If they have a little bit of luck, the Kaizer Chiefs will be able to win the south africa DStv Premiership in 2022-23 thanks to the feel-good and unknown quantity factors in their favor.
Ernst Middendorp’s Chiefs were not given a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the De Hel in 2019-20; nonetheless, they led until the last day of the tournament until losing their composure against Baroka and being defeated by Mamelodi Sundowns by two points.
Ironically, the “snowball factor” was almost responsible for the Chiefs not winning the championship. The players on Middendorp had unique and sound game strategies that they bought into, and as a result, they gained confidence with each victory they accrued.
The Chiefs’ assertion that the upcoming season will be used for rebuilding is accurate. But Amakhosi, in their hearts, want for and require victories, and they will always have a glimmer of faith that they can perform well in the league.
The young coach and club legend Arthur Zwane’s clear-out of ageing, big-name stars and mostly youthful signings, as well as his commitment to restoring expression at Amakhosi after the pragmatic football of three coaches who put results first – Middendorp, Stuart Baxter, and Gavin Hunt – could set a snowball rolling in 2022-2023.
After then, the only issue that remains is when, exactly in May of 2023, it will be subjected to the unavoidable heat that would cause it to melt: before or after the finish line.
Once more, nobody is giving the Chiefs a shot to win. Before Sundowns even play their first game of the season on the road against Cape Town City on Friday night, the consensus is that they should be awarded the trophy as champions for the sixth time in a row.
Even though they will make every effort to convince themselves otherwise, Sundowns may, deep down, be fooled into thinking the same thing.
In football, where surprises of historic proportions are common place, nothing can be taken for granted. If Zwane’s revamped Amakhosi team, which has a large number of younger players who have been groomed by the coach throughout their growth and like him, gets on a roll, they could be difficult to stop.