JOHANNESBURG – A two-minute video of Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela explaining his 3-5-2 formation on a notebook to a handful of journalists last week has got his Bidvest Wits counterpart Gavin Hunt a little puzzled.
“I heard all about that nonsense last week. You can’t do anything about how the opposition play, you can’t talk about that – how teams park the bus and all that.
“People love that stuff, but for me, it’s absolute garbage,” Hunt, a four-time Premier League winner, said ahead of the Clever Boys hosting Amakhosi at Bidvest Wits Stadium on Saturday night.
Komphela had had enough of just using words to explain his most recently adopted style of play – which many will argue has, in general, worked for Chiefs, who were trailing log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns by five points before the Brazilians faced second-placed Cape Town City on Friday night.
So, he wrote it down on a journalist’s notepad.
It went viral on social media, and, as Hunt said, people lapped it up.
Chiefs will in all likelihood set up the same way.
Komphela has been using the same formation since his side’s 2-1 victory over Sundowns in October.
“As a football person who understands that stuff, you can’t get involved in how a team plays. All you need to do is find a way of creating opportunities and find a way of denying them opportunities. That’s football,” Hunt argued.
What Komphela was explaining last week – days before Chiefs hosted Sundowns in what turned out to be goalless draw at FNB Stadium – was how to deal with the “half spaces”, and why this style of play has been a contributing factor to Amakhosi having the best defensive record in the league.
Steve Komphela was tired of using just words to explain his 3-5-2 formation. So he WROTE it down. pic.twitter.com/8aYQx9PYEr
“It doesn’t matter how teams play,” Hunt continued. “Everybody generally plays quite differently, and Chiefs do play differently to most teams in the league.
“That’s a fact, they do, when you look at their structure.
“But it doesn’t matter. You still have to break it down and obviously deny them opportunities.”
The Wits coach wants football simplified.
“Believe you me, there’s no ‘parking the bus’ – five defenders and what everybody is talking about.
“When they go forward, they go forward, I mean… do me a favour. They go forward with numbers,” said Hunt.
“You will never hear me criticise the opposition, and every team that’s played us at home sit back, but I don’t say anything about it every week and we lose or we don’t win. You can’t criticise what the opposition do.
“Sort yourself out.”
And the Clever Boys, struggling reigning champions who have improved in the second half of the season to try move away from the relegation zone, are making their best effort to sort themselves out.
“Our results will say our business in the January transfer window (Wits brought in five new players) worked, but that’s in hindsight.
“I think our performances have been the same, but the results say we have turned the corner.
“There’s been effort and desire, even when we were losing.
“We just haven’t had the finishing touches, but we are still a long way off where we want to be.”
Wits could move as high up as 10th place if they beat Chiefs.