Nedbank Cup pressure: Can Zwane Save His Job At Kaizer Chiefs?
Will Kaizer Chiefs Coach Zwane Face the Axe if Soweto Giants Suffer Nedbank Cup Elimination?
Kaizer Chiefs, the four-time PSL champions, will face Royal AM in the quarter-finals of the Nedbank Cup on Sunday at Chatsworth Stadium in Durban. However, their coach Arthur Zwane is under immense pressure as the last two Chiefs coaches were sacked just weeks after the team’s elimination from the same competition. The Nedbank Cup presents Chiefs with their last opportunity to win some silverware this term, having missed out on the MTN8 title and PSL championship.
Potential Banana Skin for Coach Arthur Zwane
The match against Royal AM could prove to be a potential banana skin for Zwane, who is feeling the pressure of being in his first coaching job in the PSL. He is aware that a defeat would increase the pressure on him, as Chiefs fans are desperate to see their team go all the way and clinch the Nedbank Cup. Moreover, Zwane has already felt the wrath of the club’s fans, who booed him at Peter Mokaba Stadium after his team’s 3-2 defeat to Lamontville Golden Arrows last February.
The Royal Hoodoo
Against Royal AM, Chiefs will face a team they have never beaten away from home since Thwihli Thwala was established in 2020. The Soweto giants’ two away games against the KwaZulu-Natal side both ended in defeat, including the first match of the Zwane reign last August.
Full Support from Chiefs Management
Despite the pressure, Zwane can rest assured that he has the full support and backing of the Chiefs’ management. The club’s sporting director, Kaizer Motaung Junior, has repeatedly stated that the team is undergoing a rebuilding process and urged the fans to be patient with Zwane, who is building his own team. Motaung pointed out that they are laying the foundations for a successful future under Zwane and expressed his satisfaction with the kind of football that is being played by 10111’s side.
Top Two Contention and Planning for Next Season
Even if Chiefs are eliminated from the Nedbank Cup, Zwane can still point out that they are still challenging for the runners-up position in the PSL, which earns a team a spot in next season’s Caf Champions League. This can be viewed as an indication that the Glamour Boys are on the right track under Zwane and his assistant Dillon Sheppard, as they have finished outside the top four spots in the league in the last two seasons.
Moreover, Zwane is heavily involved in the process of signing and releasing players at the club. He pushed for the Soweto giants to secure the services of Thatayaone Ditlhokwe and Given Msimango ahead of next season, indicating that the club’s management sees him as an integral part of the club’s future as the head coach.
Is Zwane Safe?
As things stand, Zwane has the full backing and support of the Amakhosi management, who are prepared to give him time to build a team that can mount a serious challenge for major trophies in the future. Therefore, even if Chiefs end the current season trophyless, it would be viewed as a minor setback in the club’s promising rebuilding process.