A semi-final exit in the MTN8 and an embarrassing Nedbank Cup defeat to minnows Richards Bay simply meant Kaizer Chiefs could finish yet another season empty-handed.
Things aren’t improving in the league either, and Amakhosi fans are divided as to whom should shoulder the blame for the team’s lackluster performances this season.
Some are pointing fingers at Gavin Hunt while others are blaming the players for not giving their all on the pitch.
There are already calls for Hunt, who joined the Soweto giants at the start of the season, to be shown the exit door, but is he to blame for the club’s struggles?
HUNT THE MAN TO BLAME?
Hunt inherited a team that had just missed out on the league title as he replaced Ernst Middendorp as the Amakhosi coach.
To the majority of Chiefs fans, Middendorp wasn’t ‘the right man’ for the job and his style of play was often criticized as millions of supporters wanted the team to play with flair and win matches convincingly.
His sacking was welcomed by many but the appointment of Hunt, according to a section of Chiefs fans, meant very little would change – and in all honesty, things have gone south this season.
Hunt is a serial winner and one of the most successful coaches in the country – and expectations were that he would take Chiefs to another level but that hasn’t been the case.
The 56-year-old has made some tactical mistakes from the bench and his team selection and substitutes are sometimes questionable.
It is still not clear even after five or so months what formation the team is using and who their match-winners are – and that is Hunt’s job and he can be blamed for it.
However, every coach’s decision is most likely to be criticized, and Hunt is not immune to that – but he, alone, cannot shoulder the blame for the team’s poor showing this season.
WHAT ABOUT THE PLAYERS?
Chiefs have top players who can win games at any given day but the motivation is just not there.
It is difficult to put a finger on what could be going wrong in the Amakhosi camp as they continue to easily throw matches away and drop points unnecessarily.
But as Hunt often says in his post-match interviews, there is potential, the team is creating goalscoring chances yet they not taking them while the defence is often giving away cheap goals in crucial times.
And there’s little to nothing that Hunt can do except to go back to the drawing board with the same players and try again the next game.
However, some players have shown little interest in what Hunt wants to achieve with Chiefs this season, and if the coach stays beyond the current season, chances are that many of these underperforming stars will be released.
The fact that Chiefs couldn’t bring in new players due to the transfer ban means Hunt’s hands are tied and he will have to rely on the very same players that keep letting him down week in and week out, and that is a recipe for failure at any club in the world.
At this stage, it’s safe to say everyone should take the blame for Amakhosi’s dismal campaign, including the management for the mistakes of the past.
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