'Middendorp's style didn't suit me'


The skilful Kabelo Mahlasela is one of those players who just didn't have any luck go his way to break through at Kaizer Chiefs, and the player admits he was not suited to Ernst Middendorp's direct style of play.

The style of football that Mahlasela plays is the same as the one Amakhosi have been playing since its establishment in 1970, the kind of football that made the club one of the most supported in Africa.

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But it seems German coach Middendorp and his results-first approach is chasing away skilful players from the club.

Mahlasela's strength is in penetrating defences, but when balls are hit over the top to the taller targetmen, it leaves little room for diminutive dribblers like Mahlasela at Naturena.

"Maybe the coach's philosophy didn't suit me you know, let me just put it that way. Maybe the coach's philosophy didn't suit the type of player I am," he tells KickOff.com.

"When you look, also my height... okay, Chiefs are playing the way they are playing but they are winning games. The most important thing is to win games you know, and if Chiefs win games without Mahlasela with the kind of football they are playing, it becomes difficult [for me].

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"The coach can't just change a winning team. You can't fix it if it's not broken. Playing style might be the part of the problem but I believe everyone should be given a fair chance to express himself, to play, and then if you fail, you fail. And if you make it, you make it.

"I think Chiefs as a team they gave me a whole lot of chances, they gave me the right support. I wouldn't say Chiefs never gave me a chance. Chiefs gave me a chance you know, a big chance.

"Not every player here in South Africa gets to wear the Chiefs jersey you know. So Chiefs gave me a chance, and I'm glad... maybe that's why I'm saying to you, maybe the philosophy of the coach didn't suit me.

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"Maybe he tried, the coach, he tried but he felt that maybe the philosophy is not suiting Mahlasela, plus the height you know.

"Yes, you have to adapt to different philosophies but I think this one was beyond my control you know. There was nothing I could do about it."