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Kaizer Chiefs v TS Galaxy

Time for a Kaizer Chiefs shake-up?

23:58 GMT+4 12/02/2022
Bernard Parker Kaizer Chiefs
Amakhosi were beaten 1-0 by the Rockets at FNB Stadium on Saturday evening to end their hopes of achieving silverware this season

The manner of Kaizer Chiefs’ capitulation against TS Galaxy in the Nedbank Cup will be of grave concern to head coach Stuart Baxter.

What may be of particular concern to Baxter was the lack of fight and energy from his side. After a lengthy mid-season break, one would have thought Chiefs would have been fired up.

It’s therefore a poor reflection of the players’ character that they put in such a limp performance. It also begs questions as to Baxter’s ability to motivate his side, and as to whether he has the full confidence of all his men.

Coming just after a mid-season transfer window in which Chiefs tried to mask their lack of signings by instead announcing that a bunch of current players, mainly youth team products, had penned contract extensions, the cup defeat was another hammer blow for the floundering Soweto giants.

One issue with that is that we’re not seeing much of the young Amakhosi talent – Baxter is still largely leaning towards experience. And as such, some lacklustre displays from veterans such as Bernard Parker and Phathutshedzo Nange, didn’t help his case.

Baxter mentioned after the game that ‘anxiety’ may have gotten to his men, alluding to the fact that they may have been wary of the Nedbank Cup being their last shot at silverware.

He may have been right. But it’s still worrying that an experienced bunch of players allowed nerves to get the better of them playing against a team that is currently bottom of the table.

It’s also still debatable that Baxter’s tendency to go with defensive-leaning setups does not help to get his side on the front foot and that the coach’s overly cautious approach may be transcending to his charges.

19 points behind Sundowns in the league, Amakhosi’s season is effectively over; all they have to fight for now is qualification for next season’s African competition.

Perhaps now is as good a time as any for Baxter to throw caution to the wind and to speed up the ushering out of the old guard by giving some of the more youthful, energetic members of the squad; the likes of Kgaogelo Sekgota, Happy Mashiane, Sabelo Radebe and Njabulo Ngcobo for example, increased game-time.