|Chippa off the old block: Mpengesi appoints Mngqithi on July 9|
Chippa United axed coach Manqoba Mngqithi just two games in to the new PSL season today, beating by ONE DAY the record held by Frenchman Jean Yves Kerjean, who was in charge of Black Leopards for just one League game in 2005.
After 180 minutes in the top flight, a gutsy 1-0 defeat against big-spending Mamelodi Sundowns and an 87th-minute 2-1 defeat against Free State Stars last night, Mngqithi prounounced himself satisfied with his promoted team. He said: "We stood our ground and were unfortunate to concede a late goal. I'm very optimistic and confident from what I've seen.”
Former Golden Arrows and AmaZulu coach Mngqithi, who surprisingly replaced promotion-clinching coach Roger Sikhakane on July 9, obviously hadn’t considered how his pointless efforts had gone down with controversial club founder Siviwe Mpengesi. And he was promptly sacked this afternoon with Chippa team manager Wanda Mbenguza saying: “We have agreed to part ways with the coach.”
Mpengesi said on Umhlobo FM tonight: "There was no direction, and the future wasn't bright so we decided to let him go while it is still early, before a lot of damage can happen.”
Mpengesi, a 34-year-old former security guard from Ngqamakwe in the Eastern Cape, has turned Chippa Investment Holdings (who do everything from tree-felling to industrial waste, security to conract cleaning) in to a multi-million corporation since 2002 and his football team, as we now know, demands similar gut-busting success.
When Sikhakane achieved promotion after play-offs against Thanda Royal Zulu and Santos, Mpengesi famously said: "Roger is a coach who understands our team culture; I can't afford to have someone that will come with a different philosophy. I am happy with the coach and the technical team and that will remain the same with no changes.”
That was July 3. By July 9, Mngqiti was appointed with a flourish, saying: “I am excited about the new prospect. I did my own homework on Chippa. We will be aiming very high in the season.”
Now, 45 days later, Mngqiti is jobless. As far as I can tell, Kerjean was in charge of the Leopards from June 27 to August 12, 2005 before an opening 1-0 defeat against a 10-man Orlando Pirates – that’s 46 days. It appears we have a new record in South African football management.
But then what should we expect from a two-year-old club, still in nappies in footballing terms? The club was only founded in June 2010, when they bought out Mbekweni Cosmos, a Castle League franchise at the time.
In their first season, the Chilli Boys won the Western Cape Province section of the Vodacom League registering 26 victories, 5 draws and only 1 defeat. Then they cruised through the Vodacom Promotional Championship play-offs in June 2011 to qualify for the National First Division last season. At that point
Then Sikhakane helped the club to finish in the play-off places in the NFD behind champions AmaTuks – and the rest is history.
My old pal from Umlazi Bush Bucks in the 1980s Mlungisi “Professor” Ngubane – currently in charge of Thanda Royal Zulu - is being touted as the next Chippa coach, though I would suggest former Moroka Swallows boss Ian Gorowa may also be a contender. The Prof took over from Chippa’s first coach Mike Lukhubeni before Sikhakane was installed at the start of 2012.
Either way, they shouldn’t expect much of a honeymoon from Mpengesi. Still, 44 days is not as bad as the world record for a football boss.
That’s held by Leroy Rosenior, who was in charge of England’s Torquay United for a grand total of TEN MINUTES in 2007. He was appointed just as a local consortium took over the club and named former Exeter City assistant manager Paul Buckle as their manager instead.