Chief's Midfield Dissected
Kickoff|March 2017

Tinsahe Nengomasha talks in exactly the same way he used to play: tirelessly, vigorously and bluntly, fuelled by passion and unafraid to leave it all on the field (or in this case, the page).Here, the former Kaizer Chiefs mid field strong man fires from the hip as he reveals his view of the current Amakhosi midfield,which he feels needs a major wake-up call following a less-than appetising campaign so far.

Fabio De Dominicis

Doctor“16 Valve” Khumalo, Patrick “Ace”Ntsoelengoe, John“Shoes”Moshoeu, Jabu“Shuffle” (Pule) Mahlangu, Emmanuel“Scara” Ngobese, Thabo “Tsiki-Tsiki”Mooki; the list of legendary former Kaizer Chiefs midfielders rolls so easily off the tongue, and evokes longing smiles and celebratory memories from many a gold and-black clad fan.

A look at the Amakhosi teamsheet of today, however, and – with all due respect – the midfield leaves a lot to be desired, with enormous boots to fill when compared to the greats of yesteryear.

Another former star who many feel belongs in the same bracket as the above-mentioned fan-favourites is defensive midfielder Tina she Nengomasha. The tough-tackling Zimbabwean notched up 281 starts in 11 seasons spent at Naturena before his switch to BidvestWits, yet remains as passionate about the Soweto giants now as he was during his trophy filled tenure with the club.

A barren spell in recent years, combined with an inconsistent run so far this season, has left Chiefs fans lessthan-impressed with the strike force, who are often taken to task for their lack of goals upfront. Yet Nengomasha, the former general in the centre of the park for Amakhosi, feels the midfield need to chip in more to assist the team’s attack.

“It’s all about the supply; the mid fielders need to supply,” the Zimbabwean tells KICK OFF.

“Assists from midfield are important – we can say ‘oh the strikers are not scoring’, but then looking at the statistics of a game, you often find there were no assists or key forward passes at all. Siphiwe Tshabalala is one of the highest assist-makers at Chiefs, but if he’s playing on the wing, the central midfielders, right wing and defenders all need to also chip in and assist the strikers to score goals.”

Nengomasha’s indefatigable passion and love for his former team is all too clear to hear, as almost surgeon-like, he starts dissecting the issues he has with the current Chiefs midfield.

“The problem I’ve noticed is this: you’ve got Willard Katsande, the destroyer who has scored some important goals for the team when they needed someone to score. But they need a player like ‘Yeye’ [Reneilwe Letsholonyane] – if you look at the midfield of the past, back to Ace Ntsoelengoe and so on, there was quality in the attacking midfield position. I was expecting a lot from George Maluleka – he possesses the quality, but he needs to show more. He has the experience and is not someone who is new to the game.

“George Lebese also hasn’t done enough. When I was still there, he came in very young from Arcadia Shepherds, and he needs to bring in more consistency to his game.”

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