S'Busiso Mseleku

What's wrong with Amakhosi?

2014-11-28 09:02
Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)

Is there something wrong with Kaizer Chiefs? Are the wheels coming off the once well-oiled machine?

The Glamour Boys of South African football, started the 2014/15 season like the proverbial house on fire.

They demolished everyone that crossed their path. This smooth run saw them maintain a 100% record in the league and even went on to lift the MTN8 Cup via a 1-0 victory over arch-rivals Orlando Pirates.

This victory was achieved despite the absence of charismatic and talismanic captain Itumeleng Khune. In that final, greenhorn goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo played a blinder and established himself as a worthy deputy to Khune.

When the club was riding the crest of the wave, their died-in-the wool supporters even circulated an international log titled "World Football Combined  Log 2014-15" that showed that Chiefs' record was better than the other leaders of top leagues in the world.

At the time, all these clubs had played eight matches apiece. Chiefs had collected 24 points while Spanish La Liga toppers Barcelona and English Premiership pace-setters Chelsea were on 22. Germany's Bayern Munich were on 20 while Juventus led the Italian Serie A with 19 spoils.

However, chinks have started showing in the Amakhosi amour.

While they still remain unbeaten in the league, they have thrown away six points in playing three successive draws to Moroka Swallows, Mamelodi Sundowns and Polokwane City.

And in-between, actually after the first draw against Swallows, they suffered their first loss of the season when they were eliminated out of the Telkom Knockout Cup by Platinum Stars via a penalty shootout.

Those close to the club - their management and supporters - would surely say there is no need to press panic buttons. But the thing about football is that you will never know what's next.

Chiefs might rise from this lull like a phoenix or the downward spiral might continue.

They might be consoled by the fact that their bitter rivals Pirates - whom they meet in the Soweto Derby next Saturday -  are also not firing from all cylinders. After a nail-biting 2-1 win over SuperSport United on the weekend, they came unstuck against Pretoria University being held to a goalless draw, a result that kept them 12 points behind Chiefs.

On the other hand, Ajax Cape Town made hay by beating Bloemfontein Celtic by a solitary goal thus cutting Chief's lead to nine points. Mind you, nine points is equal to just three games.

As we enter the crucial Christmas period which will bring us to the halfway mark, the Chiefs faithful will be holding their breath hoping that their beloved side starts remembering how to win matches.

But the neutrals must be enjoying what is happening because it is sometimes boring when one club just gallops way ahead of all the others.

The previous Premier Soccer League (PSL) seasons have spoiled us soccer lovers by being humdingers that produced breathtaking photo finishes.

Will Chiefs continue to run away with it or will we see them being halted and witness another cliffhanger come May? The December fixtures that include the postponed Soweto Derby should give us a clearer picture.

Let me take this opportunity to wish SuperSport United and Platinum Stars Good Luck in the Telkom Knockout Cup final on Saturday.

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:    kaizer chiefs  |  psl  |  s'busiso mseleku  |  soccer


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