Chiefs finished outside the top eight‚ in ninth place‚ in the Absa Premiership‚ then on Saturday were beaten 1-0 by First Division TS Galaxy in the Nedbank Cup final.

Such a finish to 2018-19 – regardless of extenuating factors such as Middendorp inheriting another coach’s squad‚ and having had no preseason to shape his philosophy – seems sure to complicate the coach’s life in the two years he has left in his contract at Naturena.

Ndlanya would not say if he thought Chiefs should fire Middendorp. But the former Bafana Bafana striker said the coach should accept some responsibility for the ultimately poor end of the season.

“You know‚ the coach also contributes. Because you can give them the quality players‚ you can buy them a Ferrari‚ but they can sometimes not know how to drive it‚” Ndlanya said.

“Players and coaches need to complement each other. We know Pep Guardiola is a good coach [at Manchester City]‚ and he buys quality players.

“But‚ I musty say this openly‚ Middendorp failed Kaizer Chiefs before‚ but they still brought him back. Really‚ on a serious note‚ that me for shows that you are confused.

“If you want a way forward you get a quality coach‚ you sit down with the coach and you say‚ ‘Which players do you want?’ Then you do it step by step.”

Middendorp won two cup trophies in just under two years at Chiefs from 2007 to 2005‚ but was let go ultimately for underperforming in the league.