JOHANNESBURG – After their much-talked about gameplan and near flawless win over Mamelodi Sundowns in midweek, Kaizer Chiefs take on rivals Orlando Pirates in the Soweto Derby today.
But there are concerns as to which Amakhosi side will show up as has been the case with their bipolar performance over the last three seasons.
Here we look at three contributing factors to their inconsistency, which has cost them trophies in the time that coach Steve Komphela has been in charge.
Over-relying on Khune, Katsande and Tshabalala
Any coach would want the three musketeers to play a significant role when they are fit and on form, but there’s been an excessive dependence on the trio. The club, up to now, has not been able to find adequate replacements, especially for goalkeeper Khune.
Last season Amakhosi were punished in the absence of Khune and often lost crucial matches from winning positions. Tshabalala has also had his fair share of injury worries and was terribly missed when unavailable.
Several players had been expected to step up, but came up short – an example being Katsande’s understudy in Lucky Baloyi, who was unsurprisingly allowed to leave at the end of the previous campaign.
No impact from recruits
In his first year, Komphela was unveiled at the same time as some of the new players, meaning he’d probably not had much of a say in who comes in and who goes following a successful three years with predecessor Stuart Baxter.
The scouting network at Chiefs has recently come under heavy scrutiny as the trophy cabinet remains barren since Komphela’s arrival and – in the seasons that he has been there – a majority of the players that were signed have been released from their contracts, including veterans Morgan Gould and Reneilwe Letsholonyane, who have been rejuvenated at SuperSport United.
The coach has again decided to slowly ease new players into this campaign.
Bhongolwethu Jayiya and Dumisani Zuma have so far been bit part players, while Teenage Hadebe is injured and Philani Zulu finally got his big break on the back of injuries to as many as five defenders.
Komphela partly to blame
The coach has not really made the tough decisions. When some regulars have been absolutely below par, Komphela has often shielded them and taken the flak.
But it must be said that some of his selections choices have also been bizarre.
The simple answer is that Chiefs perhaps don’t quite have the right personnel, but the squad is at least good enough to win one of the domestic trophies.
But they have not been able to do that in Komphela’s tenure.
Now in the final year of his three-season contract with Amakhosi, there are huge expectations for him to deliver if he is to stay on.