Kaizer Chiefs forward Khama Billiat will thrive this season due to all the factors now working in his favour unlike last season when he had to carry the load on his shoulders in a struggling team.
This is the sentiment shared by a retired footballer who has been observing Billiat through his time at Chiefs where was targeted for absurd criticism but has found his way back this term.
Billiat has been influential with 10 goal contributions in 13 appearances this term which has helped lift AmaKhosi to second place on the standings with his efforts matching what Keagan Dolly has also brought on the table.
"A lot of the criticism that was directed at Khama last season was not coming from a good place," says retired fellow countryman Innocent Chikoya.
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"Why was Khama supposed to be victimised just because he signed a better contract? I understand that as human beings we have different opinions on players but at times you question what informs the opinion. Is it because the player is foreign or local?
"I played in an era when the money was less, and I shouldn’t use that as a weapon to criticise the current generation’s earning whether I approve or not. The boy is a special talent and when he is injury-free his qualities are there for all to see. If Khama is fit, and the coach allows him to do what he does best you will get the best out of the boy. I’m not into criticising players on public platforms because I’m from a school of building instead of criticising in bitterness," points out Chikoya adding what can be expected this season from the 31-year-old.
"This season we will see the best of Khama because he has a coach who puts his hand over his shoulders to show him love. You must understand that Khama is the kind of player that you need to show some love by telling him what he needs to hear that he is a good player who must go in there and deliver because we know he can do it. That way Khama will give you because he knows he has the trust of the coach.
"A 100% fit Khama in an environment that supports him then he will give you what you want. The plus for Khama now at Chiefs is that he has Keagan Dolly which helps shift some of the attention away from him since there is also another player who can create and score like Khama," says Chikoya.