Former Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp has launched a scathing attack on goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune and centre back Eric Mathoho following his brutal sacking at the end of the 2019/20 campaign.
Amakhosi looked destined for a fifth PSL title under the German coach’s stewardship but saw all that come crumbling down at the final hurdle.
Chiefs managed a dismal 1-1 draw with Baroka FC which saw them being pipped to the title by Mamelodi Sundowns.
In his newly-published book titled Resilience – The Ernst Middendorp Authorised Biography, Middendorp held no punches back, detailing how certain circumstances prior to the bubble contributed to the struggle of the team.
“The circumstances at hand were that some players were not as sharp as before when we went into the bubble.
“Some players went out to do nonsense and you guys have all seen videos of Mathoho (Mulomowandau) and Itumeleng Khune along with all these guys partying but none of you guys ever spoke about it.
“Then they come two weeks before we go into the bubble where you had to play games every three days.
“Then at that time, you don’t have players in the second line-up who can perform at the same level.
Middendorp made special mention of players at his disposal he could not utilize, taking another swipe at Mathoho.
“There was nobody who could replace (Lebogang) Manyama, George Maluleka every three days. No chance.
“Mathoho was totally flat in the bubble and as a coach, there are factors that you can’t influence and we ended up second,” he revealed.
What is clear from these stunning revelations is that Middendorp lays the blame on Chiefs failure to capture the title clearly at the feet of two of his star players and citing their unprofessional behaviour during Covid, before the bubble as the prime reasons for Chiefs failures.
This was a title that was seemingly in the bag for Chiefs and was there waiting to be won. To add salt to the wounds, it was an Itumeleng Khune’s blunder that ultimately cost Chiefs the points against Baroka and gifted the title to Sundowns in the closing minutes of the game.