Kaizer Chiefs changes Zwane must oversee as Amakhosi coach

  • Arthur Zwane Cole Alexander Dillon Sheppard Kaizer Chiefs May 2022.jpgbackpagepix

    What changes should Zwane make?

    Arthur Zwane has been entrusted with leading arguably the biggest football club in the country, Kaizer Chiefs, and he is expected to bring back the glory days to the Glamour Boys.

    GOAL takes a look at the five things which the Soweto-born tactician and his technical team will need to do to turn the tide at Naturena-based giants. 

  • Bruce Bvuma Daniel Akpeyi Itumeleng Khune Brandon PetersenBackpagepix

    Stability in the goalkeeping department

    Zwane should decide who his number one goalkeeper is as this is one of the most crucial positions.

    There has been a lot of chopping and changing in the Amakhosi goalkeeping for quite a while now and this will not give stability to the team's defence.

    Brandon Petersen, Daniel Akpeyi, Itumeleng Khune and Bruce Bvuma all featured for the team during the current campaign as the technical team struggled to find its permanent first-choice keeper.

    The last time Chiefs were able to challenge for the PSL title they had a permanent first-choice keeper in Akpeyi. 

    The Nigeria international was one of their standout performers as Amakhosi battled with Mamelodi Sundowns for the championship in the 2019-20 season and lost out on the last day of the term. 

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    Get rid of deadwood

    As a permanent head coach, Zwane is now able to get rid of players who he feels are deadwood and not part of his plans. 

    The 48-year-old tactician should bring in quality players that will buy into his philosophy having preached about playing an enterprising style of football since he replaced Stuart Baxter last month on an interim basis. 

    There are players who were once an integral part of the team, but they have now fallen out of favour and are no longer contributing.

    The man nicknamed 10111 has to make tough and big calls by replacing such players with those who can do the job for him. 

  • Khama Billiat Nkosingiphile Ngcobo Njabulo Blom Kaizer ChiefsBackpagepix

    Play players in their natural positions

    Zwane's predecessor was heavily criticized for playing players out of position, like Njabulo Blom, Njabulo Ngcobo and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo.

    In Njabulo Ngcobo, Baxter had arguably the best central defender in the PSL at his disposal, but he opted to play him as a defensive midfielder where he struggled at times. 

    Blom, a midfielder by trade who flourished in this position as Chiefs reached the 2020-21 Caf Champions League final under Gavin Hunt, was considered among the most promising midfielders on the continent at the time. 

    However, Baxter redeployed him to right-back where he produced inconsistent performances and lost his place in the Bafana Bafana squad.

    On the other hand, Nkosingiphile excelled as an attacking midfielder behind the front three - scoring goals, providing assists and producing Man of the Match performances last season. 

    The 22-year-old was deployed as a winger by Baxter where he was less effective before being relegated to the bench and losing his confidence in the process. 

    Zwane has to play players in their natural positions where they can play to the best of their abilities and also contribute to the team's success. 

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    Balance his team

    Baxter was often criticised for sidelining youngsters and opting for experienced players who were proving to be a liability. 

    Veterans Daniel Cardoso and Erick Mathoho made mistakes at the back leading to goals which contributed to Amakhosi's struggles as Baxter put his faith in a team made up predominantly of experienced players.

    However, upon taking over Zwane recalled promising player Siyabonga Ngezana, who quickly became the team's best centre-back as their form improved gradually towards the end of the season.

    Zwane, who is a big fan of youth, will have to find the right balance between the youngsters and the senior players in the team.

    The likes of Blom, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo and Ngezana still need the guidance of the more experienced players on the pitch in order to help the team achieve the desired results. 

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    Bring back the hunger and a winning mentality

    Chiefs players' winning mentality and ability to challenge for major honours have become very questionable in the last few years.

    The Soweto giants just completed their seventh successive season without winning a major trophy and they have often looked like a team lacking ambition on the pitch. 

    The players tend to drop their heads when the chips are down and you rarely see Amakhosi come from behind to win matches after conceding first. 

    Zwane has to instil a winning mentality within his players so that they keep persevering and fighting when the odds are stacked against them. 

    The retired winger was a winner as a player during his playing days - helping Chiefs clinch 12 major trophies including two PSL titles and Caf African Cup Winners' Cup. 

    He has also tasted success as a coach - leading Amakhosi's reserve team to the Multichoice Diski Shield trophy in 2018 and now he has to make a name for himself as an accomplished first-team coach.