I’ve just read an article about how VV is desperate to win the league. It is in his right to feel the pressure as Kaizer Chiefs is a massive organization with big ambitions. I’m sure he feels very lucky that the team management stuck with him especially seeing what is happening at his Soweto neighbor’s camp. If my memory serves me well, the very same VV promised the Amakhosi faithful the league at the beginning of the 2010/2011 season, with his hopes heavily pinned on his Bafana Bafana stars, Tshabba, Yeye and Khune. So where did it go wrong last season?
The 2010/2011 season
They were off to a flyer in August 2010, with victories against Celtics and Arrows at the Rend stadium and a draw at home to Platinum Stars. Then came the Cape Townians in the form of Santos and the PLS rookies Vasco. Chiefs’ struggles against Cape sides have previously been well documented but it seems as if VV and his troops have not entirely got it right. At Rand Stadium, Santos got the only match goal to run away with the points. Two weeks later, Sibusiso Zuma announced his return to the PSL with a sterling performance to help Vasco gain an impressive three points against a helpless Amakhosi. What impacted Chiefs season the most though was the phase between late February and April where they drew five games (2 of them against Cape sides), in the process scoring a dismal four goals. That is definitely not championship winning statistics. In hindsight, the only thing that came between them and the championship was that last minute Thulasizwe Mbuyane goal at Soccer City.
The standout players
Jimmy Tau looked like he was bitter for not even making the preliminary World cup squad, he played like a possess man at the best of times. There is no doubt in my mind that he deserves all the accolades he received at the Kaizer Chiefs year end function. Knowledge Musona quickly established himself as THE most feared striker as opposed to the little known Zimbabwean who came with the Sweswe deal. He surprised many, me included. Reneilwe Letsholonyane had an outstanding season, no wonder he starting to stabilize his international career. Other players worth mentioning are Simphiwe Tshabalala who had a decent season, taking the World Cup into consideration; Punch Masenemela, who emerged powerfully to rightfully claim the left back position.
The 2011/2012 season
In: striker Majoro, defender Ritchie, defender Mashamaite, defender Lawler and a host of development players.
Out : defender Nehayo, defender Mbooi, defender Masenemela, striker Lewis, striker Nhleko and possibly striker Musona.
To me, it looks like VV is replacing in kind, Masenemela-Ritchie is a straight swap, the same can be said for the Nehayo-Mashamaite and possibly for the Musona-Majoro. The squad has not been strengthened and there is no additional fire power. Maybe VV reckons that his squad WAS good enough to win the previous season, all he has to do is work on the psychological aspect of the players. He could be justified in having that thinking, knowing that it was the goal against Pirates that lost him the championship. As things are, I DO NOT see Kaizer Chiefs doing any better than they did last season.
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