Here’s why Kaizer Chiefs fired Gavin Hunt
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DURBAN – On Friday, Kaizer Chiefs broke the internet with a single tweet when they announced the sacking of head coach Gavin Hunt with immediate effect.
To a section of AmaKhosi fans, Hunt’s sacking was hardly surprising. At the end of the day, he did fail to get the most out of a talented squad, though some might argue that there are valid grounds behind why that did not happen.
The following are five key reasons which led to the sacking of Hunt as Chiefs coach.
Losing to Black Leopards
There is nothing more embarrassing than losing to the worst team in the league and Hunt’s last official game as Kaizer Chiefs boss was a 2-1 loss to basement club Black Leopards.
Hunt also left Chiefs closer to the relegation zone than to first place Sundowns.
The availability of Stuart Baxter
The rumour mill suggests that former Chiefs coach Baxter is tipped to return to Naturena where he won the league six years ago and could be set to bring in former Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki as his assistant coach.
With four top-flight titles to his name, there are not many coaches who are better than Hunt but the fact that Baxter is a free-agent would have made the decision easier for the Chiefs hierarchy.
Baxter has been a free-agent since February after he was sacked by Indian club Odisha after making bizarre comments about rape.
Failing to find consistency
In lieu of their two-window transfer ban, Kaizer Chiefs were not really expected to challenge for silverware this season. However, they would have been expected to be more competitive.
They have made it to the semi-final of the CAF Champions League but apart from that, there has not been much for Chiefs fans to rave about.
They also suffered the humiliation of being eliminated by GladAfrica Championship side Richards Bay in the Nedbank Cup.
Though an argument can be made that he should have been given more time, Hunt could have done better with the players at his disposal.
Playing players out of position
One thing which irked Kaizer Chiefs fans who were not fond of his approaches was Hunt’s tendency to field players out of their natural position. He has often used Siyabonga Ngezana as a makeshift right-back even when he had the likes of Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Reeve Frosler available.
One can argue that he would have done much better if he used similar tactics to what Ernst Middendorp used last season. Under Middendorp Chiefs did after all finish second with the same squad.
Taking public digs at the Chiefs management
At bigger clubs in most leagues, it almost never goes down well when coaches go to the extent of publicly criticising the club’s management.
In January, Hunt publicly took a dig at the Chiefs management for Anthony Akumu as a midfielder, saying, “He’s not a midfield player‚ no chance. I don’t know what he was signed as but he’s definitely not a midfield player.
“And he’s played the last three‚ four games at centre-back ‚ because obviously, we’ve got problems but he looks a lot more comfortable.