Unfamiliar defence scuppered Chiefs_1

Amakhosi just didn’t play and it was their worst performance of the season, though that is to take nothing away from Maritzburg, who came to attack. We assumed Maritzburg would sit back and absorb, but they were looking to go forward, and when they did they looked comfortable, you could see Chiefs were nervous. Chiefs had Daniel Akpeyi, Erick Mathoho, Willard Katsande and Khama Billiat missing, but I still think they have good depth in their squad, it is in defence you need a number of games to understand each other’s movement at centre back. Daniel Cardoso and Erick Mathoho...
Amakhosi just didn’t play and it was their worst performance of the season, though that is to take nothing away from Maritzburg, who came to attack. We assumed Maritzburg would sit back and absorb, but they were looking to go forward, and when they did they looked comfortable, you could see Chiefs were nervous.

Chiefs had Daniel Akpeyi, Erick Mathoho, Willard Katsande and Khama Billiat missing, but I still think they have good depth in their squad, it is in defence you need a number of games to understand each other’s movement at centre back. Daniel Cardoso and Erick Mathoho did well but separating them breaks up the defending so if Cardoso is covering then you can see Yagan Sasman out of position. Bruce Bvuma came in for Akpeyi and gave a performance, if you don’t have Billiat, Lebo Manyama and Samir Nurkovic there. It is just that you had a defence that is not used to playing together.

Maritzburg also did really well. aside from Judas Moseamedi’s two goals, Mxolisi Kunene also put his hand up for man-of-the-match, it was good to see their players going for it. They have been given freedom and it shows that Eric Tinkler has possibly switched up his coaching style. When I worked with him at Wits he was a bit of a disciplinarian. Sometimes it is about knowing how to manage players and finding a balance, and the boys look like they are having fun. They are picking up results, and not just in the TKO.

I think that Eric is a very underrated coach, I know his work ethic, if you want to speak to him you must call him at 5am or 11pm, otherwise he is on the training field. He is also fairly new to the coaching work. He has been there for five or six years now and is still finding himself. He has got plenty of pedigree already, he has won domestic cups and reached the Caf Confederation Cup final, so the signs are there.

Unfortunately for Chiefs, they have always been known as cup kings, and only when they get another cup will the tension be released. You can play well, but nobody remembers who came second or third. They have the quality but unfortunately they were off on the day against Maritzburg. I am sure they will pick up and carry on as they left off in the league. It is good to win cups, but leagues don’t lie when it comes to consistency.

I think Sundowns definitely deserved to beat Golden Arrows on Saturday, they were on top, took the lead by two goals and then managed the game, which they usually do well. If you look at Pitso Mosimane’s post-match comments, he said this was a Champions League match, meaning you cannot relax even though you lead by two. They managed the game for 80 minutes then Arrows had a response and got a goal, they started to believe and go toe-to-toe with Sundowns. Gaston Sirino’s red card also gave them more opportunities, but Sundowns used their experience of playing under pressure that they have got from playing on the continent.

With Sirino, what you get from many South American players, is that when their head is hot they find it difficult to contain their emotions. That is their character.

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