Siyag bhoza
Soccer Laduma|4 December 2019
Middendorp holding a divided Chiefs camp together

For a man who started the 2019/20 season on the backfoot and his future a thorny issue, Ernst Middendorp has turned the Soweto giants’ fortunes around and is doing a stellar job in keeping all the pieces together at Kaizer Chiefs.

The German has converted Amakhosi into strong league contenders this season, though the Siya crew has learnt of disharmony between the coach and some senior players - those who have been mostly overlooked. A coach who works excessively long hours and demands that those around him try keep up, Middendorp may have ruffled a few feathers in his one-year stay at Naturena to date, with an outburst from digital manager Kemiso Motaung and star player George Maluleka’s social ‘endorsements’ suggesting that not everyone is pulling in the same direction.

Middendorp is at the top of the table, so the big question is why is he not getting the full support that he needs for Kaizer Chiefs to clinch the Absa Premiership?

What the Siya crew has been told…

Senior players divided..

Ernst Middendorp’s Kaizer Chiefs are sitting pretty at the top of the Absa Premiership, and despite the German’s success, he is unnecessarily being forced into holding a divided camp together.

Insiders have painted a picture of a discord brewing with some players at Naturena, especially those who have found themselves on the sidelines sinceMiddendorp took over the coaching reins at Amakhosi a year ago - to the month.

Parts of it played out in the build-up and aftermath of the club’s Telkom Knockout defeat to Maritzburg United.

The loss, a 2-1 defeat, officially stretched Chiefs’ trophy drought to five years and contributed in the club’s dirty laundry being aired out. First, with confusion over the fitness keeper Itumeleng Khune and some senior players apparently questioning Middendorp’s team selection.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM SOCCER LADUMAView All

We have a problem

For this reason, Clinton Larsen was shown the door as head coach, but still, under new mentor Norman Mapeza, the struggle persists, although they did win two games on the trot recently.

9 mins read
Soccer Laduma
4 December 2019

They have the character

Cut Lehlohonolo Seema’s skin andhe’ll probably bleed green andwhite – such has been the man’s loyalty to Bloemfontein Celtic. Born and bred in neighbouring Lesotho, the Mangaung outfit is a club that’s always had a pull factor on him. So much that it is they who pulled him from obscure Bantu United from the mountainous kingdom in 1998, and he would go on to represent the club until 2006 when the allure of Orlando Pirates, understandably, proved too great a pull factor. Yet even a five-year spell with the Soweto giants, which included a season-long loan stint at Mpumalanga Black Aces, would not prevent him being pulled back in the direction of Siwelele, albeit to begin a coaching journey in the junior ranks. The next step was to become an assistant, a job he performed with aplomb, before being called on to take the hotseat together with John Maduka after the departure of Steve Komphela at the tail end of 2018. Much against general expectation, the duo has done fairly well, if Celtic’s off-field troubles of the recent past are to be taken into consideration. Soccer Laduma’s Beaver Nazo sat down with Seema to discuss this, that, and the other.

8 mins read
Soccer Laduma
4 December 2019

They are on another level

Before signing for Mamelodi Sundowns last season,Lyle Lakay knew that he would be used as a leftback and not in his preferred left wing position, something that he surprisingly did not have a problem with. In his first season with the club last term, he played a key role as they went onto win an unprecedented ninth Absa Premiership league title. This season has been a bit of a slow one for Lakay, who has been used mostly as a substitute, but there’s still a lot of football to be played both locally and on the continent, so he has time to fight for his place in the starting line-up. In this interview, the former Cape Town City and Bloemfontein Celtic player chats to Soccer Laduma’s Tshepang Mailwane about his time at the Tshwane giants so far, their chances of winning the CAF Champions League and why he believes they can close the gap on current Kaizer Chiefs, who have been in fine form since the start of the campaign.

8 mins read
Soccer Laduma
4 December 2019

Siyag bhoza

Middendorp holding a divided Chiefs camp together

5 mins read
Soccer Laduma
4 December 2019

Lionel Messi 2019 Ballon d'Or winner

Messi claims record Ballon d’Or, Ronaldo snubs gala

3 mins read
Soccer Laduma
4 December 2019

Jose Is Back, Will He Last?

Jose Mourinho has re-turned with a bang! Not many would have thought Tottenham Hotspur would sack Mauricio Pochettino after the Argentine led them to the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League final, and even fewer would have thought chairman Daniel Levy would replace him with Jose Mourinho.

6 mins read
Soccer Laduma
27 November 2019

It Was Challenging

Imagine the scene…you are playing a game of your life, fighting to qualify for the Olympic Games through the lifeline of the third and fourth place play-off.

8 mins read
Soccer Laduma
27 November 2019

No Disrespect To Chiefs, But…

On how he masterminded victory over Chiefs

4 mins read
Soccer Laduma
27 November 2019

He Is Not Personal

He may not be gettingregular game-timedomestically with Bidvest Wits, but attacking midfielder Gift Motupa is making a name for himself in this season’s CAF Confederation Cup. The 25-year-old player has bagged six goals in the campaign so far, inspiring the Clever Boys to the group stages of a CAF club competition for the first time in their history. It has not been the same in the domestic league though, with just one start so far and one goal. Having done so well in the Confederation Cup, he will no doubt be hoping that coach Gavin Hunt will give him more opportunities to play in the Absa Premiership as the Braamfontein-based outfit looks to challenge for the title. In this interview with Soccer Laduma’s Tshepang Mailwane, Motupa expresses his excitement about qualifying for

9 mins read
Soccer Laduma
27 November 2019

That's Me Wherever I Go

As a coach, former Kaizer Chiefs striker Wedson Nyirenda prides himself on being blessed with the mentality of a winner. So much that when talking about his past achievements in the realm of coaching, you can almost never miss the sparkle in his eye, and often this trip down memory lane will be accompanied by a smile that tells a story of contentment and achievement. He has built up a reputation, across all three countries he has worked in, of turning socalled ordinary teams into respected outfits. He did it with Baroka FC, helping them to annex the 2018 Telkom Knockout trophy much against many people’s expectations. However, the going has since gotten tougher, and the Limpopo side is (still) struggling to score goals this season. What is going on? Is Nyirenda going to jump ship and go back to his previous role as Zambia national team coach, as the rumour mill seems to suggest? Nyirenda provides the answers in this chat with Soccer Laduma’s Beaver Nazo.

7 mins read
Soccer Laduma
20 November 2019