Kaizer Chiefs’ abysmal 2018/19 Absa Premiership campaign begs resolutions and our source looks at where the club need to turn things around for next season.
Firstly, and arguably most importantly, Chiefs management need to reassess their transfer model in order to end the annual exodus that has become increasingly concerning.
The club has released nearly 40 players in total in the last three years alone, which is by anyone’s standards a shocking number to write off their books, but more so for a club considered on of SA’s biggest.
Secondly, Amakhosi need to re-establish their football style – that flamboyant attacking brand with a robust defence, which has long since been dismantled and discarded in exchange for a more restrained approach.
Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, as proven by Stuart Baxter in winning four trophies in three seasons, but arguably what has let them down is the abstract signings that do not fit the current profile of the team.
Thirdly, Chiefs have had numerous coaches try to blood in youngsters only to discard this policy as and when the pressure mounts, returning then to the aging, tried and trusted.
The likes of Siyabonga Ngezana and Bruce Bvuma have stagnated, apart from the latter’s recent opportunities due to the goalkeeping crisis, while continued faith needs to be placed in rising youngsters such as Happy Mashiane, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo and Njabulo Blom for their development process to be fulfilled.
Another key area that will need to be assessed is Chiefs’ injury management – Itumeleng Khune, Erick Mathoho, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Teenage Hadebe, Joseph Molangoane and Lebogang Manyama have all been victims of lengthy spells on the side-lines this season.
While, admittedly, some were considered freak-accidents, numerous – including that of Mashiane and Ngcobo – could ordinarily have been avoided by sound management and conditioning.
Finally, the Soweto giants need to reconnect with their 12th-man, who have grown distant from the club particularly at home matches in Johannesburg.
Though this is largely influenced by the team’s performances, improvements in several of the abovementioned key areas could go a long way in restoring the faith in the stands.