WATCH: The ‘chemistry’ not there yet as Kaizer Chiefs’ try to find right ingredients to break trophy drought

Kaizer Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published May 7, 2023


Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs will end their season trophyless following their 2-1 extra-time defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals.

Kaizer Chiefs were expected to return to the glory days this season, finding their identity and winning silverware to end what has been a seven-year trophy drought.

Those expectations were backed by the appointment of Arthur Zwane as the coach, while the club signed no less than 10 players, including Yusuf Maart, Zitha Kwinika, Christian Saile, Caleb Bimenyimana, Edmilson Dove, Ashley Du Preez - and others.

Zwane, however, says the new players haven’t managed to find their feet in the team, hence they struggled with consistency this season.

Saturday’s Nedbank Cup defeat to arch-rivals Pirates at FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon was another example of this.

Orlando Pirates broke the deadlock in the first half through Kermit Erasmus before Chiefs equalised via captain Maart to take the game to extra time where substitute Sandile Mthethwa won the tie for Pirates.

And having already won the MTN8, Pirates’ win against Chiefs meant that they are on the cusp of winning a double in coach Jose Riveiro’s first season at the club.

Zwane, though, has weighed in on what has been the difference between them and their eternal enemies this season.

“The only difference is that we brought in new players that needed to gel (together). We had to work on our chemistry and understanding (as a team),” Zwane said.

“When you look at Pirates, how many players did they bring in this season? Already they had a core. But with us, we didn’t have a core and we had to start afresh.

“When you look at the players that were part and parcel of the team this season, some of them didn’t play – taking into consideration that some of our key players were out injured.”

Zwane believes that the injuries his regulars sustained led to the tough situation that they find themselves in.

Unlike Pirates, who are bound to finish the term with a double and a runners-up spot in the league, Chiefs will have to finish at least third and qualify for the Caf Confederation Cup next season.

“Those who were given the opportunity gave their best, but it wasn’t to be. So that’s the difference: we had a lot of injuries to key players, and we had to chop and change at some point,” he said.

“We played with a makeshift defence so that we consolidate, and we don’t drop points. At some point, we did drop points that we shouldn't have.

“As I said, it was the most difficult season in terms of injuries and the challenges that we came across in making sure that we have that consistency in the squad.”