Kaizer Chiefs has decided to do a squad overhaul led by the newly promoted sheriff in town, Arthur Zwane.
Arthur “10111” Zwane was recently named Kaizer Chiefs’ new head coach. Along with Dillon Shepherd, Zwane worked as Stuart Baxter’s assistant coach. They have given Zwane the reins because they believe he is the right man to lead the team back to glory. He was their Multi Diski Challenge’s head coach. This duo has worked alongside Gavin Hunt and Ernst Middendorp in the past.
He coached the likes of Happy Mashiane, Siphosakhe Ntiyantiya, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, and Njabulo Blom who are now playing in the first team. These young players were part of the team that went all the way to the CAFCL Final in 2021.
The Soweto Giants have not won a trophy in the last seven years. This has sparked outrage among fans across the country. Following the departure of Stuart Baxter during his first spell at Naturena in 2015, the Chiefs experimented with different coaches.
Coach Steve Khompela’s Chiefs lost the MTN 8 Final in 2015 to Ajax Cape Town. In 2019, under Middendorp’s leadership, the Chiefs lost a Nedbank Cup final to TS Galaxy due to a late penalty goal scored by Zakhele Lepasa, who is now with their arch-rivals Orlando Pirates. Despite not having the best season in 2020/2021, Amakhosi reached the CAFCL final for the first time in their history with the help of coach Hunt who was unfortunately released as the team was not doing well in the domestic league.
Chiefs suffered a 3 – 0 defeat against Al Ahly in the champions league final after getting a red card in the first half of the game.
When you look at the situation at Naturena Village, you will have a lot of questions about what went wrong with the team? Some argue that the main issue is management, while others blame coaches, but when comparing how the Chiefs performed previously when they were still winning cups to the current squad. One could make a strong case that their scouting and signing of players is the primary issue.
Their signings were not giving the team what they hoped for. We have seen the signings of Ryan Moon, Mario Booysen, and Lazarous Kambole. These players mentioned came highly recommended but failed to match the play of the Chiefs hence they were labeled bad signings at the end of their contracts. Kambole was a highly rated striker from Zambia but he failed to deliver for the Chiefs. He played 46 matches but managed to net two goals in total from 2019.
With “1011” at the helm now, one can see his vision for the new team he is trying to build. He seems to have faith in the players he has at his camp. He believes in playing attacking football hence he brings a lot of attacking players when he is the coach. He does not want the team to sit back and defend when leading.
“We have a lot of creative players and maybe we need a few defensive players who are more creative as well because we don’t want players who will sit back,” Zwane said. After losing 1 – 0 against Stellenboch in his post-match interview.
They have recently confirmed the signing of their former development player Zitha Kwinika and Ashley du Preez respectively from Stellenboch FC. It seems like Zwane is willing to bring young players into his camp for the 2022/ 2023 Premiership season.
With the current chopping of senior players, this could be his opportunity to reintroduce the Chiefs’ style of play into the field by utilizing players from their development who have received high praise for their performances. The Glamour boys used to play attacking football, but recently they have started four or more defenders in their line-up. Their strategy appeared to be to defend the game before it even began.
Chiefs is reportedly interested in signing Yusuf Maart from Sekhukhune United. Swallows FC’s George Matlou and Kamohelo Mahlatse are also on their radar. Swallows are in the promotion playoffs right now. We may hear the deal after the playoffs are completed in the coming weeks.
Looking at how the Chiefs finished the previous season; you can see how their current coach wants the team to play. Despite the disappointing results, he believes that progress can be made.
Amakhosi have so far confirmed the departure of Dumisani Zuma, Karyan Baccus, Daniel Akpeyi, Lazarous Kambole, Lebohang Manyama, Samir Nurkovic their goalkeeper coach Lee Baxter and their captain Bernard Parker.
If the Chiefs are to get players early in the preseason, it will give the coach enough time to prepare for the upcoming season. Zwane seems to be backed by the team management as he believes that the team does not have enough players.
“The reality we know is that we did not have good players for this team,” he said in the post-match interview against Swallows FC speaking to multi news outlets.