The upcoming duel between bottom-dwellers, Marumo Gallants and perennial-strugglers, Kaizer Chiefs on sunday promises twists and pain.
Gallants host Chiefs at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, fresh from losing 1-0 away at Maritzburg United, whilst the once-Amakhosi were embarrassed at home by newcomers Royal AM (1-4).
At the midpoint of this clash, is the accrued stress faced by the two managers, Sebastien Migne (Gallants) and Stuart Baxter (Chiefs). FARPost’s Intelligence Unit looks at the situation and implications facing the clubs and their respective mentors leading to this game.
1. Migne’s door open
Fresh from a morale boasting CAF Confederation’s Cup triumph, Gallants looked jaded in the loss against United. Even though countless opportunities presented themselves aplenty in that game, Gallants strike force remained blunt throughout the encounter.
This lukewarm performance places Migne’s career on the line. He did highlight the players’ fatigue level as the main contributor to the loss, but the writing is on the wall——his exit door is wide open.
2. Instability in the camp
The sudden departure of Gallants’ Assistant Coach, Jean Luscuito has highlighted the technical environment in the club.
Although, the club have downplayed the move, Migne has lamented the vacuum created by the Belgian assistant.
3. Baxter in a fix
Amakhosi’s log standing and points tally has been diabolical. Positioned 13th with 4 matches played, Chiefs have lost 2, drawn 1 and won 1. Their back-to-back losses to Sundowns and Royal AM have put a massive dent on the coach’s CV and irked their multitudes of supporters.
Baxter has been detrimental to his own success, with over-reliance on the tired and trusted, and complete negligence of the emerging crop of Amakhosi youth products.
4. Supporters angry calls
Calls emanating from all sections of the Chiefs die-hearts, is for the British coach to leave the club. Fresh whispers of the disgruntled fans stems from the inconsistent results, goalkeeper rotational policy and minimum game-time for the youth players.
Other branches of the club point to the better results and consistency during Ernst Middendorp’s tenure, as compared to the current state of play under Baxter.
5. Players to watch
Thabo Mnyamane and Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo have been the reliable performers for Gallants. Sede Junior Dion missed a glorious chance against United, but his speed, alertness and positioning will be crucial in this match.
Ailing Chiefs have Keegan Dolly, Khama Billiat and Njabulo Blom within their artillery to make amends on Sunday.
Still, the stress-level of both coaches (Migne and Baxter) will have reached the threshold, and a negative result for either manager will be catastrophic.
By FARPost’s Intelligence Unit