New coach Giovanni Solinas ‘a good man to guide Chiefs’
Free State Stars GM Rantsi Mokoena says new Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas is a workaholic‚ plans superbly and is an excellent manager, but who knows if it means the Italian can succeed at Amakhosi.
Mokoena knows Solinas better than any other leading club official in SA, having worked with the coach in his only two stints in the Premier Soccer League: both with Stars in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
The GM’s view of Solinas is interesting‚ as the Italian’s lack of a track record of winning trophies was brought into sharp focus soon after his appointment was announced by Chiefs on social media on Friday.
Chiefs have just gone three seasons without a trophy under Steve Komphela.
Their appointment of a successor who has not won a major trophy at clubs in Algeria and Saudi Arabia and has never completed a full season at a club‚ including Stars‚ has raised eyebrows‚ to say the least.
"The guy is a typical European. He’s got a high‚ high work ethic‚ he’s a great player manager‚ he’s extremely organised. And under him we played very exciting football‚" Mokoena said on Tuesday.
"Whether or not he will survive at Chiefs I don’t know. Because there are different types of players‚ a different type of pressure and all those things.
"The guy‚ for me‚ is up for the job. But you need a bit of luck. At Chiefs‚ in every game there’s pressure. You can’t go three games‚ win two and lose one. You must win five. But I mean generally I think the guy did very well at Stars," he said.
"He doesn’t stop working. And his team’s organised. We played great football under him."
Solinas is a mild-mannered‚ uncontroversial‚ likeable coach.
His intellectual but accessible approach to football saw Stars reach two semifinals under him — in the 2016 Nedbank Cup and Telkom Knockout — though they ultimately struggled for consistency in the league.
He’s very clever‚" Mokoena said. "I can probably guarantee that by the time he went for the interview at Chiefs‚ if he had an interview‚ that he knew everybody who works at Naturena.
"By the time he plays against a team, he knows everything about them‚ every player‚ every weakness," Mokoena said.
Solinas‚ who still did not have his work permit‚ watched from the stands as Chiefs won the preseason Maize Cup in Orkney on Saturday‚ beating ABC Motsepe League club Buya Msuthu 2-0 in the semifinal and Free State Stars on penalties in the final.