Kaizer Chiefs’ coach and their Nigerian import have been held responsible for the club’s struggles since football returned to South Africa following the coronavirus hiatus
Super Eagles goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi has received blames from Kaizer Chiefs legend Junior Khanye, with the former club winger calling for the 34-year-old to be replaced by former first choice Itumeleng Khune in the last games of the season.
Akpeyi has been exceptional for the Amakhosi this campaign, handling the post brilliantly for Chiefs while Khune was injured.
The Nigeria international has managed to keep nine clean sheets, conceding just 22 goals in 23 league appearances this season.
His efforts were rewarded early in the campaign when he was voted the best player in the Absa Premiership for September and October.
But Akpeyi has been a shadow of his former self recently, conceding six goals in the four matches Chiefs have played in August.
A run of one win in Chiefs last five games as seen second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns cut the gap on the leaders to just three points ahead of their epic clash on Thursday.
Coach Ernst Middendorp recently vowed to stick with the former Warri Wolves shot-stopper, but that decision has stirred up anger in an Amakhosi faithful.
“A clever coach knows how to balance his team. The guy today [the 1-1 draw against Stellenbosch]…the system he approached the game with today [is] very disappointing, I must say,” Khanye told iDiski.
“The goalkeeper conceded five goals in two games [prior to the Stellenbosch match]. I’m talking about Daniel Akpeyi.
“The game they played against Bloemfontein Celtic he conceded three, today he conceded one. Let’s not talk about the Bidvest Wits game, let’s start with the game against Bloemfontein Celtic and Polokwane City, [five goals in two games]. It means in the last three games, he has conceded six goals. It’s too much.
“A clever coach would have rested him [Akpeyi]. He should have been rested. I’m sure… even though Chiefs are not playing good football, Khune would have helped them.
“In terms of marshalling the defence. Today the goalkeeper has conceded again. I’m very disappointed with the Chiefs coach.”
There are four games left to be played in the South African top-flight with Kaizer Chiefs still leading the way with 53 points.
They, however, face Sundowns tomorrow in a clash of the titans that may decide who emerges champions this year.