Baxter sent wrong message with Kaizer Chiefs line-up vs TS Galaxy

09:31 EAT 06/04/2022
Khama Billiat, Happy Mashiane, Keegan Dolly and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo Kaizer Chiefs
The Glamour Boys have twice drawn 0-0 with the Rockets in the league this season, while losing to them in the Nedbank Cup last 32

Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter's preference for a more defensive line-up was in clear evidence against TS Galaxy in the stalemate at the FNB Stadium on Tuesday night.

Ahead of kick-off, Galaxy were second from bottom on the table and had the worst defence in the PSL.

They are minnows compared to the mighty Kaizer Chiefs, yet playing at home, Amakhosi coach Baxter still went with a five-man defence, in addition to two midfielders known more for their industry than for their goals and assists, Cole Alexander and Kearyn Baccus.

Effectively there were only three attackers - Keagan Dolly, a Samir Nurkovic still trying to find top form and fitness, and a Bernard Parker who these days seems better-suited playing deeper in midfield.

Instead of getting on the front foot from the start and playing with the confidence of a big team, Chiefs' lack of threat in attack allowed a struggling Galaxy side to grow into the game.

Even with Khama Billiat absent through suspension, Chiefs had a lot of more forward-thinking players on the bench, including Dumisani Zuma, Happy Mashiane, Sabelo Radebe, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo and Leonardo Castro, although he has just returned from injury.

Surely at the very least, Baxter could have sacrificed one of the three centre-backs - Thabani Dube, Siyabonga Ngezana and Ramahlwe Mphahlele - for one of the above.

Having found his side evenly matched - against what on paper really must be an inferior set of Galaxy players - Baxter brought on Radebe and Ngcobo (Nkosingiphile) for Ngezana and Dube in the 66th minute.

Surely at least one of those switches should have been made from the start, rather than with little more than half an hour to play?

By that stage of the game, Galaxy were firmly of a belief that they could get something from the match themselves and it didn't help that Baxter failed to introduce additional firepower in the closing moments of the contest.

It just feels sometimes that Amakhosi have more to offer than we're seeing, especially in attack, and that they could benefit from the coach throwing just a little more caution to the wind.