S'Busiso Mseleku

I told you so, Chiefs!

2014-05-05 14:58
Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)
In a column on Wednesday, April 16, I wrote that talk of a Soweto derby Nedbank Cup final was premature as Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates still had to face Bidvest Wits and Maritzburg United respectively.

If I was in the business of "I told you so", I would be in a better position to do so now as the final will pit Pirates against Wits who eliminated Chiefs after a penalty shootout on Saturday.

But I will not go there...

As things stand, Amakhosi are going through a bitter lesson of how not to count their chickens before the eggs are hatched.

The time when they were in line for the Absa Premiership, African Champions League and the Nedbank Cup, looks like a very distant past.

Why, the club even sent a weakened side to contest the less fashionable CAF Confederations Cup, and were eliminated at the first hurdle by Asec Mimosas of Ivory Coast.

Their fielding of a second string team was an obvious ploy to rest players and keep them fresh to focus on the league and the Nedbank Cup.

This has backfired badly as they are now out of the cup and only a miracle can see them unseat Mamelodi Sundowns from the summit of the log at the end of this week, the final one for the Absa Premiership.

So after winning a league and cup double last season, Chiefs face the prospect of finishing this season empty-handed.

Such are the vagaries of football.

Now they will resort to the tired cliché of sport: It's back to the drawing board. Not so long ago, Chiefs’ fans had borrowed Pirates’ supporters nickname and were calling themselves “Happy People”.

But alas!

Today they find themselves sharing a sobriquet with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho who has moved from being known as “The Special One” to being called by commentators, “The Miserable One”.

On the other hand, Pirates, whose season had looked so bleak that many thought they will finish the season with no silverware at all, have a chance to redeem themselves.

But in their way stands a Wits side whose mentor, Gavin Hunt, is no slouch and would love to grab at least one trophy in his first season with the club.

While there is hope for the Buccaneers, one would advise The Ghost, not to celebrate prematurely while hoping that their club will make them “Happy People” once more. But they must not put the cart before the horse by celebrating right now.

They must remember that this is the fourth cup final their club reaches in succession but have come short on all previous three.

There is actually talk in football circles that one way of making sure that Pirates do not win a cup, is by letting them reach the final.

They say football is a great leveler and always teaches people humility.

There are great and important lessons to be learned from this season for Chiefs and Lamontville Golden Arrows who face relegation.

As Nelson Mandela once said, it is not by not making mistakes that you become a great person but by learning from them.

Oh! By the way, Chiefs CAN still win the league if Sundowns fumble in their last two outings and Amakhosi do the opposite.

It’s a matter of it not being over until the fat lady sings.

S’Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

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.

Read more on:    psl  |  s’busiso mseleku  |  soccer
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