THE BREAKDOWN: What To Expect From Chiefs This Season
Previewing Kaizer Chiefs' 2017/18 season
Now that the 2017/18 season is underway, we take a look at what little league action we’ve seen and identify what key areas of the game have changed and what has stayed the same at Kaizer Chiefs.
After another disappointing trophyless campaign for Steve Komphela last season, Amakhosi will be desperate to return to winning ways and have signed four players in Teenage Hadebe, Bongolethu Jayiya, Dumisani Zuma and Philani Zulu to add some quality to the team.
A number of departures, including Edward Manqele, Siphelele Mthembu and Lucky Baloyi have also seen some players that were surplus to requirements cut from the team. However, none of the new signings have seen minutes on the pitch, as of yet, and we will not be able to discuss what changes they will bring.
However, with Patrick Mabedi’s appointment as Komphela’s assistant, we have seen some changes. There have been just two games played so far and it can’t be expected that we will see the same for the rest of the season. It does, however, provide an indicator of what could be coming over the course of the season.
Click through the images above to see the changes in Kaizer Chiefs’ team statistics so far, this season.
Chiefs only managed a draw against Bloemfontein Celtic on the opening matchday and a loss to SuperSport United on matchday two, which has seen them earn just one point so far, scoring twice, conceding three times. They have therefore scored fewer goals and conceded more on average. The early signs are somewhat concerning, but, even though it has been a slow start, there’s work to be done.
Digging a little deeper, Chiefs have actually done worse in almost every respect this season, thus far. Last season, on average, they had the lion’s share of possession, making 467.2 passes per game at an accuracy of 80.7%. This season, they haven’t kept possession longer than their respective opponents and have made less passes, albeit at a higher rate of accuracy.
Furthermore, their defensive actions have decreased rather dramatically from 17.9 per game to 9,5. This may, however, not be a bad thing and could be because they’re inviting less pressure. Indeed, they have conceded marginally fewer shots, which is encouraging.
In 50/50 situations, however, they have been winning fewer balls in the air and none the ground, but they have been conservative to greater effect, picking their battles and have been more successful in winning the ball back in the air, when required. In fact, their 80% aerial duel win against SuperSport United was nothing short of fantastic. However, they were worse off on the ground, winning just 20% of those duels. On average, they have been worse on the ground this season and it will undoubtedly be something that they will be looking into in an attempt to rectify this.
The greatest talking point will be on their performance in front of goal this season. They have only averaged nine shots per game, as opposed to last season’s already concerning figure of 11.7 and their accuracy has declined from 30,6% to 25%.
All in all, Chiefs will be concerned that they have yet to record a win and that their defensive contributions have been less prominent. The problems in attack appear to be set to continue and, what’s perhaps the greatest concern is that their midfielders haven’t been as consistently dominant in keeping possession and passing the ball than has been the case in the past. The only positive seems to be their success in the air.
The club will have to take note and make sure that they step up their game after the international break if they are to turn results to their favour.
Do you think there’s cause for concern at Kaizer Chiefs?