S'Busiso Mseleku

Twists and turns make PSL season exciting

2016-03-14 13:11
Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)

The standard has not improved that much, but the frills and thrills happening on and off the field, have made this a very exciting PSL season.

Let's start at the bottom.

After enjoying their best season ever, Maritzburg United have been stuck at the bottom since the beginning of the current one.

Well, this is thanks to Kaizer Chiefs who came knocking at Steve Komphela's door following a very successful run with the Team of Choice.

All  the coaches that have been brought in since, from Mandla Ncikazi who was Komphela's assistant to current Ernst Middendorp, have failed to recapture the magic brought by the former mentor.

Maritzburg got only their second win of the season this past weekend, beating neighbours Lamontville Golden Arrows 2-0.

They remain every punters' favourite for relegation come the end of the season.

On the other end, Komphela has failed to carry his magic to his new employers, Kaizer Chiefs.

Things have gone so pear-shaped with the defending league champions failing to defend their MTN8 title (losing 1-0 to Ajax Cape Town in the final), going on to lose the Telkom Cup final to Mamelodi Sundowns and last week they were bundled out of the Nedbank Cup in the Last 32 stage by the archrivals Orlando Pirates.

Things look bleak as they trail Sundowns by a huge 13-point margin with chances of defending the title fading with every game, especially after their midweek 2-0 loss to Platinum Stars.

To add insult to injury, they went down 1-0 to the visiting Asec Mimosas of Ivory Coast in the African Champions League second round match this past Saturday. They still have to travel to West Africa for the return leg.

For a club that is used to finishing each season with at least one or two pieces of silverware, this is shaping out to be one of those disastrous seasons where they end up empty-handed.

Kaizer Motaung is one of those club bosses known for sticking with their decisions, but I wonder whether he is not regretting appointing Komphela.

Another club whose decision has come back to bite them in the most tender part of the anatomy is Bloemfontein Celtic.

They got rid of Clinton Larsen when he refused to be forced to take an assistant that he was not prepared to work with.

The club was sixth on the log then and Serame Letsoaka has failed to win a single game since taking over the reins and the club is down at 12th now.

Since then, there has been so many problems, with the clubs' supporters who are among the most loyal and vocal, boycotting the club at some stage.

Thankfully, the issues between management and supporters have been sorted out, but the club still can't conjure up a win as they lost 2-1 to Free State Stars in the Free State derby on Sunday.

Mpumalanga Black Aces, who mounted a serious challenge for the league earlier on, have become inconsistent, dropping points they should have collected and now seem to be out of the title race.

The only club that remains that can still topple Sundowns, is Bidvest Wits. They have been stable.

Pirates have picked up the pieces and have been steadily climbing from the lower rungs of the league to the top half. Their latest was 5-0 walloping of troubled Jomo Cosmos.

Well, while the quality cannot be said to be top, it is turning out to be an exciting season with twists and turns week in and week out.

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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