Steve Komphela clearly feels he deserves‚ and also quite obviously yearns for‚ a chance to prove himself in a third season at Kaizer Chiefs after two without a trophy‚ even if he has admitted “I would fire myself”.
Komphela believes the ball often just did not fall his way in the past season – his second season without a trophy at Chiefs – admitting that coming close at Amakhosi is never enough.
The Chiefs coach appears to have had the support of his chairman‚ Kaizer Motaung‚ who indicated recently that Komphela’s second season was more promising than his first‚ even if Amakhosi reached two cup finals in 2015-16.
Chiefs did not reach a final in 2016-17.
In cup competitions they exited in the opening round of the MTN8 with a 1-0 defeat to Cape Town City‚ on penalties to Free State Stars in the quarterfinals of the Telkom Knockout‚ and on penalties against SupeSport United in the Nedbank Cup quarters.
In the Absa Premiership they improved on last season’s fifth with a fourth-placed finish after Saturday’s final-day 1-0 win against already-crowned champions Bidvest Wits at FNB Stadium.
Chiefs ultimately paid for a slow start in the league‚ with a 12-match unbeaten run in the second half of the season bringing them into contention at one stage‚ before not winning in five of their last six games.
Asked simply after the Wits win if he personally feels he has done enough to deserve to remain on for a third season‚ Komphela responded: “I must be careful. In response to the last part of your question – I fire myself.
“Because the question says‚ do you think you deserve to stay on?
“Any response to that question has got direct implications and reference. So one has to be very smart in their response.”
He added: “I don’t think at any stage when you’re at Chiefs‚ when you earn second‚ it’s good enough – no.
“And I cannot bring any excuses. I just have to accept the status quo and try to rectify.
“Looking deep into all four tournaments of the season: if you look at the MTN8 and how we lost in Cape Town –one counter-attacking move‚ goal‚ done.
“If you look at Free State Stars in the Telkom in Durban – that rainy day where we played beautiful football and (Stars goalkeeper) Thela Ngobeni was man-of-the-match‚ and we missed out on penalties.
“Then you come to the Nedbank as well against SuperSport – in extra time we miss that penalty and it denies us a semifinal spot.
“In the Absa Premiership those 18 points we gave away in eight matches – losing matches and drawing matches in the last minute in a manner that we will never understand.
“Those are all things that‚ when looked at in a more objective manner‚ you try to say‚ ‘But listen‚ we can do better than this – our people deserve better’.
“But again‚ it comes across as an excuse.
“In football you can’t explain‚ because it comes across as an excuse.”
Komphela reached the MTN8 and Telkom Knockout finals in 2015-16.