Mark Gleeson

Vermezovic’s job is safe

2011-09-19 07:06
Sport24 columnist Mark Gleeson (File)

Mark Gleeson

It is utterly ridiculous that there could even be speculation that Kaizer Chiefs coach Vladimir Vermezovic’s job was supposedly under threat if he did not win the derby.

Chiefs have had the best start to any league season since he joined three years ago.

But because they had looked slovenly in the MTN8 final and were then unfortunate to lose away at Ajax Cape Town, there was suddenly a supposed crisis.

This was all fiction of course, the product of the chattering classes and self-appointed pundits.

Vermezovic has had the last laugh with a 2-1 win on Saturday that now has Chiefs at the top of the league standings with four wins out of five.

They become, therefore, the team to beat but already all the inconsistency and foibles of the last season are resurfacing.

It has been marked that over the last years the league really has been a topsy turvy ride with no team really able to impose themselves in a single season.

It looks as if that pattern will again repeat itself.

Already we have seen Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United lose their stride and Ajax Cape Town drop needless points at the start of the campaign before lifting themselves up to rejoin the leaders.

It is evident that it is from these five sides that the PSL champions will come this season. Bloemfontein Celtic do not have the depth and Wits will cause a shock or two and are a future contender in the making. But not just yet.

Ultimately it is all down to the depth of the squads and in this department Chiefs and Ajax fall a bit short.

Chiefs, for a change, did some good pre-season purchasing but their bench probably still needs reinforcing come the January transfer window. Sundowns, Pirates and SuperSport have the requisite talent, their challenge is now managing it properly and keeping them all motivated and fresh.

It is a most difficult exercise as Johan Neeskens found out on Sunday when he rotated key positions and saw his Sundowns side lose in the last minute to Ajax Cape Town.

Pirates patently need to strength their attack but this has been a problem for a while. They could argue last season they overcame it and won the league but they will not be as fortunate this time.

Bongane Ndulula and Ndumiso Mabena, for all their youthful talent, are not capable of providing a steady stream of goals and who knows how many games Benni McCarthy will manage to play this season.

SuperSport have already been hit by an injury toll– both John Arwuah and Sibusiso Zuma are out for a long time and Antony Laffor and Glen Salmon battling in the short term. Yet they still have plenty of quality in their outfit.

They should have hammered Jomo Cosmos on Saturday night but ended up drawing the game. Such slip-ups might yet come back to haunt them later on when the season reaches its climax. 

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.

Read more on:    psl  |  vladimir vermezovic

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