Have the chickens come home to roost?

11 Aug, 2022 - 00:08 0 Views
Have the chickens come home to roost? Joey Antipas

The Chronicle

Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
A single win in five games! Have the wheels come off for Joey Antipas and his GameCocks?
Chicken Inn FC have been comprehensively beaten by opposition they should have not lost to, picked up a point when they should have collected three.

That has been the story of Chicken Inn during this Castle Lager Premiership campaign.

They sit on position two on the log standings with 42 points, same as third placed Dynamos, eight points adrift of leaders FC Platinum.

Questions have been raised as to why and how they have suddenly fallen from being title contenders to fourth place finishers in a short period of time. The big question is what could have possibly gone wrong at Chicken Inn after they started the season so brightly?

FC Platinum

Is it an issue of confidence?

The GameCocks have just won once in their last five encounters. In their last five games, they have suffered heavy losses to fellow title contenders Dynamos and FC Platinum, losing three nil, at home in both encounters.

They also lost one nil to bottom side Tenax CS FC.

Though Antipas would have preferred the games to continue, a break might just be what the side needed to switch back on and get their confidence back.

Tafadzwa Kutinyu

“We are back this weekend and this is going to be a big game for us. We are getting ourselves ready for the next encounter. It is not going to be easy but we are confident. We have been getting ourselves ready during the break.

“We have used that to refresh in the hope of coming back to a renewed side. If you lose you have to continue playing until you get things right,” said Antipas.

Are the tactics wrong?

There were times when things were great at the GameCocks. They started the season with a new system that saw them line up in a 3-5-2 formation that saw them go on an eight game unbeaten run – winning six and managing two stalemates.

Brett Amidu

The GameCocks had a back-three, consisting of Itai Mabunu, Moses Jackson and Nelson Ketala. The wingbacks were Xolani Ndlovu on the left and Michael Charamba on the right side.

Their central midfield was occupied by new acquisition Richard Hachiro, who formed the base with Shepherd Mhlanga, while Bret Amidu played behind the strike force duo of Malvin Hwata and Brian Muza.

However, injuries to the likes of Hachiro, Charamba, Mabunu and Mhlanga in the duration of the campaign have ruined what looked to be a difficult system to beat. Those who have been called in to replace the injured have failed to click.

Plan B has not worked for the GameCocks largely due to injuries.

A poor home record

Antipas admits their home record is a major concern.

Despite the home losses to Dynamos and FC Platinum there were stalemates to Herentals (0-0), Yadah (1-1) and Manica Diamonds (3-3) which the club would look back on and feel they dropped crucial points.

Tafadzwa Kutinyu

The home record is a cause for concern ahead of the weekend clash with Harare City.

“We have to work on our home record. We need to rectify our home record because we have not been utilising our home advantage. The key is to remodel ourselves and how we approach our home games,” said Antipas.

The players are getting old

After the game against Dynamos, Antipas admitted one of his key players, Jackson (41), had age catching up with him. The issue of the GameCocks housing some aging players has always been controversial. Besides Jackson, some of the players who are aging in the side include Guide Goddard (34), Passmore Bernard (34). However, despite the age issue, Antipas knows the experience brought in by the players and has faith in the squad he has assembled.

“We have a good side and I believe we have the quality in our side for our side to rise. It is important to have our attitude right ahead of Saturday.

The Tafadzwa Kutinyu boost

Antipas says they are assessing Tafadzwa Kutinyu’s fitness ahead of the weekend. “We are still assessing him and we hope he will be available for Sunday,” said Antipas.

Kutinyu, a former Warriors and Bantu Rovers midfielder, was at Tanzania’s DTB Football Club.
Kutinyu was part of the 2015 championship-winning Chicken Inn, coached by Antipas before the gaffer joined AmaZulu in South Africa and later moved to Chicken Inn in 2018.

He also played for Singinda United in Tanzania in 2017-2018 and Azam FC (2018-2019) before moving to Horoya AC in 2019.

PSL Matchday 24 fixtures
Friday: Yadah v Whawha (National Sports Stadium)
Saturday: Cranborne Bullets v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Vengere), Chicken Inn v Harare City (Luveve), Herentals v Highlanders (National Sports Stadium), FC Platinum v Black Rhinos (Mandava)
Sunday: Tenax CS FC v Dynamos (Vengere), Bulawayo Chiefs v ZPC Kariba (Luveve), Triangle United v Manica Diamonds (Gibbo), Caps United v Bulawayo City (National Sports Stadium) — @innocentskizoe

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