It’s been eight years and counting since Kaizer Chiefs last won a cup, and the fans of the club have reached an ultimatum in terms of accepting the quality of the squad, and the lack of satisfactory recruitment of players of international standard.
Staunch Kaizer Chiefs fan, Thando Nogempula from the Eastern Cape follows the club religiously and has made his own observations of the squad. Thando hosts very successful Twitter spaces, where fans share their opinions on Chiefs’ performances and discuss uncensored club affairs.
ThisIsFootball.Africa caught up with the Amakhosi superfan to get a fan perspective on what’s going wrong at the club.
Chiefs had initially set themselves a target of reducing the average age of the squad. They had also hoped to address the issue of the average age of the Starting XI in matches that they have played. Players like Samkelo Zwane, Mduduzi Shabalala and Andile Duba, did not come into the fore by mistake or because of a lack of transfer activity. They were brought in because the clubs’ vision sees them as key members of the squad in the present and in the future. This also meant for players such as Bruce Bvuma, that the club had to re-look at contract situations before the beginning of the season, to ensure that they remain at the club and see through the new beginning. Brandon Peterson was also brought in as number 1 in the goalkeeping department, which meant club legend Itumeleng Khune had to be reduced to a bench player.
“Chiefs defence is error prone”, Thando told ThisIsFootball.Africa
“Mistakes by Kwinika, Ngezana and Dove have led to defeats and draws on numerous occasions.”
Kaizer Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane has admitted in many instances that football is a game of mistakes, and no one is immune to making one. The confession is proven by the fact that Chiefs have conceded 24 goals so far, six more than what they’ve conceded last season at the same stage of the season. Fans like Thando at times see it as favouritism when certain players are not dropped after committing match-costing mistakes, while others like Njabulo Ngcobo, are benched.
Thando also believes that the midfield options are too limited for a team that has produced the likes Jabu (Pule) Mahlangu, Doctor Khumalo and Thabo Mooki to name just a few. He quickly mentions Sithebe and says, “I am not his fan, if we had better options, I’d play them, but unfortunately we don’t.”
Sithebe started his Chiefs career well at the beginning of the season, then faded, before Zwane brought him back to the team.
“I feel there’s a lot of running around without any results”.
Upfront is where Chiefs are lacking the most. Amakhosi are sitting 4th and have scored 24 goals currently, the same number of goals they scored at this stage last season when they were sitting second.
“Bonfils-Caleb started like a house on fire, but has since regressed”.
Seven goals in his first season is a good return for any striker, but Thando is not impressed.
“His positioning is not good and he hardly presses when needed to help”.
Chiefs addressed the issue of attacking options and promoted Wandile Duba and brought in Bosomboli Saile. Both were brought in to address the goalscoring issues. In Saile’s case, Thando was forthright, “I was not impressed by his technical abilities but he has attributes that we can work on”.
Chiefs fans will need to be patient and trust the process and hope that what the management is trying to achieve with their new squad and young technical team will take time and that the pieces of the puzzle will come together. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but in due time, it will all make sense.