McCarthy revels in being ‘Shaka’s best coach’
Posted: 20 January 2019 Time: 11:00
Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy was thrilled to announce himself as Siphelele Mthembu’s “best coach” following the forward’s strike against his former club Free State Stars midweek.
Mthembu was on hand to net City’s fourth in their 5-0 drubbing of Ea Lla Koto on Wednesday – their highest victory margin in their history – as ‘Shaka Zulu’ bagged his seventh of the campaign, pipping his previous season-high tally of six goals for Platinum Stars in the 2013/14 campaign.
And his coach was understandably delighted.
"Shaka has done it on his own, he's a player who puts in the hard yards and he works exceptionally hard,” McCarthy said. “He lives a healthy and clean life, and he’s the most disciplined player that you're going to find in football.
“I just give him the guidelines, and the platform to enjoy himself and play to his strengths and not to be too comfortable.”
McCarthy did however point out areas where he’d like to see the striker improve.
“He's got the ability, but I still want him to have the aggression,” he said. “Yes, he’s ‘Shaka Zulu’, but on the pitch, people must be bloody scared to play against you. When you look at the history, the British, when you hear Shaka Zulu, you fear, so that’s what I want it to be like on the pitch. He’s got the look of a gentle giant … yes, at home you can be a gentle giant, but on the pitch he must be an animal, Shaka Zulu who doesn’t take any prisoners. When in control of the ball, I want him to have more aggression, and not give it away.”
Upon Mthembu reaching his season-high total, McCarthy could not help but take a jibe at the player’s previous coach Luc Eymael, going on to describe himself as the forward’s best coach in his career.
"Luc Eymael said Shaka’s biggest mistake was to leave Free State because he's the best coach Shaka will ever have,” McCarthy said with a huge smile. “But no! Here is Shaka’s best coach ever [referring to himself]. I don't want to take the credit, but I'm the first coach to make him score seven goals, more than he has ever had. I can smoke a cigar now."