Cavin’s tinkering may be cause of Chiefs’ failure to score

Cavin Johnson, head coach of Kaizer Chiefs, is accused of chopping and changing his forwards too often. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Cavin Johnson, head coach of Kaizer Chiefs, is accused of chopping and changing his forwards too often. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Published Apr 17, 2024



Kaizer Chiefs need to get back to winning ways in their remaining matches in the DStv Premiership or run the risk of finishing outside the top eight.

It was just yesterday when Chiefs’ supporters backed their team to finish in the top three and return to continental football next season. But such has been their rapid decline, that they run the risk of finishing outside the top eight if they don’t get their house in order and start winning games.

Cavin Johnson, head coach of Kaizer Chiefs, is accused of chopping and changing his forwards too often. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Yes, Chiefs are staring down the barrel as they’ve struggled to win matches this year, winning only one league game, drawing three and losing three. To make matters worse, interim coach Cavin Johnson lost the last two games – to Stellenbosch and Chippa United – as they fell down the pecking order.

Chiefs’ next matches won’t be easy, either. They’ll face teams that are either chasing the title, safety, top-three or top-eight finishes in the next few weeks.

They will face champions elect Mamelodi Sundowns, safety- chasing Cape Town Spurs and Richards Bay, and top-eight hunters AmaZulu and Polokwane City. So, for a side that has struggled to score goals or keep clean sheets recently, they’ll need to find solutions to those problems – fast.

Ranga Chivaviro has failed to live up to his billing so far at Kaizer Chiefs. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

This season’s signings Ranga Chivaviro, Pule Mmodi and Jasond Gonzalez have struggled to do what they were signed for: score goals and help the team win.

That’s not entirely their fault. Johnson hasn’t done the striking department justice either, with his appetite for chopping and changing players not working for the team.

Mmodi and Chivaviro arrived at Amakhosi from Golden Arrows and Marumo Gallants with top billing, because they can score goals. But they found the going tough at Chiefs. And it’s not like they’ve become poor players overnight, but it seems the problem lies with Johnson.

Ashley du Preez is said to be a favourite of Kaizer Chiefs coach Cavin Johnson despite his dwindling goal contributions. Photo: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

The 65-year-old can’t get the best out of his strikers as he chops and changes them even if they’ve had a decent outing, and is over-reliant on Ashley du Preez.

Du Preez has had his off days at the office, missing chances when it looked easier to score – resulting in a love-hate affair with Chiefs’ faithful. Another of Johnson’s favourites is Mduduzi Shabalala, who seems to have left his scoring boots with the reserve team.

And for all the hype around Wandile Duba, the 19-year-old striker hasn’t been able to deliver on the potential or continue with his momentum from the reserves.

It’s really been disappointing that Johnson hasn’t been able to get the best out of his players, having decided not to sign new strikers in January. And given the three goals that Chiefs conceded in the last two games, it seems the team’s woeful run has rubbed off on goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma.

For some time, Bvuma looked to be Chiefs’ knight in shining armour, keeping the team in the game with his daring saves. Hence his recall to Bafana Bafana. But with the way things are going, Bvuma might have to forget about getting a national team call-up for the World Cup qualifiers in June.

After all, Veli Mothwa looks destined to reclaim his spot in the Hugo Broos-coached side having produced some top performances for AmaZulu lately. But with Chiefs set to visit Richards Bay on Sunday afternoon, the players and Johnson still have ample time to work on their preparations and turn things around.

Johnson probably knows that he won’t be considered for the permanent head coaching role, but surely he’d want to leave the team in a better place, right?