There are various topics of speculation that have been on-going at Naturena, and one person whose future is not known is that of coach Stuart Baxter.
The English coach may have a contract with Chiefs until June 2016, but in football, dates seem to mean nothing and circumstances mean everything.
Things can happen at the club that could sway Baxter’s thoughts for the future, and here are five reasons why he could land up leaving at the end of this season…
Player Situation Far From Convincing
Undoubtedly one of the most talked about scenarios at Naturena - there are up to seven players who could see their contracts dry up come the end of the season. With big names like Tefu Mashamaite, Itumeleng Khune, Mandla Masango and George Lebese on that list, this situation could frustrate Baxter to the point that he decides to move on.
Bulk Of Chiefs’ Stars Are Over 30
Chiefs may be at the top of the table, but the fact of the matter is that his players will be one year older by the time next season comes around. The bulk of his influential players are already on the wrong side of 30, and by the time next season comes around, they could start getting exposed in a young and energetic league. This wouldn’t be as big a problem if Chiefs were promoting new talent, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. With no promise of fresh blood to work with, this may impact Baxter’s decision.
Keene’s Deal An Indication Of Doubt
James Keene’s trial at Chiefs was blasted across all media platforms, with the striker expecting to add new blood to the club’s troubled frontline. However, it was later revealed that Keene was not going to join the team now, but possibly next season. Is this delay due to the club not knowing what will happen with Baxter? Are they only going to sign him once they know Baxter will stay on?
If The Title Race Repeats Itself… Baxter Could Go
The story of last year’s title race has been repeated tirelessly by Mamelodi Sundowns fans, as they clawed their way back to win the crown despite Chiefs enjoying a hefty lead at one point. Sadly, many are predicting that the same fate this season and, if that happens, Baxter is could lose his position as head coach.
Champions League Never A Priority
In Europe, the UEFA Champions League is always the priority of any team competing in it. However, the equivalent in Africa is treated differently… This is something that must annoy Baxter somewhat, as he is a coach who wants to win everything he competes for. But with management treating the competition as nothing special, that must make the coach feel that he is being degraded and that the team is not acting professionally.
Baxter making an exit would be a big blow for the club. What are your thoughts on this?