Former Moroka Swallows goalkeeper Greg Etafia says that it is unfair to compare Kaizer Chiefs stoppers Daniel Akpeyi and Itumeleng Khune.
Akpeyi has been Nigeria’s number one for some time but has struggled to win over Kaizer Chiefs fans.
Akpeyi is not Khune and shouldn’t try to be
Etafia says there is little point in comparing the history of the two players and what really matters is that they compete for the place between the sticks and drive their team forward.
Akpeyi has ascended to being Kaizer Chiefs first choice keeper while Khune has steadily slid away from his former glories, hampered by injuries and limited game-time.
Etafia believes it would be a big mistake for Akpeyi to model his game after Khune’s style of play.
“Firstly, there is a reason why the team brought him [Akpeyi] there and it means they saw qualities which will help the team progress,” Etafia told KickOff.com.
“At every club there will always be players that were there when others arrived. Real Madrid had Iker Casillas but they still got other keepers because they offered something different.
“As a keeper you cannot be stressing about comparing yourself with the next keeper. All you do is just compete by way of using your qualities to the best of your abilities. There is no way all goalkeepers can be the same, so that needs to be respected and appreciated.
“So, for Daniel it is important that he focuses on what he can do and at the end of the day it is up to the coach to make the call on who he wants to play. If Daniel is going to start wanting to play like Khune then he will lose his identity and be lost. You cannot be someone else. You can only be yourself so you have to keep it that way.”
Akpeyi has been solid in the league campaign conceding seven goals in ten matches and keeping five clean sheets but hasn’t enjoyed cup football as much, letting in seven goals in just three domestic knockout matches.
Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt has encouraged Khune to fight for his place in the starting XI and clearly hopes the keepers will drive each other to new heights.