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Giovanni Solinas must take Leonardo Castro's comments to heart and act

Pastor Castro is right to see the wrong. Perhaps he needs to also extend preaching his gospel to his colleagues

02 September 2018 - 00:00 By BARENG-BATHO KORTJAAS

In a world in which football stars give the most careful, if not rehearsed. comments, it was refreshing to read Leonardo Castro's candid summation of Kaizer Chiefs' midweek capitulation.
Playing at home and leading Bloemfontein Celtic 2-0 with 14 minutes left, Chiefs conspired to comically concede two goals in three minutes.
Guided by former Chiefs coach Steve Komphela, second-placed Celtic grabbed a draw to remain undefeated in four Premier Soccer League (PSL) matches - they started with a hat-trick of victories.
Chiefs were left languishing at a lowly 13th, with zero wins, four draws and a loss. Castro wasn't chuffed by the comical manner in which the defence crumbled and how his coach Giovanni Solinas failed to intervene.
Castro didn't exactly chastise his coach, but honestly, if brutally, dished out his thoughts of what should have been done by Solinas.
In soccer-speak, the saying goes that 60% of what happens in a match is up to the players and 40% of what the technical team contributes.
The gospel according to Castro goes: "Really, I feel frustrated up until now. Because we are leading the game. So we are supposed to also read the game and close the game.
"But sometimes, this part is the part of the coach, who needs to help us also. So, as the players, we know inside [the field] what is happening. We try.
"At the end of the day, I just say that we can't concede goals like that. Because they are stupid goals. The previous game also, we made mistakes. The same situations, the same goals. We need to be more focused on our defensive job. Because they [the opponents] can't draw the game like this.
"We were leading the game 2-0. So if we closed the game, put in a midfielder like [Wiseman] Meyiwa, maybe it would also give [Siphelele] Ntshangase time to recover for the next game. Maybe that could work.
"Maybe I'm wrong or I'm right. But we need to try something different because sometimes when you play two days in a row, or three games in a row, you get tired. We are human beings so we need to have on the field some players who can refresh the team to help us."
Pastor Castro is right to see the wrong. Perhaps he needs to extend preaching his gospel to his colleagues.
Especially those deployed in defence, particularly a certain Daniel Cardoso.
Cardoso and centreback partner Siyabonga Ngezana suffer bouts of miscommunication and must also shoulder culpability for the cheap, stupid goals Chiefs have shipped in both the league and MTN8.
However, central defender Cardoso has been the chief culprit. He committed the foul that gifted Mamelodi Sundowns a penalty that resulted in a 1-1 draw in the opening game of the 2018-19 season.
He was at sixes and sevens when Bidvest Wits had Chiefs out of their wits in the 3-1 defeat in their second league clash.
When Chiefs clashed with Baroka FC, Cardoso scored a spectacular own goal for a 1-1 draw.
The next league match against 10-man Maritzburg United was a reprieve for Cardoso as it ended in a goalless draw.
"I don't think it's got anything to do with their defensive structure. It's just individual mistakes and that happens even to the best players," commented Kaitano Tembo, the SuperSport United coach ahead of last night's MTN8 semifinal, second-leg encounter.
While Thamsanqa Gabuza is being blasted by the Buccaneers for his blood-to-the-head rush, Cardoso is getting crushed by Chiefs' fans he's made hot under the collar with his catalogue of errors.
The irony is that Cardoso was the best central defender at the club last season. He performed so exceptionally he was even nominated for PSL defender of the season.
For Solinas to succeed in lifting Chiefs from the rubble of ridicule, he will do well to take Castro's comments to heart and act. If not, more summations of capitulations will follow as the defence continues to undermine the exciting work of the offence.

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