ZoBo 4 Reasons: Steve Komphela is failing at Kaizer Chiefs

His team is third on the log, are still in the CAF Champions League, and have been to two cup finals so far this season. For other teams (especially Jomo Cosmos), this may be considered a decent campaign, but! for Kaizer Chiefs, this season has been a disappointment. Steve Komphela’s Kaizer Chiefs are unlikely to win the league or the Champions League. Having lost in two cup finals and recently being knocked out of the third, it’s probable that they will end the season trophy-less. Before the season started I predicted (because I am a psychic) that Steve Komphela, at Kaizer Chiefs, would get fired sooner rather than later [click here if you missed it]. Here are four reasons why Steve Komphela is failing at Kaizer Chiefs

  1. Steve is setting up his team not to lose games rather than setting it up to win games.

Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela looking displeased before the interview during the 2016 Nedbank Cup Last 32 match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs on 05 March 2016 at FNB Stadium  Pic Aubrey Kgakatsi/ BackpagePix

There comes a lot a pressure when you are coaching a big team. Pressure from the fans, who expect you achieve the impossible, pressure from the club management, who pay you to achieve the impossible, and pressure from the ruthless South African media who slay you if you do not achieve impossible. Steve (can I call you Steve?) is under pressure. Steve sets up his team like a man under pressure. His tactics are based on making sure they don’t lose rather than going for the win. Thanks to this tactic Kaizer Chiefs has drawn 9 (the most in the PSL) out of their 21 games in the league.

  1. Steve’s tactics are negative

Steve Komphela coach of Kaizer Chiefs  during the Kaizer Chiefs Press Conference on 23 June 2015 at Kaizer Chiefs Village Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

As I pointed out in my (1) reason, [scroll up if you missed it] Steve sets up his team not to lose. This means that there will be a lack of creativity and goal scoring opportunities. Steve employs the 4-2-3-1 formation. This formation works well when you have a really good striker, a clever creative player at number 10, and free-scoring left and right attacking players (see: Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Leicester City, and 2014 Chelsea). Unfortunately, Steve doesn’t have these types of players. This transforms the 4-2-3-1 system from an attacking formation to being a negative one. His two defensive midfielders, Katsande and Baloyi are good but don’t offer much going forward. His left sided forward Simpiwe Tshabalala is the best player on the team but his best days are behind him. His right-sided midfielder George Maluleka is placed in the starting 11 because of his workmanlike performances rather than his ability to create or score goals. His forward Abraw and his number 10 Bernard Parker don’t seem to combine well. What does this mean? No goals. According to stats powered by Prozone, last Saturday Chiefs achieved 86.22 % of successful passes compared to Pirates’ 84.92. But they made a lot of backward passes at 99 compared to the 44 of Pirates.

Which brings me to…

  1. Steve continues to play the wrong players


Steve leaves George Lebese, who was arguably the best player in their championship year (2014/2015) [Go onto Supersport.com’s video highlights if missed it], William Twala, an exciting winger who has pitched in with important goals whenever he has gotten a chance, and Pule Ekstein, a player whose skill and clever one-two’s in and around the box can open up defences, on the bench.

Why Steve? Why?

  1. Steve’s shoddy analysis of games

SOWETO, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 31:   Eric Mathoho,Tsepo Masilela and Steve Komphela during the Absa Premiership match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium on October 31, 2015 in Soweto, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Most of us watch the post-match interviews for a laugh, especially at Pitso Mosimane’s [you are missing out if you missed it]. But what we also watch the post-match interviews for is to hear how the coaches analysed the game. Of course, most coaches (if not all) are bias and feel that their team deserved a result even though, well, they didn’t (see: Jose Mourinho), some coaches are honest (sometimes too honest) and tell it like it is (see: Gavin Hunt), but sometimes you get a coach that comes across as a hybrid of bias and delusional (see: Steve Komphela).

On Saturday Komphela said “…But I thought in terms of attack we ticked all the boxes – the movement, the passing and all that.”

Please. Kaizer Chiefs were outplayed.

Komphela: “In as much as we had 90 percent of the things right, within that 10 percent is where we faltered severely, and we got punished.”

If in that performance Kaizer Chiefs got 90% percent of the things right I wonder how their performance will be if they an off day.

My point: if you cannot analyse the game properly how are you going to fix the mistakes of the games that didn’t go your way? Meaning: He will continue to set up the team in the way he sets it up because he feels there is nothing wrong with the system.

Article by: Thabang Kgeledi @Chiz_ZoBoSportz

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