Papic talks Middendorp, Pirates failures


Former Kaizer Chiefs head coach Kosta Papic discusses criticism of Ernst Middendorp's style and explains his failure to win trophies at Orlando Pirates.

Current Amakhosi tactician Middendorp has been heavily criticised by some football followers in the country for his direct style of football, despite it proving to bring the desired results.

Amakhosi are leading the Absa Premiership table with less than 10 games to be played as the forced recess due to the coronavirus keeps the whole PSL in limbo.

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It is not the first time the Soweto giants have been criticised for their style of play.

During Stuart Baxter's era they were hammered for playing counter-attacking football even though they went on to win four trophies in those three seasons, including two league titles.

Asked if he thought Chiefs management should allow Middendorp to finish his three-year deal despite not playing entertaining football, Papic empathised with his fellow coach.

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"I can't talk about!" he tells to

Papic admits though that it is very difficult to win trophies and play beautiful football at the same time.

"That is depending on many factors. One day people want entertainment, another day want trophy. Very difficult to have both at same time. For that, need time," he explains.

"I believe we play football because of people, that is my philosophy. What is football without people? Every coach has his philosophy. Entertaining football with trophy is best."

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During his stint at Pirates, Papic proved to be the 'most-loved losing coach' as despite playing some of the best football ever seen in Mzansi, he failed to bring in a single piece of silverware.

"Yes, that's what you said [losing coach]. For me it was different, very difficult to play season with youngsters and expect trophy," he explains.

"I hope you not forget, we finish second on goal difference, and had more than seven players from academy. Maybe you forget, 2005 Pirates had 19 players who played for national teams. Under-20 and rest of Africa countries, and SA national team."

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Any advice for Middendorp?

"I can't give advice to anybody, that is not correct from me. Why you ask me? I'm a coach, not owner of club," he says.

"We coaches have very difficult job, never satisfied people, players, officials. I didn't have time to do anything there [during my spell at Chiefs]."

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