Cool cucumber Komphela will be a major asset
SOME are cheering the impending move. Others are jeering it. Either way, an intervention was needed. Thank goodness the association has seen the light. Belated it may be, but better late than never.
Still, Safa's worst-kept secret - that Steve Komphela will become Pitso Mosimane's local assistant - has sparked mixed reactions.
In their haste to show that they are not blind to the fact that Mosimane is battling to get Bafana firing on all cylinders, Safa invited the media to a press conference to announce Komphela as the second assistant to the embattled coach. Brazilian Jairo Leal is Mosimane's first assistant.
But Safa cancelled the press conference on Thursday morning after the bright bulbs at the top table of the football leadership realised that Komphela's appointment had to first be ratified by the national executive committee.
They did that yesterday and will announce the appointment of the Free State Stars coach this week.
Those who welcome the move say aye because they believe an infusion of new ideas will see a dramatic shift from the draw specialists Bafana have become and return them to winning ways.
Those opposed to it question the wisdom of bringing in a man they deem a failure. They point to Komphela's inability to qualify the under-23s for the Olympics in 2008 and feel Safa are rewarding mediocrity.
They say two bulls cannot coexist in one kraal.
I beg to differ.
What Bafana need right now is a cool head - and Komphela is a cool cucumber.
Mosimane will remain responsible and accountable overall.
He needs to see Komphela as an asset, not a threat. He must keep his ego in check and not be intimidated by Komphela.
Komphela is not going to pull the rug from under Mosimane's feet. Why would he stage a palace coup when he served in a similar capacity under the late Styles Phumo, Stuart Baxter and Carlos Alberto Parreira?
His job will be to dispense advice and serve as Mosimane's sounding board.
My burning desire is to see Mosimane delegate the speaking duties, at least when it comes to addressing the media, to Komphela.
Why? Because Mosimane has developed a habit of alienating even those who are sympathetic to the challenges that confront him. He has become overly sensitive, seeing attacks against him where none exist. He has developed what one may call a disturbingly delusional dimension.
Komphela has a roundabout way of speaking. Instead of saying "this is a spade", the poetic coach might say: "This object has a striking resemblance to a utensil one may utilise to tender one's garden, therefore I would agree that it is a spade."
But people like listening to Komphela. Why? Because win or lose, he doesn't hide behind flimsy excuses.
So all the conjecture that Komphela and Mosimane will not work well together is premature.