Mark Gleeson

Too many rubbish PSL teams

2011-09-26 09:38
Sport24 columnist Mark Gleeson (File)
Mark Gleeson

Usually you would be hoping for a traffic jam at the top of the table, the theory being the more teams in the title race the more exciting the contest.

But it is becoming increasingly apparent there is also going to an intense battle against relegation too as this season’s list of clubs in potential peril looks longer than in most past campaigns.

Frankly, while there are much beefed up and slicker looking squads at the top of the table, there is also a large load of rubbish among the 16 teams in the Premier Soccer League.

After six rounds of competitions, two clubs have yet to win a match and two others have but a single triumph since the league started in mid-August.

Winless AmaZulu have already fired their coach but are stuck on the losing trail while Jomo Cosmos' yo-yo existence between the PSL and the National First Division looks set to continue.

They could be relegated for the third successive time, having bounced back after both previous setbacks but are patently not good enough for the top level.

Cosmos buzz about, tackle robustly and have an air of enthusiasm about them but seem poorly organised in defence and toothless in attack. I have been in the stadium for each of their three goals this season - a brilliant, almost fluke, long-range strike from the diminutive Tshidiso Tukane against Kaizer Chiefs in their first league game of the season and two fortuitous looking penalties against SuperSport United.

AmaZulu’s two league goals in their first six games is an even poorer return than that of Cosmos. Their problem is the dumping down of their personnel over the last two season as Manqoba Mngqithi sought to replace staid yet experience with young flair. Admittedly his philosophy was right but his execution too hasty. 

Mngqithi has unearthed some great players over the years with a Jomo Sono-like eye for talent but he placed too much faith in their ability to make an almost immediate step up into the top flight.

To bring on youngsters from the lower leagues, they need time and mentorship from better experienced players around them to learn their craft.

But AmaZulu got rid of too many key personalities and made too drastic a squad turn around last season already. Now they pay a potential price unless they new coach Roger Palmgren can find a way to get them out of the quagmire.

It is hard to fathom what is going awry at Lamontville Golden Arrows. Their coach Ernst Middendorp has a good reputation and players like Collins Mbesuma, Robyn Johannes, Thanduyise Khuboni and Katlego Mashego all seasoned professionals.

Chemistry and confidence are usually the factors at play in these situations.

Black Leopards, Santos and Platinum Stars all also look like they will struggle this season, which suggest a dog fight at the bottom to avoid the drop.

Many of these clubs have too little depth in their squads and are finding the gap between the bigger outfits and themselves growing rapidly.

Mark Gleeson is a respected television commentator and Editorial Director of Mzanzi Football.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

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