One other deflating Soweto Derby loss for Kaizer Chiefs and the exit on the semifinal stage of one other cup competitors highlights the rising disaster at Naturena that threatens to flip the as soon as mighty Glamour boys into one of many ‘additionally-rans’ of the Premier Soccer League.
The scoreline would possibly solely have been 2-1 of their newest defeat to Orlando Pirates, the primary time in historical past that The Buccaneers have won three video games on the bounce in opposition to their bitter rivals, however the margin on the sector was a lot larger than that.
Chiefs have now gone 11 video games with out a win in opposition to Pirates, additionally a brand new Soweto Derby document for both facet, and it shows the regular decline of South Africa’s most profitable membership.
They barely troubled Pirates in Durban on Saturday, their objective a direct result of a defensive combine-up between goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane and defender Glad Jele, whereas the opposite half-possibilities had been due to the poor play of the keeper, who significantly struggled underneath the excessive ball.
That they stayed within the contest so lengthy was straight due to Pirates’ lack of ability to kill them off sooner, however it was one other dominant show from coach Micho Sredojevic’s facet, simply as it had been final month within the 2-1 league win.
A lot of the main focus will likely be on Chiefs’ Italian coach Giovanni Solinas, however on the finish of the day he can solely achieve this a lot with the instruments at his disposal.
Chiefs decline is much extra to do with the poor recruitment coverage of the facet over the past 4 or 5 years, and the truth that they by no means adequately changed the likes of Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Morgan Gould, Tefu Mashamaite and Mandla Masango after they left the staff across the time of their final league title win in 2015.
As a substitute they made poor high quality acquisitions from Zimbabwe and Zambia within the likes of Edmore Chirambadare, Michelle Katsvairo and Lewis Macha, when from day one it was clear they weren’t adequate for the South Africa high-flight.
Chirambadare is now with Maccabi FC within the Nationwide First Division, Katsvairo is again house in Zimbabwe and Macha was axed by second-tier Royal Eagles lately and is again in Zambia.
It’s maybe unfair to single out these three as a result of there have been many, many different switch failures, however they had been all signed with the promise of being the subsequent huge issues for the AmaKhosi.
That they had been thought-about Chiefs materials within the first place falls squarely on the lap of soccer supervisor Bobby Motaung, who acts as chief scout and is accountable for transfers out and in of the membership.
What qualifies him to make such choices is unclear, however clearly his radar is off and that has been the foremost supply of the staff’s troubles in current seasons.
The acquisition of Khama Billiat at first of this season was definitely a coup and a supply for celebration for Chiefs followers and whereas he has delivered to a sure extent, he’s hamstrung by the standard of the gamers round him.
Even Lionel Messi wants high quality help from teammates to shine and whereas Billiat stands out like a beacon together with his skill, these round him can’t match his normal and it displays in the midst of matches.
Chiefs have performed 19 matches in all competitions this season and won solely six of these, or 32 p.c.
They’ve been crushed twice by Pirates, and likewise suffered losses to SuperSport United and BidVest Wits, groups who they might contemplate their friends within the league title race.
Their wins have come in opposition to a struggling Free State Stars (twice), AmaZulu and Black Leopards, all groups they might anticipate to beat, whereas their solely actual highlights have been a storming four-1 victory over Cape City Metropolis and a scrappy 1-zero success in opposition to SuperSport.
It’s simply not adequate for the model and for the followers, however anyone anticipating a swift turnaround in fortunes will likely be left dissatisfied. This mess goes to take funding from the Motaung household and a succession of switch home windows to type out.
Eradicating Solinas will change little, even for those who can usher in a Patrice Carteron or Hossam Al-Badary, as a result of on the finish of the day they may have to discover a manner to achieve success with a restricted group of gamers.
An unprecedented fourth season in a row with out silverware awaits and whereas Chiefs at present sit fifth within the league desk, they’ve performed 13 video games, in some situations three greater than the groups round them.
Their more true place primarily based on a factors per recreation ratio is seventh and on the margins of falling exterior of the highest eight. Unusually for them, they’ve the joint-eighth worst defence within the league, one thing that has been the hallmark of their play over the previous couple of years – protecting issues tight on the again.
Groups like Lamontville Golden Arrows, Polokwane Metropolis and Bloemfontein Celtic, underneath the stewardship of a lot-maligned former Chiefs coach Steve Komphela, all have higher data on the again this marketing campaign.
All-in-all of the numbers stack up badly for Chiefs this season and so they can’t blame unhealthy luck or accidents, the easy reality is they don’t have a squad that may compete on the very highest degree of South African soccer anymore.