Chiefs legend Shabba ‘sad’ about the misfortunes of his beloved Amakhosi

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Former Chiefs player Siphiwe Tshabalala. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Former Chiefs player Siphiwe Tshabalala. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix


Kaizer Chiefs legendary midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala feels “sad” for his former club, as May will mark exactly eight years since Amakhosi last won a trophy.

If the 1970s and 1980s was the period in which Chiefs made South African football sit up and take notice, the 1990s and early 2000s ushered in an era in which the Soweto club truly entrenched themselves as the country’s cup kings.

But, since 2015, when Chiefs last got their hands on any kind of meaningful silverware,Amakhosi have been consistent underachievers in South African football’s aristocracy.

READ: 'SA club football has not moved much'

Coach Arthur Zwane is the latest mentor overseeing yet another revival project aimed at bringing the 53-year-old club back to its glory days.

Zwane, however, finds himself with more critics than supporters as Chiefs trail leaders Mamelodi Sundowns by a staggering 22 points with seven DStv Premiership matches remaining.

Zwane’s team were also beaten 4-0 twice this season – by AmaZulu and Sundowns – and crashed out of the MTN8 in the semifinals.

READ: Irritated Bafana boss Broos hits out at Blom’s club

Tshabalala, who joined Chiefs in 2007 from Free State Stars and went on to score 58 goals in 372 appearances for the Glamour Boys, has sympathy for Zwane and his team.

“I’m very sad at the way things are, but it is equally understandable A transition is difficult,” Tshabalala said during a media event at Konka, a high-end nightclub in Pimville, Soweto, where he was announced as one of the ambassadors for the Nedbank Cup.

This cup is the last hope forChiefs fans to see their team win anything this season. Amakhosi, who are in the quarterfinals and have been drawn against Royal AM in the last eight, remain in the running for the R7 million prize.

Tshabalala said:

Whenever there is change, there will be challenges. We’ve got a new coach who has been given an opportunity [as a former player] to coach the club and it is his first season. There are a lot of expectations. We have not been consistent, and I think for the first time this season, we have won four matches in a row [in all competitions], which is good.

The 38-year-old former Bafana Bafana star added that the picture looked blurry to the naked eye, but said it was not that bad if you used a microscope.

READ: Eight call-ups for Sundowns as none of Kaizer Chiefs players make Bafana squad

He said Orlando Pirates, the other sleeping Soweto giants who were expected to challenge Sundowns’ dominance this season, have been as inconsistent, though the Buccaneers have won two MTN8 titles in the past three years.

Tshabalala said: 

When you look at it, the majority will say the club is having a horrible season, but when you look at the log, we are in the top four on the same number of points and matches as Pirates. But the more focus is on Chiefs simply because people know what Chiefs can bring. They know the calibre of the team, hence the pressure and expectations.

He added: “They still have a chance. It’s not yet over. For the coach, I don’t think it is a worst season. We will be better.”

Not one Chiefs player made the Bafana Bafana squad of 23 to face Liberia home and away in back-to-back Afcon qualifiers this weekend, while there are eight from champions Sundowns and four from Pirates.

Tshabalalawon numerous trophies with Chiefs, including the league twice in the 2012/13 and 2014/15 seasons, and the Telkom Knockout in 2007, 2010 and 2011.

Healso won the MTN8 twice, in 2008 and 2014, as well as the 2013 Nedbank Cup.

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