Goal takes a look at where it all went wrong for the Glamour Boys in the league this season
Kaizer Chiefs have, for the third successive season, failed in their attempt to win the league and this has certainly not gone down well with their fans.
This was dubbed a defining year for Steve Komphela to at least prove that Chiefs were not too big for him as head coach, and his inability to win deliver the ultimate prize has somewhat proved those who never believed in him right.
While there were a few instances where Komphela appeared to be dishing out humble pies with a series of impressive results, cracks were always there, and things went from promising to worse at the speed of light.
Goal takes a look at where it all went wrong for the Glamour Boys in the league this season.
LACK OF DEPTH
When Chiefs announced their new signings at the beginning of the season, football manager Bobby Motaung was confident that they had a squad capable of competing on all fronts.
This despite complaints from a section of fans who felt the club didn’t do enough in the transfer market to be able to win the league title, and Komphela had to do with what he had at his disposal.
At times, Chiefs had their better players on the bench or in the stands for various reasons, and that highlighted problems the technical team was faced with, especially against fellow title contenders.
While improvising sometimes worked for Komphela, it was clear that they wouldn’t be able to keep up with both Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns who made their title intentions very clear from the word go.
Very few players really came to the party, but there wasn’t enough depth to carry the club’s hopes throughout the season and one would point to the mistakes made by the club in the transfer market at the start of the campaign.
KOMPHELA WAY TOO PREDICTABLE
The 50-year-old mentor hasn’t really been as flexible as he should be in terms of his tactics, and this was evident in the majoriity of the matches where Chiefs dropped some crucial points unnecessarily.
Without comparing Komphela to Stuart Baxter, but when Chiefs won two league titles in three years between 2013 and 2015, they were able to siwtch from one formation to another without a problem, even with the ageing squad they had.
In fact, it was Baxter who first introduced Chiefs to the three-centre-back defence that Komphela prefers right now, and very often, that system worked in their favour, but once the opponents became too familiar with it, the technical team came up with another formation – they were always ahead and that made them win games and eventually the league title.
Komphela on the other hand, stuck to the same formation that made him topple Pitso Mosimane in October 2017 even when it was no longer benefiting Chiefs, and that was his biggest downfall this season.
At times, he would throw in three strikers in an attempt to rescue a point, but the team would still lack direction, proving that whichever formation at the time wasn’t exactly from the training grounds.
INABILITY TO SCORE ENOUGH GOALS
Just a few weeks ago when Chiefs were still mathematically in the title race, they had scored just 21 goals, and that isn’t good enough for a team that’s competing for league honours against teams as good as both Sundowns and Pirates.
The team clearly worked tirelessly on improving their defence, but they forgot that scoring goals is what wins you games.
Chiefs have drawn a whopping 12 games and lost five thus far – that’s 39 points down the drain. Of the possible 39 points, they managed to collect just 12 – that’s not even half of what they could have accumulated had they been scoring enough.
Many expected their fortunes to change when Leonardo Castro and Siphelele Ntshangase arrived in January, but it wasn’t to be as they continued their downward spiral.
Article continues below
Amakhosi have a few proven goalscorers in Bernard Parker, Castro, Gustavo Paez and Ryan Moon, who rose to prominence towards the end of 2017, but none of them have scored more than four goals in the league.
It is disappointing that Moon, who only got his breakthrough late last year, leads the goalscoring charts at Chiefs with just four strikes in the league.
Of course a team doesn’t need a 15-goal-per-season striker to win the league, but if a team doesn’t have such a striker, then goals should be coming from all angles on the pitch like at Pirates where their midfielders have been chipping in with some important goals to keep their title hopes alive.