Zwane: 'Gone are those days where we just bring any player to Kaizer Chiefs'
'We’ll go specifically for players who we think will suit our style of play'
How will Kaizer Chiefs regain their dominance and brand of attacking football that is pleasing to the eye of the supporters?
According to interim co-coach and club legend Arthur Zwane, Chiefs have in recent seasons not signed quality players who can meet the constant pressure and demands that come with playing for the most supported club in the country.
Zwane suggested that the constant pressure and demands of playing for Amakhosi have overwhelmed many in the current squad.
The man nicknamed “10111" for his explosive pace during his colourful playing days with Chiefs urged the club to go as far as the end of the world to look for players who fit the Chiefs' way and philosophy.
“A good brand of football is very expensive because it is demanding in a sense that you have to make sure players know their roles and responsibilities,” said Zwane as Chiefs prepared to take on champions Mamelodi Sundowns at FNB Stadium on Sunday.
Zwane said a Chiefs player mustn’t be afraid to lose the ball and these are things that should inform the club’s player recruitment for next season.
“We don’t want to play with fear. A Kaizer Chiefs player must not be afraid to lose the ball. There are three moments that you have to use when you are without the ball and when you are counter-pressing and so on.
“Those things will work especially in the modern game and all the players know how important those aspects of the game are.
“If you play with fear and you are a Kaizer Chiefs player then clearly there is a problem. We want our players to express themselves.”
Zwane and his co-caretaker coach Dillion Dillon Sheppard, who were appointed last month to replace fired Stuart Baxter, won their first match in charge with a win over Gallants to arrest a four-match losing streak.
Zwane and Sheppard have three more games to show management and supporters that they are the men to rekindle not only the Chiefs’ glory days, but do so with the flair and style Amakhosi is famous for.
Under Baxter the Amakhosi fans were restless as they accused the Briton of being ultra-defensive, too reliant on outdated transitional play and not giving the club’s emerging talents a fair chance.
Under Baxter, the last man to guide Amakhosi to silverware when he won the league title in May 2015, Chiefs hardly ever dominated opponents.
Baxter’s tactics in his second stint appeared to be lagging behind modern football.
Zwane said he and Sheppard have a different approach and vision on how Chiefs should play.
“We can’t just get the ball and kick it forward, we lose it and then the opposition is on top of us. Those days are gone,” Zwane said with a serious expression.
“We have the following from supporters and everyone who is behind us. They want to watch something that is pleasing to their eyes.
“The minute we get that one right I have no doubt the results will start coming because our players will be having that way of playing, knowing how to attack, when and how to defend and playing to dominate every game.
“Once you start dominating it is easier for you to win games. You won’t just go on to the field and want to win. You will have a way of winning games.
“There will be a certain approach because you are playing a certain opposition but it must be within the Kaizer Chiefs way.”
Zwane said it would be pointless for Chiefs to try to play the attractive brand of football which their fans demand at all times but not get players who will fit into that system.
“Every player who is going to come in will obviously have to fit in the system and in the way we want to play.
“Gone are those days where we will just bring any player to Kaizer Chiefs for the sake of he is a good player.
“He can be a good player but not for Kaizer Chiefs. So we’ll go specifically for players who we think will suit our style of play.”
Zwane noted that the way Chiefs approached their game, of being too reliant on transition play which requires them to play long diagonal balls to behind defences, stifled the players.
He spoke like a man who has been assured he will be part of the bench next season.
“If you are going to play in departments then you are going to have problems because players are going to have to cover a lot of distances in order for them to be on the ball.
“And whenever they have the ball if they don’t have support the chances of them losing the ball are also huge. So that will also knock their confidence.
“We want to accommodate every player who is good enough to feel comfortable at Kaizer Chiefs.
“The way the club is going to play going forward is going to accommodate all the special players and whoever we bring in will have to be good enough to player for Kaizer Chiefs.
“We don’t want players who will just get the ball and kick it forward for the sake of kicking the ball, giving it away.
“We want players who will have that thing to play without any fear to say I am not going to lose this ball.
“And when you lose the ball you counter press immediately because that is what modern football requires of any player and where the game is today.
“There are so many players but not too many players out there who are of a calibre of Kaizer Chiefs because there’s constant pressure and constant demands.
“We will keep looking and maybe get those players who we think are good enough and will come and add value more than just to add numbers.”
Chiefs meet Mamelodi Sundowns next in their Premiership fixture at FNB Stadium on Sunday.
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