Benni McCarthy is a walking headline, bafethu!
Yoh, now I didn’t see this one coming at all.
I was sleeping!
Like what kine with Cape Town City and Benni McCarthy ending things just all of sudden like that? At midnight nogal?
Now I know Benni and owner John Comitis have had their fair share of fights about the signing of players from the beginning.
And these two guys have egos as big as a football field.
No, okay let me rephrase that, these two guys are really headstrong! Yes, that’s the more diplomatic way of putting it.
They have really strong instincts about the game and they’ve both been successful trusting their gut.
So it is to be expected that they would get into it when they don’t agree on something.
Let me break down a few scenarios of situations that were not easy to navigate for the two guys.
Benni wanted young coach Rayaan Jacobs, who was an analyst and MDC coach at Orlando Pirates when the former Bafana Bafana striker was there as a player, to be part of his technical team.
The negotiations took a very long time and Benni operated with just the one assistant coach, Vasili Manousakis, who had been there from the beginning when Eric Tinkler was in charge.
Benni also complained about the goalkeeping department immediately after taking charge.
He was so frustrated in many interviews that you’d imagine if he had things his way he might have flat out said Shu-Aib Walters is crap.
He dropped Walters for second-choice Sage Stephens and recommended that they recruit a young goalkeeping prospect from Belgium at the time.
It took a whole season until Peter Leeuwenburgh was brought in and it paid off immediately, as the Dutch keeper was instrumental in their run to the 2018 MTN8 title.
Benni and John’s dance continued when captain Robyn Johannes’s contract was up for renewal.
Benni wanted the defender to be kept at all costs, while management thought otherwise about giving a then-32-year-old a premium contract.
It was such an obvious money issue for Johannes, who had to consider that he was on his last few years of activity at the highest level.
Wits showed him the money and he understandably took it.
His stay in Gauteng, however, wasn’t long and he was released, but instead of coming back to the Citizens, he signed for newcomers Stellenbosch.
All this despite City’s obvious struggles at centreback because of injuries and Benni coming out publicly saying that he wanted Johannes back.
He said: “Johannes would be ideal getting him back just to put a name out there! I’m not saying I will get him but he would not be a bad one at all.”
So there again, Benni had to continue with what he had available to him and it was just not working for them.
They were knocked out of the first rounds of both the MTN8 as title-holders as well as the Telkom Knockout recently and they are 13th in the league.
With all of this and possibly many other issues, good or bad, one couldn’t imagine the relationship coming to an end the way it did.
I mean, City have two matches this week, tonight at home against Polokwane City and away at Black Leopards on Sunday.
That’s six points up for grabs that would change things for them.
Thereafter it’s the international break, which is enough time to go back to the drawing board and take stock of their situation and how they could improve it.
But no, it was ended with immediate effect while many people were in dreamland.
So the question on everybody’s lips is “waantoe gaan jy Benni?”
Orlando Pirates? Bafana Bafana?
Both would make sense, but that’s a column for another day. Maybe Part 2 and call it Benni: The Return baba!