Former Kaizer Chiefs coach has warned against the risk of overhyping Orlando Pirates’ in-form winger Monnapule Saleng.
Saleng has been in red-hot form for the Buccaneers and is currently the team’s leading goal scorer after netting five times from eight appearances in all competitions.
Saleng’s performances have also impressed Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos who gave him a start against Mozambique in their friendly match on Thursday.
However, Middendorp is warning that the 24-year-old should not be overhyped as he still has a long journey ahead in his career.
“That’s the problem we have here in South Africa. How many players…in the moment, Saleng…look at at Saleng, he played one good game and did one good one against one and now he is a big star. Nonsense! He is a player with potential.
“But he needs to be able to understand that the future is in his own hands, and I’m meaning it…you have to be strong, you have to use your own individual brilliance and Saleng for example, his body is not prepared for international competitions, no chance.
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“Sanisa (Bongokuhle Hlongwane) worked in the gym. He understood what he had to do, additional training. He understood that he had to be stronger,” said Middendorp.
“Coaches should be very clearly structured. We are not mentoring and pushing the players adequately.
Okay, probably coaches are doing it but the number of players, probably two or three out of 10 are able to listen and are able to understand to be self-disciplined to understand why coaches are pushing them and mentoring them into the direction. A huge number of players don’t listen.
They say, ‘This coach doesn’t like me or what does he want because I’m outstanding? The media likes me, journalists are my friends and I’m the player of the moment,’” the coach added.
“This goal that Saleng scored against AmaZulu, for example, it’s a shame. That was a huge goalkeeper mistake. But it is like a goal of the season, and I can only laugh about it.
“It’s absolutely nonsense. It is a normal shot and it is in the direction and the goalkeeper should have caught the ball and start a counter-attack. It’s my opinion.
“Now you guys in the media and the teammates (of Saleng) and whoever are making a huge noise about it, nonsense,” concluded Middendorp.