Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
2 minute read
29 May 2019
9:48 am

Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp: the good and bad

Sibongiseni Gumbi

Kaizer Chiefs management have apologised for the side's poor showing in the past four seasons and promised that changes will be effected to ensure the downward spiral is curbed.

New Maritzburg United head coach Ernst Middendorp (Photo by Gallo Images)

But the apology could just be an attempt to calm the fans, some of whom have threatened to boycott the club’s matches.

Amakhosi’s supporters’ numbers at the FNB Stadium had already dwindled towards the end of last season. The team however still managed decent crowds when they took their home games to either Durban or Mbombela.

Among the changes promised was that they would bolster the technical team.

But the question that most supporters are debating, that of coach, Ernst Middendorp remains unanswered by the club. Some have called for Middendorp’s removal.

READ: More player clear-out expected at Chiefs

One of them – former Chiefs midfield star Jabulani Mendu – said he believes a local coach can do much better than the German.

Middendorp’s undoing may have been his haste in trying to do a job that usually takes a year in a space of three months.

While things may have gone badly under Middendorp, who took over from Giovanni Solinas in early December, there have been a few things he has got right.

Below we look at four things Middendorp did right:

Unleashing youngsters – with the team ageing, the German introduced the likes of Sibongakonke Ngcobo, Happy Mashiane who brought a new dimension to the team before injury ended their season. He also gave Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya a bigger role while Reeve Frosler was also brought in.

Better style of play – In the first few months since his appointment, Chiefs played well. Their structure and system improved so much that even Pitso Mosimane admitted they were difficult opponents to play against.

Competition for places – his unbiased team selection ensured that every player improved their input at training because they knew team selection was fair and based on capability rather than names.

Improved confidence – the team played with some confidence. The likes of George Maluleka and Kgotso Moleko suddenly became leaders in the team and gave good accounts of themselves.

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