Sometimes it is worth keeping quiet when a person in authority goes off the rails in the course of executing of his duties. But when he overdoes it, those around him will start murmuring negatives.
And when the situation does not seem to improve, they must rectify the situation by telling him so point blank, all in the interest of a common goal. Perhaps this is what many football enthusiasts think they should now do with Township Rollers master tactician, Madinda Ndlovu.
Since his much-celebrated arrival at the Mapalastina camp last season, Ndlovu has been the talking point among football lovers and journalists alike. This is because the stocky former Matebeleland Highlanders goal poacher is coaching one of the country’s biggest and very popular teams.
Early in the year, he refused to talk to a journalist, preferring to refer the reporter to the supporters.
To many, that was interpreted as arrogance at it’s best for a man who is at the helm of a team that commands the largest fan base. On paper, the elder brother to Mamelodi Sundowns flop, Peter Ndlovu, appears not to be media friendly. He was once quoted in one of the local football tabloids lambasting journalists for being irresponsible.
After his utterances, many were left wondering if, of all the people, Ndlovu is justifiably fit to label someone irresponsible.
Said one reporter of a leading newspaper, “That guy (Ndlovu) thinks he is better than everybody else.
Even if his team is playing, he does not respect the match officials. When they reprimand him, he always answers back in rage and yet he has the temerity to label people irresponsible.”
During the Rollers/ Tafic encounter, Ndlovu was seen on national television threatening the fourth official. The Zimbabwean fellow probably is not conversant with the Botswana Penal code because what he did to the official accounted to assault common, an offence chargeable by law.
Sunday Standard Sport eavesdropped when a sports
reporter known to this paper was interviewing him. When asked about Tafic coach, Godfrey Tamirepi, Ndlovu sarcastically said, “I do not know him. Did he ever play football? Where did he play football?”
Ndlovu, by implication, clearly doubted Tamirepi’s abilities as a coach. Perhaps the Rollers mentor should be reminded that one does need to have played football to be a good coach. Chelsea’s Jose Mourhino, by his own admission, has never kicked a ball and yet he is one of the leading coaches in the world, miles and miles ahead of the former Zimbabwean star who is supposed to be a responsible and all conquering tactician.
Besides, even if Rollers clobbered Tafic 4-2, there is nothing to suggest that Ndlovu is tactically superior to Tamirepi. It is only that the latter does not have quality in his playing squad, especially the defence. In any case, a good coach cannot self-appraise because that would be tantamount to the Greek hamartia.
Said one Radio Botswana journalist, “How can Ndlovu behave like that. Township Rollers is a big club and Ndlovu should know better that whatever he does is in the spotlight.”
To add insult to injury, Ndlovu, refused to shake hands with Tafic’s Zimbabwean striker, Nicholas Gora. How can he do that to his own homeboys? Surely, there was no method in his madness on the day.
Bhekumuzi Ndlovu, a Zimbabwean from Magwegwe Township in Bulawayo, told Sunday Standard Sport that Madinda’s antics are not new.
“Mukoma (my brother) is not media friendly by nature. Back home, he once threatened to beat a reporter. He always wants to fight people who disagree with him. No wonder, at Bhosso (Highlanders) people did not want him. He was under enormous pressure and hence he left,” said the Zimbabwean.
An innocuous statement directed to the energetic Rollers coach is: “Play it cool my brother. Have a bi-directional relationship with the media because football needs both of us.”