Rot at Amakhosi deeper than VV
VLADIMIR Vermezovic may be gone, but it seems the problems haven't followed him out of Kaizer Chiefs.
The damage done by former Amakhosi coach Vermezovic would take more than six games and a cheap "we are still confident of winning the league" talk by interim coaches to be undone.
Plasters put on the cracks by stand-in head coaches Ace Khuse and Doctor Khumalo have been quick to give in, as the team stumble from one shocking defeat to another.
The sullen look on Bobby Motaung's face at the final whistle of their midweek 1-0 defeat to Maritzburg United reflected the dire state of affairs at Naturena and the misery Amakhosi supporters are currently going through.
With each poor result, Vermezovic is probably feeling a huge sense of relief as he sits idle.
Not only is it a relief that the pressure is off his shoulders, but it is rather that vindicatory "I could do no worse than my successors" feeling for the former Amakhosi coach.
Chucked out of Naturena village over a week ago, Vermezovic has seen Khuse and Khumalo destroy his foundation for a possible Nedbank Cup success.
What appeared to be a shaky league championship challenge under Vermezovic now looks worse than the shocking successive losses.
And the crumbling could continue for Amakhosi should they come unstuck against a desperate Santos, who they visit at Athlone Stadium today (kick-off, 3.30pm).
Guided by new coach Maart Nooij, Santos will be inspired to turn around a poor season and ease relegation concerns.
The season is effectively over for Amakhosi as they hit their lowest ebb this week.
But the question is: can it get any worse?
The answer certainly lies in their match against the Cape Town side, who have their own relegation problems.
Despite the poor start to his brief spell, Khuse remains naively optimistic, resting his hopes on senior players such as Siphiwe Tshabalala, Tinashe Nengomasha and Lehlohonolo Majoro.
But results and performances from the last two games suggest Khuse might be raising false hopes among fans.
Khuse bemoaned the lack of luck for their loss to Maritzburg, but that defeat had a lot to do with poor performance.
Key to Chiefs' revival is exceptional planning for next season through a well- equipped coach, whether or not it's Stuart Baxter, the Brit touted to join Amakhosi.
Not only will the coach have to get the team winning consistently again, but also instill confidence and a unique player recruitment policy.
For the first time in a decade, Amakhosi are set to finish a season empty-handed.