Following Kaizer Chiefs’ failure to break their PSL title drought under Ernst Middendorp, Gavin Hunt was on Thursday named as the new coach of Amakhosi. We ask our sports reporters if he is the right man for the job?
MIHLALI BALEKA SAYS “YES”
If there is one thing to glean from Gavin Hunt’s successful coaching career in South African football, then it is that the 56-year-old is embodied with all the necessary characteristics to inspire Kaizer Chiefs back to glory.
Hunt’s arrival at Chiefs comes after the Soweto giants sacked coach Ernst Middendorp last week after his charges lost their grip on the title race on their final day of the season to eventual champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
Hunt was unemployed after Wits sold their PSL status to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila ahead of the new season, but he boasts an incredible record of eight domestic trophies with just three clubs.
From those trophies, he has won the coveted league title on four occasions – and is only surpassed by Pitso Mosimane who has five.
But while Mosimane has won all his championships with Sundowns, Hunt has done that with two different clubs – three with SuperSport United and one with Wits.
And that alone should speak volumes of Hunt’s acumen to work with different personnel and management. No doubt, Amakhosi will pose his biggest challenge yet, but with his no-nonsense demeanour he is bound to control the dressing-room.
Hunt’s ambition has always been to conquer Africa. With Chiefs, he will be on the right course, considering that they’ll play in the Caf Champions League next season.
But before then, he’ll hope that the club’s one-year transfer ban will be uplifted by Fifa.
HERMAN GIBBS SAYS “NO”
Even before Kaizer Chiefs fired Ernst Middendorp, the fans called for Gavin Hunt to be appointed as coach.
The call was prompted by Chiefs’ disastrous league campaign. At one stage, Chiefs enjoyed a 13-point cushion and were seemingly in an unassailable position. Somehow, under Middendorp’s watch, Chiefs blew the lead and finished runners-up. Hunt is one the best PSL coaches, but it’s doubtful whether he can enjoy the same measure of success at Chiefs.
At his last two clubs SuperSport United and Wits, Hunt decided on crucial matters like player recruitment and supporting staff appointments. These are the building blocks of a championship-winning team.
Chiefs is a family-run business. Every time Hunt steps into a boardroom meeting, he will be surrounded by Kaizer Motaung (chairman) and four Motaung siblings who serve on the executive. They may want to air their views, rather than listen to Hunt. There is also the matter of Chiefs’ much-revered playing style. Chiefs pride themselves as supporter-centric, and Hunt will be reminded of Amakhosi’s traditional style.
Chiefs legend Shane McGregor has sounded a warning now that Hunt is on everyone’s lips.
“You are not going to do it with the flair or the Chiefs way if Hunt is appointed,” McGregor told Kick-Off magazine.
“Chiefs have got some mediocre players, so that is the big problem. Who is getting the players in, how are they getting the players? They need to relook at that. You can have the best coach in the world, but if you don’t have the quality, it’s going to make it difficult.”