Former Kaizer Chiefs skipper Neil Tovey feels that the Glamour Boys would have won the PSL title if they had used departing George Maluleka in the bio-bubble.
Chiefs chose to release the midfielder after he signed a pre-contract committing to sign for Mamelodi Sundowns next season, but Tovey feels that Maluleka’s versatility was sorely missed.
Kaizer Chiefs lacking creative spark
Tovey said that the Kaizer Chiefs team that competed in then bubble simply was not the same as the side that powered to an imposing lead at the top of the table.
“Well, it looks like when they came out of this [lockdown] hey had no cohesion in their team, there was no creativity, and they weren’t the same creative team that scored goals quite easily and put teams under pressure,” Tovey told KickOff.com.
“It looked like they were actually scared to win the league. The occasion got to them. I mean how many games did they have to play when they came out of lockdown? Eight? And I think they won two of them.
“Coming back from [lockdown] they were the team that conceded the most number of goals. So that was one of the biggest problems. They just looked like they were very nervous in their approach.”
Tovey backs Maluleka’s professionalism
Chiefs had the option to use Maluleka until the end of the season with contracts automatically extended but Amakhosi decided against that option. Tovey believes the Tembisa-born star would have shown professionalism and given his all to help Chiefs over the line.
“Yes, Maluleka signed a new contract with Sundowns but me as a coach, I would not have wanted him to go,” Tovey said.
“I would have sat him down and said, ‘Look, I realise that you are leaving, but we are professionals. We expect you to honour your contract until the end of the season.’
“I would have also made it public to the fans that George is a professional player, we are a professional club and we want to keep him until the end of the season. And he has given utmost dedication to winning the league championship.
“I don’t think he had to leave. I think had they kept Maluleka until the end of the season, they would have won the league.”
Kaizer Chiefs led the PSL standings for over a year but surrendered the title to Mamelodi Sundowns on the last day of the season after letting in an equaliser in their match against Baroka FC.