Kaizer Chiefs have dialled ‘10111’ but flustered Arthur Zwane not answering the call

Kaizer Chiefs’ caretaker coach Arthur Zwane. Picture: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs’ caretaker coach Arthur Zwane. Picture: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Published May 1, 2022


Cape Town - One thing that emerged from the Kaizer Chiefs crisis is that Arthur Zwane has learned that coaching is not child's play.

In the wake of Stuart Baxter's sacking, Chiefs announced that assistant coaches Zwane and Dillon Shepherd would take over as caretaker coaches. While the two have been at the helm, Chiefs have lost all their matches. Added to the final game while Baxter was at the helm, the team has now suffered four defeats on the trot.

However, it appears that Zwane has taken over on his own. He has been fronting the media, and unlike other co-coaches, the duties have not been shared. If Zwane has, in fact, taken over, Chiefs have been silent on the matter. Shepherd has only ever been seen sitting on the team bench.

At the post-match interview following the team's 2-1 defeat to Cape Town City at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon, Zwane was like a deer in headlights when fielding questions about the challenges facing the ill-fated team.

"There are so many, so much," said Zwane. "When you have a team that has so many challenges and you're trying to fix this problem at the back. Then you have a problem in the midfield.

"When you try to fix the problem in midfield, you have a problem upfront.

"At the moment, it is not going our way, and that is why we are playing in patches. There is no consistency.

"We did not get enough time to prepare the team as well. We haven't been training. We've been like having one session, then game, one session, then game. And we are trying to get the combinations right."

Chiefs have four matches remaining this season and Zwane has no idea of how to address the team's malaise other than an appeal to the players to continue doing their best. He has acknowledged the objective of finishing in a Premiership runner-up slot is now a pipe dream.

"Look, it is going to get better, and I will not lose hope," said Zwane. "I am not worried that much but our chances of getting the second spot are very slim now.

"I want to say to the team it's not over until the fat lady sings.

"We can't give up now, we're all professionals. We're looking forward to the next game with the hope that we can maybe be able to get maximum points. We'll never stop pushing."

Saturday's defeat has set an unwanted record for Chiefs. Never in the club's history have the team suffered four consecutive league defeats.

Of late, Chiefs have endured a horrible sequence of schoolboy errors in defence, and this has been at the heart of the team's downfall.

"We keep on making more silly mistakes. Look at the first goal and then the second goal today," said Zwane.

"It is the same goal that we conceded against Golden Arrows (in the midweek match). It's the same goal that we concede from a transition when we were on the attack against Stellies (last week). There's a lot that we need to fix and it's going to take time."

During his playing days, Zwane often came to Chiefs' rescue by scoring match-winning goals late in matches, and hence he was nicknamed '10111'.

The nickname doesn't work for Zwane the coach. The time has come for the powerful fan base which recently triggered Baxter's sacking to send an SOS to the club's hierarchy to bring in a capable coach to give direction to the rudderless team.