No structure, no win

2012-05-05 00:00

KAIZER Chiefs stand at a crossroads with a handful of matches left in the season.

They are obviously now out of contention for the title and will complete the 2011/12 campaign without any trophy. There is rarely a season where Chiefs have not won at least a single piece of silverware.

That they have written off this campaign is patently clear. The decision to get rid of coach Vladimir Vermezovic might have seemed on the surface a little premature, given he was contracted to stay until the end of the season, but things had become so toxic it seems the best was for him to leave as soon as possible, according to those in the know.

One of the hopes was that a breath of fresh air after Vermezovic might engender some enthusiasm from the Chiefs players and see them lift their game for the closing stages of the season, even if just to end the season with some respectability … and more importantly with high hopes for the next campaign.

But since the departure of Vermezovic, things have got even worse. Until Wednesday’s victory over Mamelodi Sundowns, the club had lost four matches on the trot, a new low in their club history and you can just imagine VV laughing up his sleeve.

Donald Khuse was appointed to take over as caretaker although these days he seems to be dwarfed by the more assertive personality of Doctor Khumalo, supposedly his assistant. The pair were co-coaches in charge for most of the 2002/03 season and did well with 13 wins, seven draws and five losses in 25 matches in charge.

But this time they have overseen a tumultuous four losses, which have already led to supporters throwing objects at their own players and a general sense of helplessness around the club. You can see it in the eyes of officials and players — they know they are slipping into a deep rut and don’t know how to stop the free fall.

This is not want Chiefs had planned. They wanted to clear the slate and start a new, and hopefully prosperous, post-Vermezovic era. Words among the other Premier Soccer League clubs is Bobby Motaung is walking around with a bulging cheque book, preparing to splash out on several major signings in a way Chiefs have never spent before.

But those plans could be severely disrupted if Chiefs are left striped of confidence, mentally shattered and crestfallen after this brief period of leadership flux.

Already their players are talking nonsense about playing with “African flair” and “expressing” themselves. These is code words for doing what they like on the field, but in the modern game teams without structure, discipline and a good work ethic don’t win, no matter how much talent they have.

You can argue all you like about the merits of skill versus brawn but the reality of the modern game is there is no time for the frivolity that South African players seem so obsessed with. If all this alleged flair and freedom was a source of success, Chiefs or Bafana Bafana would be the new Brazil. But they are patently not.

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