Italians pride themselves in having a solid defence. It’s a big part of their game and you’d expect that from Solinas, but Amakhosi have been anything but solid this season.
Since taking over the job at Naturena, Solinas has not been able to find a central defensive partnership he can rely on and this has been one of the side’s downfalls this season, having already lost out on two knockout competitions thus far.
Chiefs have gone with different partnerships in central defence, using Daniel Cardoso, Mulomowandau Mathoho, Siyabonga Ngezana, Teenage Hadebe and Mario Booysen, who was brought in from relegated Ajax Cape Town.
Chiefs, in fact, tried to bring in Mosa Lebusa from the Urban Warriors, but the left-sided centre-back decided to join defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns instead. In an interview with KickOff.com recently, Lebusa said winning trophies and playing in the CAF Champions League were a couple of the reasons why he decided to go to Chloorkop and not Naturena.
Booysen was signed, but the lanky defender has not looked comfortable playing in Amakhosi’s defence, and has often been caught flat-footed by the opposition. He has played with Siyabonga Ngezana a lot of the time, but the two were dropped this past weekend for the league match against Golden Arrows for Mathoho and Hadebe, who both conceded penalties in the 2-1 defeat to the KZN outfit.
Mathoho and Hadebe started again in the CAF Confederation Cup match against Zimamoto, but Chiefs were on the losing side again, though Mathoho was taken off because of an injury.
Former Chiefs assistant coach and current football analyst Farouk Khan has shared his thoughts about Amakhosi’s defensive frailties.
“It’s been a poor season to say the least. They have been leaking goals and this season [Itumeleng] Khune has not been protected sufficiently. All of the defenders, Rama [Mphahalele] has not performed that badly. There has been some poor mistakes and they’ve conceded four penalties in their last two games.
“It’s important to have a solid defence. If you concede goals the way they do, it’s a concern.”
Lorenzo Gordinho is set to return at the end of this month from a loan spell with Bloemfontein Celtic, but is that enough? Will he solve the problem Amakhosi have at the back?
“I think Lorenzo is a good player and he reads the game well. I think he will make a difference in the defence. He would do extremely well, looking at how the team is performing. He has proven himself at Celtic and I am confident he would add value when he comes back," Khan said.