What’s wrong with Kaizer Chiefs? 5 reasons for their poor start

What’s wrong with Kaizer Chiefs? 5 reasons for their poor start
Credit: Icon Sport

Following Kaizer Chiefs' recent loss at home against Cape Town City in the Premier Soccer League on 3 October 2023, let's get to find out what's wrong with the team and the reasons for their poor start to the season.

Chiefs have not convinced despite a record of decent signings and an acquisition of a new coach in the person of Molefi Ntseki.

AmaKhosi are placed 7th on the table after nine games, a staggering 13 points adrift of the league leaders Sundowns who have a game in hand.

The question is, why are Kaizer Chiefs stuttering in the league? Why have the club failed to challenge for the title?

Kaizer Chiefs players
Credit: Icon Sport

Hopefully, some of these reasons we'll look into might answer these questions.

5 reasons for Kaizer Chiefs poor 2023/24 season start

A new coach

While for some clubs, a change of guard turns fortunes around for them, but for Kaizer Chiefs the reverse has been the case. Arthur Zwane's role as coach was taken over by Molefi Ntseki in the management department at the beginning of the season. Molefi was tasked to bring the club back to reckoning following seasons of setbacks that have bedeviled Kaizer Chiefs.

Although Chiefs began the PSL season with a draw against Chippa United, they have gone on to play 12 games across all competitions at the time of writing and have only won four times, three in the league and one in the MTN8.

Kaizer Chiefs coach, Molefi Ntseki
Credit: Icon Sport

It seems that the change of coach has not worked for the club who are still far from convincing this season. And if the results don't come in the following weeks, I'm afraid Ntseki's days at the club might be numbered.

Selection headache

Kaizer Chiefs signed nine players this campaign: Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, Given Msimango, Mduduzi Mdantsane, Edson Castillo, Vicky Mkhawana, Tebogo Potsane, Sibongiseni Mthethwa, Ranga Chivaviro and Pule Mmodi. They're all good players along with the ones already in the club; this has posed some level of challenges for the coach who at the time of writing is yet to have a defined ‘Starting XI'.

There has been an outcry though from a section of the fanbase who think that Molefi Ntseki favours some players in the squad who still haven't lived up to expectations at the expense of some players who should be making the starting lineup, and this has resulted in the club's poor form this season.

Brandon Petersen's blunders in goal

Petersen has been the first-choice goalkeeper for Chiefs since the start of the 2023/24 season under new coach Molefi Ntseki.

The former Ajax Cape Town goalie has managed to keep Itumeleng Khune, Bruce Bvuma, and Bontle Molefe out of the Chiefs starting line-up.

He has already featured in nine matches in all competitions for Chiefs so far in the new campaign with four clean sheets to his name and conceded seven goals.

Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper, Brandon Petersen
Credit: Icon Sport

However, Petersen committed a howler against Mamelodi Sundowns in an MTN8 second-leg semi-final clash on Saturday, 23 September 2023 at the Locus Moripe Stadium. He gifted Sundowns an early goal after failing to clear his line and he was punished by Peter Shalulile in the first minute of the game.

Chiefs were eliminated from the MTN8 last four by Sundowns, losing 3-2 on aggregate. The first leg at FNB Stadium had ended 1-1 and the Tshwane giants won the return leg 2-1. The Brazilians will face Orlando Pirates in the final at Moses Mabhida Stadium on the 7th of October 2023.

Petersen is seemingly building a bad reputation for committing silly mistakes. In the league against the same opposition, his two blunders saw Sundowns beat Chiefs 2-1.

The first schoolboy error saw the goalie failing to clear the ball away and he later fumbled at what looked to be an easy catch as Neo Maema scored.

Petersen's errors has to some extent amounted to AmaKhosi's poort start this season.

Ratio of goals scored and goals conceded

One of the reasons for the club's poor start to the 2023/24 season is an obvious issue in scoring, as just two players have scored at least 3 goals, and ability to ship in goals.

AmaKhosi have scored 11 goals and conceded 10 in 12 games played at the time of writing. It becomes a big problem if the ratio of goals scored to goals conceded follows a near pattern.

As much as the forwards were scoring, the backline was conceding, this hampered the team's chances at winning which gave rise to a bad start for the club. If there are no improvements in this regard, their woes will continue.

Pule Mmodi's inconsistency

Mmodi was backed to deliver the goods for Chiefs following his acquisition from Golden Arrows. So far he has scored 3 goals in as many matches he has played for the club.

To be fair, Pule Mmodi was brilliant for Kaizer Chiefs as he scored some stunning goals in the club's August winning run, but has since lost form, and has failed to score in the club's last six games.

The player's inconsistency in front of goal has been another reason why Chiefs are having a bad start to the season.

This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago

Joseph is a freelance writer who spends most of his time writing engaging football contents. Based in Nigeria, Joseph is a die-hard Real Madrid fan with over 8 years experience in the sports betting space. He has covered football match previews, predictions, and news across leagues in Africa and Europe.