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Muhsin Ertugral slams state of SA football

Posted: 11 January 2018 Time: 14:00

Ajax Cape Town coach Muhsin Ertugral has given his scathing view of South African football, believing the standards have dropped over the past two decades.

The Turk first landed a job in South Africa in 1999 as he took charge at Kaizer Chiefs, before going on to coach the likes of Santos, Golden Arrows, Mpumalanga Black Aces and Orlando Pirates, before being appointed as Ajax coach for a fourth stint at the end of last year.

It’s been two losses in two matches since his reappointment, and after his side’s 2-1 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns midweek, the returning coach expressed his view on what he’s observed in the PSL in recent years.

"When I first came to this country in 1999 it was different football that was played," he said.

"It is getting worse. Sometimes it is like looking at cars on the highway [speeding past]‚ and I can’t follow the cars anymore.

"Players are getting so much money in this country, but don’t know what to do with it. They want to go to Europe‚ but who is going to take them there?

"The best player in our league [last season]‚ Lebo Manyama‚ is at Konyaspor‚ a great team in Turkey, and I helped him get there. They are not doing well and he is not even considered for the bench. And the coach there is asking me‚ ‘what is this?’

"Out there it is not easy. Tell me one player from South Africa that is competing in La Liga [Spain]‚ the Premier League [England]‚ in Italy or the Bundesliga [Germany]? We need to ask ourselves 'why not'?

"In the 1990s there was a lot. These are the questions that need to be answered. I’m still on the FIFA board and committee, and that is what we are talking about each time we meet.

"It is like you are going from the primary school straight to the university."

Ertugral feels player education in this country is lacking compared to our counterparts abroad, and admits coaches need to up their game in assisting the players as well.

"I have a friend at Freiburg [in Germany] who works in the youth academy and he says every week the players must present a topic for discussion," he continued.

"Can you imagine doing that here? Our players can hardly talk‚ they just listen‚ they don’t get feedback because they have been suppressed. It is important for players to talk, they need to be open, as when the whistle blows, they need to play.

"These are elements they [players] need to be a little more educated on and that is our problem as coaches."

Article by: Fabio De Dominicis
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