When some of Gavin Hunt’s comments are placed under the microscope, it raises suspicions of internal strife at the club.
WHAT exactly is the problem at Kaizer Chiefs at the moment? Is it coach Gavin Hunt? Or is he being muzzled by the club?
The glamour club suffered yet another disappointment on Wednesday night, this time going down 2-1 to Cape Time City at home.
Chiefs fans are not a happy bunch, and the loss to City will only increase the pressure on Hunt. However, the coach is becoming increasingly vague about why the team is performing so poorly.
When some of his comments are placed under the microscope, it raises suspicions of internal strife at the club.
There is nothing strange about Hunt looking crestfallen after Chiefs were defeated by City. But it is alarming when he says he cannot divulge his thoughts on the team’s failures.
“The bottom line is that it is not what I think. It is what the club thinks. I know what is needed and what is not needed, but right now, it doesn’t matter what I think,” was the succinct reply when asked how he could transform the team’s fortunes.
Hunt is the head coach, and therefore best equipped to deal with changing the club’s fortunes. Hunt’s replies suggest he is not being taken seriously at Chiefs, which has often been described as a family business.
The ‘family business’ reference came about since family members of owner Kaizer Motaung hold down key positions in the club, none more so than club manager Bobby Motaung.
Bobby has come under fire from fans, who allege that he makes decisions for the coach. A few years ago, he snapped back in the media: “I didn’t apply with a CV for the job, so that must be clear to those that have a dream that Bobby Motaung must step down.
“We have an organisational structure that we must respect.”
The “organisational structure” at Chiefs has never been defined, but this may be at the heart of Hunt’s anguish when commenting on underlying factors contributing to the dreadful run of form.
Earlier in the press conference, Hunt was asked about the team’s lethargic start to the match. Again, he came up with a stilted answer: “I know what I want to say, but I can’t say that.”
It is very disconcerting that Hunt, who ranks among the most successful coaches in domestic football over the past decade, seems to be unable to impose himself as he sees fit to restore the club as a powerhouse in football.
Last December, Hunt badly needed striker Samir Nurković, the club’s ace goal poacher, and who had suffered a long-term injury. In the build-up to a match against SuperSport United, Hunt made a comment that raised the ire of fans.
Hunt said: “Nurković has been fit for about two weeks now, but there are other problems, so that must be sorted out. So, I mean he could play, but let’s leave it for another day.”
Afterwards, Hunt deflected a heap of media questions on Nurković by saying: “Let’s leave it for another day.” By implication, Hunt was saying Nurković’s absence was not of his making.
At the time, all hell broke loose on social media, where the overwhelming feeling was that Nurković should have been playing already.
So the burning question remains: Is Hunt being gagged or is he shirking the blame?