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Kaizer Chiefs: Seven reasons it all went wrong for Baxter

00:13 GMT+3 22/04/2022
Stuart Baxter, Kaizer Chiefs, July 2021
In his first stint with Amakhosi between 2012 and 2015, the Brit won two league titles as well as the Nedbank Cup and MTN8 trophy

Kaizer Chiefs had been hoping that the familiar face of Stuart Baxter would restore the glory days, but it was not to be as the two parties parted ways on Thursday.

  • Happy Mashiane Kaizer Chiefs Al Ahly Champions League final

    A missed opportunity to start

    Baxter arrived just in time for Chiefs' Caf Champions League final against Al Ahly. If he had managed to guide Amakhosi to glory on that day in July 2021, things could have worked out so differently.

    Instead, Chiefs lost 3-0 and unfortunately for Baxter, his arrival has never looked likely to reinvigorate a team struggling to recapture past glories.

  • Stuart Baxter Bernard Parker

    To much reliance on the veterans

    What Chiefs probably needed was a clearout, yet Baxter was happy to opt for experience rather than youth and he annoyed the supporters by giving plenty of game-time to veterans like Bernard Parker, Erick Mathoho, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Daniel Akpeyi, Cole Alexander and Daniel Cardoso, even when their performances did not always warrant selection.

  • Stuart Baxter Arthur Zwane Kaizer Chiefs

    Defensive line-ups

    Possibly what most irritated Amakhosi fans during Baxter's reign was his conservative approach. He often played only three recognised attackers and had a preference for employing three centre-backs and often two holding midfielders as well.

  • Nkosingiphile Ngcobo of Kaizer Chiefs, September 2021,

    Left out flair players

    The former SuperSport United coach didn't give much opportunity to crowd-pleasing, fan-favourite ball wizards such as Happy Mashiane, Sabelo Radebe, Dumisani Zuma, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo and Kgaogelo Sekgota.

  • Njabulo Ngcobo & Austin Dube, Kaizer Chiefs, August 2021

    Signings not great

    Chiefs delved heavily into the transfer market. How many of those players were signed by Baxter himself, we may never know. But he seemed to show a preference for some of the new men - the likes of Phathutshedzo Nange and Cole Alexander for example, while giving less opportunities to the likes of Njabulo Ngcobo and Sibusiso Mabiliso. Injuries also played their part in limiting the new arrivals' impact, but ultimately it has only really been Keagan Dolly who has been an undisputed success.

  • Kaizer Chiefs players, March 2022

    Greater club problems

    To be fair to Baxter, he arrived at a tough time in Chiefs' history - a period starting to near a decade without a trophy. Chiefs' operations in the transfer market have been questioned and the gap between them and Mamelodi Sundowns, if anything is increasing. Amakhosi's problems surely go deeper than just the head coach.

  • Stuart Baxter during the 2021 CAF Champions League Final Kaizer Chiefs.

    The final straw

    The new year got off to a poor start as Chiefs were beaten in the Nedbank Cup by struggling TS Galaxy. It's been more or less downhill from there with the fans increasingly showing their frustrations.

    And after Amakhosi lost to SuperSport and Baxter was left defending his position, it seemed the pressure was getting to him and that the end of his tenure may be near, which proved the case.

    It's been tough on Baxter - the Chiefs job these days is almost like a poisoned chalice, and the Brit does after afterall have an excellent record in the PSL. Whoever comes in next has a massively challenging job.