Despite things looking much better for Kaizer Chiefs and coach Arthur Zwane at the moment, there are still some serious issues. It is not just the missing of chances that we always hear the coach complaining about that is the cause for real concern. Zwane’s big Chiefs problem is the manner in which they are defending, and the ability of their defenders.
After ten games Chiefs are currently sitting in fourth position only two points behind league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns who have a game in hand, so things are currently looking much rosier for the Glamour. However, if you look at the goals for and goals against column, it paints a very clear picture. Chiefs has scored 12 goals, but on the other hand the defence has conceded 11, giving them a plus one goal difference. That is the lowest goal difference within the top five teams on the league table. Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates, Chiefs’ main rivals, on the other hand have only conceded 5 goals each. The two of them combined have conceded less goals than Chiefs on their own.
You do not have to be a Pep Guardiola to realise where the Chiefs problems are. Sure they are not converting as many chances as they should, but they are at least creating chances, and therefore goals will come. But with a leaky defence, no matter how many goals you score, you will always be under pressure. Unless this is sorted out, Chiefs will remain also rans for the duration of this season.
It is clear what the three problems are. Firstly, Chiefs need to play regularly with one proper defensive holding midfielder of quality, who can read the danger and break things up and set up attacks. A Tinashe Nengomasha type of player. Secondly, the defending at dead ball situations, which used to be a Chiefs strength, is appalling. This simply requires continuous training session work for it to become second nature. Any team that cannot defend dead ball situations, can kiss goodbye any chance of winning honours. Finally, on this season’s showing, none of the central defenders have shown the kind of ability or performance that has inspired. On a personal level, they need to up their game or be replaced in the January transfer window. Right now, there is no clear commanding presence at the back.
Obviously, teams defend and attack as one, and the above is also an oversimplification of a bigger problem at Chiefs that we will address in the near future. That is, how many of the current squad are delivering performances on a regular basis that are worthy of the Kaizer Chiefs jersey and fanbase?