Cape Town City chairman John Comitis has made it crystal clear that he believes Benni McCarthy has a top-class squad at his disposal.
McCarthy lamented his team’s defensive frailties after they let a 1-0 lead slip en route to a 2-1 defeat to Kaizer Chiefs in midweek.
Central defence a problem for Cape Town City
The Cape Town City coach used his post-match interview on Tuesday to beg the chairman to bring in a central defender before the transfer window slams shut.
McCarthy firmly believes that City have not replaced Robyn Johannes, the centre-back who left the Mother City to join Wits in 2018.
The City coach said he was being forced to deploy players out of position, weakening the team’s defensive structure.
“Like I said I’m make-shifting, I’m playing a left-back at centre-back and it should be clear now for my chairman that we need a centre-back,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy employed Mozambiquan fullback Edmilson Dove in a central defensive role against Chiefs, a position he has filled in the past. When Edmilson played in the heart of defence in last season’s MTN 8 quartefinal win over Amazulu, McCarthy declared that he had found his ‘Sergio Ramos’.
Even at that time though, McCarthy was aware of the need for another quality centre-back.
Speaking after that match in October, McCarthy insisted that Cape Town City got lucky in their 3-0 triumph.
“It was a stroke of luck, really. Kwanda (Mngonyama) was suspended after picking up four yellow cards, but luckily, we had (Taariq) Fielies who came back into the side.
“We had the young boy Keanu Cupido who was destined to play, but he then picked up a knock and was complaining and moaning. I then had to make a decision: I know we have two good left-backs, and Edmilson is very quick and great in the air, he’s one of the best headers I’ve seen in the game.
“I saw him play in a back three for Mozambique, so I asked him if he could do the job for us. And I think I’ve found my Sergio Ramos in my team! And I’ll claim it, I’ll claim that it was tactical genius that I shifted him there! But no, it was just fluke.”
The Chairman is unmoved
Comitis doesn’t appear keen on loosening the purse strings though.
Responding to Kickoff.com Comitis said: “We don’t need anything. We have a top squad and had the players to secure that win.”
McCarthy and Comitis cannot both be right and both could be feeling the pressure of following up last season’s successes. McCarthy has been linked with the Bafana Bafana job as well as moves to other clubs.