• Is Chiefs coach Solinas a downgrade on Steve Komphela?

    Kaizer Chiefs duo Giovanni Solinas and Itu Khune Backpagepix

    Kaizer Chiefs’ progress under coach Giovanni Solinas has been severely diminished, with growing concerns that it could prove to be yet another season without silverware for Amakhosi, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.

    Up, down, down up, down, up, down, down, up and down again. If you were to ask a South African football enthusiast how the Glamour Boys’ form guide looked this season, they would tell you something along those lines, followed by a few chuckles if they were opposition fans.

    ALSO READ: Five Things learned: Zimamoto vs Chiefs

    Pose the same question to a Chiefs fan and you might get either a slew of profanities spewed your way, or worse yet, complete silence, indicating the depths of a seemingly hopeless situation.

    The Soweto giants’ latest low saw them suffer a 2-1 loss to lowly Zimamoto in Zanzibar in their second-leg Caf Confederation Cup preliminary tie, and despite advancing to the next round of the tournament courtesy of a 5-2 scoreline on aggregate, more questions will be raised about Solinas and/or his charges.

    Are Chiefs better off under Solinas than they were under Steve Komphela? Do Chiefs boast enough quality to compete (not half-heartedly) in their remaining cup competitions? Where exactly have Chiefs progressed?

    ALSO READ: Chiefs lose to Zimamoto but progress in Caf Confed Cup

    While I can’t offer you a definitive answer on the comparison between Chiefs under either Solinas or Komphela, the record books can be scrutinised for a quantitive measurement.

    Solinas ‘celebrated’ his 20th game in charge of Chiefs in the 2-1 Absa Premiership loss to Golden Arrows. If we are talking records and comparing Chiefs’ first 20 games under Komphela with Solinas’, you’d forgive the suggestive conclusion that the latter is, in fact, a downgrade.

    Although Komphela’s failures as Chiefs coach will forever be cherished by opposition fans on the one hand, and remembered with distress on the other by the Amakhosi fraternity, the outspoken mentor enjoyed a great more deal success than his replacement.

    ALSO READ: Solinas not fazed about Chiefs future

    Bear in mind that when I say success, it is a relative concept, given that neither of these men lifted an official trophy for the club.

    In Komphela’s first 20 games in charge of Chiefs, he managed to reach two cup finals, losing to Ajax Cape Town and Mamelodi Sundowns in the MTN8 and Telkom Knockout Cup finals respectively.

    The former El La Koto mentor also managed to secure a victory, as well as registering a loss, in the Soweto derby against Orlando Pirates in the Absa Premiership and Telkom Knockout Cup.

    ALSO READ: Lebese dreams of Kaizer Chiefs return

    Solinas made his Chiefs coaching debut in a 1-1 stalemate against defending league champions Sundowns. Amakhosi followed that up with a 3-1 loss to Bidvest Wits, before thumping Free State Stars 3-0 in one of their most memorable performances of the campaign thus far.

    Should the inconsistency, performances, and results from those opening three games send alarm bells to the higher-ups?

    ALSO READ: Where to now for George Lebese?

    Many think so, in a bid to avoid another Komphela situation. At the time, it must be said that the situation didn’t seem dire, especially given that Chiefs were in the building phase. The fans were licking their lips in anticipation of the combination of new acquisitions Khama Billiat and Lebogang Manyama.

    Chiefs chairman, Kaizer Motaung, even leaped to the defence of the Italian mentor following their premature elimination in the MTN8, claiming that he did not have the luxury of spending pre-season with his new team.

    Fair point made, but Chincha Guluva, as the Chiefs boss is known, did also categorically state that Solinas wasn’t the first-choice candidate for the job, leaving one to wonder how much faith they have in Solinas being the right person for the job.

    ALSO READ: Kaizer Chiefs release 24-man Caf squad

    Two losses in the Soweto derby against arch-rivals Pirates in the space of a month has caused panic within the Chiefs camp, with Bafana Bafana and Chiefs number one Itumeleng Khune publicly questioning the squad’s desire to wear the Chiefs jersey.

    ‘Kaizer Chiefs faithfuls deserve better. We’re going to have a man-to-man talk right now in the changing rooms with the players, we must account.
    We must take the blame, these people deserve better,’ he said after the Telkom Knockout loss to Pirates.
    ‘It’s all up to us. As much as we want to break records and play as many derbies as we can, we’re going to have to look back at the end of the day at the end of our careers.
    ‘We can’t continue losing against Pirates like this. It’s unacceptable, it’s not on.
    ‘We have to look at ourselves and say do we deserve to wear this jersey. Do we deserve to make these people happy? If not, we might as well just tell Bobby (Motaung) that this badge is too heavy for us.
    ‘Some of us, we’re giving our all in each and every match, but it seems like not all of us are doing that.
    ‘We’re not all coming to the party. We all have to go and look at ourselves as individuals and see what contributions we’re bringing to this badge,’ Khune added.
    Since that loss, things have spiralled even further out of control at Chiefs, with the club claiming only one victory in their last five competitions.

    Looking at Solinas’ first 20 games in charge of the club,  it is safe to say that he has fallen quite short of expectations, even more so given that he has a much better squad at his disposal than Komphela had.

    Looking at Chiefs’ next five games in the league campaign, one has to wonder if Solinas will be around much longer should Chiefs continue their dismal form.

    #KaizerChiefs next five games⬇ #SuperSportUnited#Sundowns#BidvestWits#AmaZulu#CapeTownCity pic.twitter.com/R4uRoJ8GvJ

    Komphela was given the reins for a total of 112 games that brought little but misery to the unremittingly falling giants. Should Solinas’ form guide continue in the same vein and he ends the season empty-handed, will he be around next season?

    Or is the more pertinent question: will he last until the end of the season? Only results and time will tell.

    ALSO READ: Khune has an excellent technique – Solinas

    Photo: Backpagepix



    You may also like