A gruelling nine months have come and gone. This period marked the 2013-14 season of the South African Premier League under the sponsorship of the Absa bank.
The “drawing board” is not a foreign term in football spheres and is one that teams and their coaches claim to visit after every result that comes as not satisfactory.
It is hard for any Kaizer Chiefs to stomach that in a season which seemed so promising, none of the following trophies will/has a Chiefs tag embedded on them [MTN8, Telkom Knockout, Nedbank Cup, Absa Premiership, CAF Champions League, CAF Confederation Cup].
From a pillar to post, it might turn when closest rivals who seemed to be having one of their worst seasons in years cap their lukewarm run with the FA Cup.
At no fine/fee/penalty for being frank, Chiefs need to revise the squad they currently have.
Many people believe the Soweto giants have a handful number of players; the team is viewed thin quantity-wise. My short sighted view points to a slim squad in both quantity and quality.
The decision on who stays and goes remains the club’s baby but our two cents opinion could be of use some day. As things stand, Chiefs will be going to the Safari in February with Mamelodi Sundowns. This is the platform which simply handed the league title to Sundowns. To even tell the world that fatigue courtesy of CAF Champions League contributed immensely to Chiefs dry season is a bit embarrassing.
The Glamour Boys made three trips in their short campaign in the continent. Bar from one trip to DRC, they visited Namibian and Mozambique neighbours. Compare and contrast that with their bitter rivals Orlando Pirates who had to visit Cairo thrice, DR Congo twice and made one trip to Tunisia and Zambia as well as a visit to Djabal, then Chiefs excuse is ridiculous.
It goes on to expose how thin the squad is. At some point you could have been pardoned for being unsure of who picked an injury between Kaizer Chiefs Football Club and Knowledge Musona. That night home to AS Vita Club proved to be the last match Chiefs fans got to see of their team until the return against University of Pretoria and AmaZulu. Those happened to be matches of ease, no pressure at all but just three points being auctioned apiece.
Perhaps big changes have to take place. Some players have to make way. It is that time whereby we need players who will know that the most important story is what is written in front of their jerseys, not what is printed on their backs.
Siyabonga Nkosi: One of the best passers of the ball that South Africa has seen in recent years but I think he will be an asset at clubs like Bloemfontein Celtic, Golden Arrows or AmaZulu. He is no longer energetic and will give you one brilliant perfomance in a month or so. Looking at the standard of the opponents, such theories won’t help much in tightly contested league like Absa.
Lucky Baloyi (loan): Having come through the club’s development structures is the only hindrance in Sheriff’s career – a midfielder who can do better and be rated amongst the best if he tried his luck at teams like Xerox or Maritzburg United. He keeps having the impression that his chance will come but truth be told, chances of him becoming a starter anytime soon are more than slim.
Mandla Masango: I can show you more than 20000 people who have left Masango on the Chiefs bench, gone to University, graduated and are now professionals with the Kwaggafontein-born midfielder-cum striker still a fringe player. He has been there for years. Players like Wayne Market, Tlou Molekwane, Lucky Khune, Mabhuti Khenyeza, Tshepo Bulu and Sandile Zuke as well have been teammates with him. I am even struggling to picture Bulu in Chiefs colours because it’s been years since he left, that is how long bullet has been on the bench. Like a “bullet”, he is forever not of much use like potential energy until he is unleashed. Not sure when that will be. He has outlived his time at Chiefs.
Matthew Rusike (loan): I was one of those who wondered what special thing Chiefs saw in him. With due respect, to me he never attracted my interest at all. At some point, I believed he is the reason why Chiefs failed to notice the need to sign Erwin Isaacs. I have stood by him like with all Chiefs players but at the moment, I think his services will be valuable at another club. He will be matured when he comes back.
Kingston Nkhatha: Numbers may speak otherwise but he is certainly not the favourite of the fans. There will always be players in the same scenario but from a personal perspective, leaving would be the best solution to both Chiefs fans and Nkhatha’s dilemma(s). He should move on to another club, he will never be the Musona or the Parker which Khosi faithful anticipate him to be. Also, instead of using him positively as a contributor to the team, Stuart Baxter has found a retaliation tool towards the supporters. He uses the player in his feud with the fans. No one benefits from such.
Jimmy Jambo: He occupies one of the five foreigners spots which need to be used wisely. He is still on the recovery path and with Tsepo Masilela and Simphiwe Mtsweni playing the left-back position, keeping Jambo will be a philanthropy and considerate act but the business mind intent won’t appeal reasonably.
Josta Dladla: When you extend a player’s stay, you anticipate he will get better and you foresee incoming improvement. What of a 35 year old? He still has a few good games left in him but I do not see the vision in keeping JD as a player.
Who should come in?
I doubt Sibusiso Vilakazi is the player Chiefs are looking for. To me, for a team with George Maluleka, signing Vilakazi is a want, not a need. Take note of the role played by Vilakazi and the system Chiefs use. Edward Manqele and Daylon Claasen would be good additions for the former champions.
Not so many good players will be available on the market hence I believe Chiefs should invade West Africa for a striker, two wingers, a right back and a central midfielder, a defensive one.
By Siza Mnguni