Only way is up for bottom-of-the-log Chiefs

It might be no more than an error—or else a case of sheer embarrassment.

But the information on The Amakhosi web site that the once-feared Chiefs are placed 15th in the Premier League table as they prepare for another revealing struggle against Platinum Stars at the Royal Bafokeng on Tuesday night is incorrect.

After five PSL matches in which a mere three goals have been scored—all in the solitary win over AmaZulu—the hapless Chiefs, in fact, occupy an unprecedented rock-bottom position in the 16-team PSL log and an efficient Stars are not designed to make matters easy to alleviate the situation.

All this from a team who beate the English Premier League’s Manchester City in the pre-season Vodacom Challenge and openly expressed an intention to challenge strongly for the PSL title.

The congestion among the teams below log leaders Orlando Pirates, however, provides Chiefs with a glimmer of encouragement in that a single victory at this juncture could improve their standing from 16th to anything as high as an unlikely third place if they belatedly find their shooting boots with a plethora of goals.

But three points alone will not be easy to achieve against Steve Khomphela’s well-knit combination, who too have not quite come up to expectations after an encouraging start to the season and have now slipped to 10th place in the log.

What is the cause of Chiefs decline? Surprisingly, the club’s critical fans have not yet characteristically heaped blame on amiable new Serbian coach Vladimir Vermrezovic.

Outgoing Chiefs and Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune is destined to be out of the game for three months after surgery, but
emergency deputy Arthur Bartman has not let the team down and goalkeeping has not been at the root of Amakhosi’s problems.

Chairman and co-founder Kaizer Motaung, who has seen the club through unprecedented success in South African soccer, believes the club’s renowned temperament for the big occasion and character is what has been missing in the current line-up.

And emerging from a rut in sport—as Chiefs are discovering—is often a lot easier said than done.—Sapa


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