Dark times for Khama Billiat as he lasts only 45 mins in latest Kaizer Chiefs match. Khama Billiat lasted only 45 minutes on Sunday in the latest of his below-par performances which has attracted criticism from the majority of Kaizer Chiefs fans. The Amakhosi were held to a 1-1 draw by Stellenbosch in a South African Premiership match.
After topping the goalscoring charts in his first season at Chiefs, Blliat has gone under the table this season for various reasons. He has found the back of the net just once and registered two assists in 20 appearances for Chiefs this season.
When the Zimbabwe international joined Amakhosi, he was considered one of their marquee signings to help them bring back the glory days. However, things haven’t gone according to plan as Chiefs are yet to win a major trophy.
At Mamelodi Sundowns, Billiat was a star but many felt he grew bigger than the brand after achieving almost everything during his five-year stay. He just turned 30, and everyone knows the criticism players receive on the other side of 30 in South Africa.
Some feel Billiat is past his best while others blame Ernst Middendorp’s tactics for the attacker’s dip in form. Amakhosi have a better squad compared to the previous seasons with the likes of Billiat, Lebogang Manyama and Reeve Frosler and they stand a better chance of winning the league.
But, with Chiefs on top of the standings, everyone is focusing on Billiat’s contribution and the fact that he’s struggling for form has, somehow, made fans keep an eye on him. Middendorp has already defended him but injuries have played a role in Billiat’s dip in form.
The fact that he has played just 20 matches this means he hasn’t been able to replicate last season’s level. Middendorp had no choice but to play Billiat as one of the club’s better players in the last two years – but he was played week in and week out without a rest at Sundowns for five consecutive years.
Few years ago, Tinashe Nengomasha went through a similar experience at Chiefs after playing consistently for 10 years and he was rested in order to recharge his batteries.
Billiat needed a similar break, not because he’s not performing but if Chiefs are willing to prolong his career then Middendorp must make a bold decision by playing other players in his place until he is fit.
Billiat isn’t past his best and in fact, he still has a few more years left in him to perform at the highest level but the fitness and technical teams must play their role in ensuring that he plays whenever he’s fit.
At this stage, fitness appears to be a problem and if they aren’t playing their role, then Billiat isn’t going to perform.
If Chiefs want Billiat to regain his best form next season, they then should rest him this season for him to regain the hunger next season more so because they have the ambition to conquer Africa and have the chance to go back to the Caf Champions League.
The criticism on him is a bit unfair because Chiefs only managed to get the best players this season after years of signing below-the-standard players, and at the time, Billiat had to carry the team on his shoulders.
Source – The Herald
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