At the end of last season, Kaizer Chiefs fired head coach Ernst Middendorp after losing the league title on the last matchday. Amakhosi needed only three points against relegation-threatened Baroka to win the title. They drew (1-1), their supporters cried, and German mentor sealed his fate.
In mid-September, Kaizer Chiefs announced Gavin Hunt as their new coach. The arrival of Hunt, South African football second-most winningest coach, breathed new hope in a deflated fanbase.
Gavin Hunt, however, has begun his Glamour Boys adventure in the worst possible way. His team has lost three, drawn one, and won two of its first six games. In those matches, they have scored three goals (two set pieces and one own goal) and conceded nine. Kaizer Chiefs’ performances have ranged between “not too shabby” to “this is the worst I’ve seen a Kaizer Chiefs team play in my life”.
Amakhosi cannot make any signings this season because of their FIFA imposed transfer ban. This is the squad Gavin Hunt is going to have to encourage to play better than “not too shabby”. Let’s take a look at the Kaizer Chiefs picture—and the factors that could shape their future under their new coach:
What is the Kaizer Chiefs management expecting from Gavin Hunt this season?
Gavin Hunt was a free agent after Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila F.C. (TTM) bought the PSL status of his previous team, Bidvest Wits. It took days of negotiations for Kaizer Chiefs to meet Hunt’s demands. Satisfied with what Chiefs were offering, the 56-year-old put pen to paper and signed on as their new head coach.
Having a coach like Gavin Hunt doesn’t come cheap but you’ll probably get what you pay for. Hunt’s reputation comes before him, he has won four league titles and four trophies in South African football.
What would the Chiefs top brass consider to be a good season for the team?
Amakhosi are a big team who should compete for every available trophy, every season. Ernst Middendorp got Kaizer Chiefs, with the same players, to 30 minutes away from winning the league. It would only be fair for Hunt, a far more accomplished coach, to do him one better or to at least win a cup.
But, Gavin Hunt has inherited a team low on confidence. The loss last season did have an effect on them, you can see it in their performances in the first few games. Without the ability to bring in new players to lift spirits and quality of play, it would only be fair to give Gavin Hunt a bit more time.
What are the supporters expecting from Gavin Hunt this season?
Kaizer Chiefs fans celebrated (on social media anyway) as if they won the league after their new coach was announced. They put their team’s heart-breaking slip up on the last day of the season behind them, and looked toward a brighter future, filled with trophies and happy face emoji’s.
What would Chiefs fans consider to be a good season for their team?
Amakhosi supporters may have rejoiced a bit too early and also misjudged the type of season they had under Ernst Middendorp. Yes, they didn’t win anything in their last campaign but they did well considering the talent pool the German coach had at his disposal. Middendorp was working with a small ageing squad that had not been replenished with top talent in years. He worked miracles to get them playing as effectively as they did.
Mamelodi Sundowns (3-0) and Orlando Pirates (3-0 and 0-2) have already exposed Kaizer Chiefs’ lack of quality and squad depth this season. These three losses against their closest rivals hurt but I have not seen or heard a Chiefs supporter placing the blame at Gavin Hunt’s feet – yet. Kaizer Chiefs are now in their six-season without silverware. Their trophy cabinet is gathering dust, their supporters are the butt of memes and not-so-funny TikTok videos. Will the fans be okay with another cup-less campaign? How much longer will Chiefs fans take the abuse from their opposing peers before they are grumblings of discontent?