Steve Komphela has been playing a defensive formation in the last couple of games, is this because he is a scaredy-cat or is it because he has no choice?
Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela has employed the 5-3-2 formation, which transitions into 3-5-2 when attacking, in his team’s last two games. Against tough opposition in CAF champions Mamelodi Sundowns and rivals Orlando Pirates, Amakhosi managed to pinch four out of a possible six points.
Komphela says the formation was necessary due to injuries to four of his key defenders which required him to play a winger Joseph Malongoane, who weighs 35kg’s and is 1.3 meters tall, as a right wing-back and central defender Siyabonga Ngezana, who hasn’t hit puberty yet, in the middle of his defence.
This approach did work against an attacking team like Mamelodi Sundowns who they beat 1-2 because, Sundowns are a side who are always looking to be on the front foot which leaves spaces in behind them to be taken advantage of on the break but, against a good but tentative club like Orlando Pirates it became difficult for Chiefs to execute their counter-attack gameplan because Pirates are a compact side who don’t give much away defensively.
When smaller teams play against Kaizer Chiefs they will resort to containing and catching them on the counter with the knowledge that Amakhosi need the win more than they do. Playing with five defenders limits Komphela’s team’s options going forward.
Steve Komphela has said that the injuries have forced his hand and this may not be the formation he sticks to once all his players are fit.
Komphela has an okay record against the big teams (i.e title contenders) it’s against the smaller teams where he struggles to collect points and his defence-transition-counter attack strategy isn’t the solution to that problem.