There are speculations that Orlando Pirates striker Benni McCarthy may have been faking his injury over the past 3 months in order to avoid being coached by Rodger De Sa. McCarthy and De Sa had an altercation during the Telkom Knockout final near the end of 2011, where Pirates beat Wits 3 – 1. At that time De Sa was still coaching Wits.
Some people opined that perhaps hiring De Sa last year was Khoza’s way of getting rid of McCarthy.
When De Sa started coaching Pirates, McCarthy and De Sa said they had no problem with each other. However, all of a sudden, Benni suffered a thigh injury which saw him off the field for about three months. Recent newspaper reports indicate that Benni recovered a long time ago but didn’t come back because of his differences with De Sa.
Last season McCarthy’s positive impact on Pirates was evident. The team was not easily beaten in his presence. They were usually beaten when he was not playing. He netted a total of 10 goals. Surely, he would have scored one or two goals this season had he not been off the field for such a long time. Perhaps his goals this season would have helped Pirates take the top spot on the log.
Pirates are currently sitting at the second position with 42 points, five points behind Kaizer Chiefs. However, they have played 21 games whereas chiefs has played 22. Therefore, they still have a chance to reduce the gap with 3 points. With 9 games remaining for Pirates and 8 for Chiefs, anything is still possible. Fortunately for Pirates, Benni has returned. If he manages to score goals and help Pirates win the league for the third time in a row, his return will be legendary.