Kaizer Chiefs fans expressed their dissatisfaction with Daniel Akpeyi’s performance in the opening stages of the ABSA Premiership 2-1 win over Cape Town City by calling for the return of legendary keeper Itumeleng Khune.
The irritated fans expressed their displeasure with the Super Eagles keeper’s input in the match day 4 game and called on the technical crew to field fit again Khune behind the sticks.
Khune was named among the substitutes in Amakhosi’s jaw breaking victory at the Newlands Stadium on Monday.
Supporters have honoured the 34-year-old with his own song that also takes as swipe at his predecessor between the posts for Chiefs.
The chant goes thus: Khune, Khune, Khune.
Chiefs gaffer Ernst Middendorp revealed his displeasure and called on fans to exercise patience with their request.
“I’m a little bit irritated about some things coming out from the group. I’m really asking that people are fair. It can’t be that after five minutes, we are asking Khune, Khune, Khune,” the German tactician said.
“Khune will get his time after the bench and I think people need to show a bit more respect.
This isn’t the first time the coach will leap to the defence of Akpeyi after his comments at the end of the 1-1 draw with Supersport United, “I think we have seen the value of the fantastic goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.”
Akpeyi has come under a fair amount of criticism since arriving at Chiefs from Chippa United at the start of the year, with a faction of the club’s supporters calling for him to be dropped.
The Nigeria international, who was his country’s first-choice keeper at 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt, recently shared a message to his critics and stated he will rise above adversity much like the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Junior.
“It’s quite unfortunate that some people who are educated about these things refuse to educate other people – the masses, who should be educated on how things work [in football],” Akpeyi enthused.
“For me, I know I’m a soccer player, but the way things go sometimes, I don’t really go onto social media to read whatever has happened, I just focus on myself because I come first.
“So, I think it all depends on the challenges I face, and I just have to fight it out. Like I said, I knew the challenge before I came here [to Chiefs], and I know I’ve been criticised since I came here but these are the things that make me stronger.
“Remember, for those people who have won and been on top in their careers, they’ve been criticised; they’ve been hammered from left and right – Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo – I can name them all but they are still in the game and they’re getting stronger and winning things.
“So, it’s probably one of those things where I’ll look back at tomorrow and say, ‘Yes, I was one of those [criticised players], and today I’m a hero.