S'Busiso Mseleku

Sundowns give lesson to SA's giants

2016-06-01 13:12
Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)

Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns swept the tables at the Premier Soccer League (PSL) Awards ceremony on Monday night.

Not that it was not expected, given their dominance throughout a season that saw coach Pitso Mosimane picking up an unprecedented six Coach of the Month awards.

The club also won three out of the four Q-Innovation prizes on offer.

Throughout the season, the talk was about 'CBD' which became the popular acronym for the red-hot trio of Leonardo Castro, Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly.

At the awards night, the Brazilians of South African football walked away with seven of the 15 awards on offer which incorporated cups as well as NFD prizes.

And out of the nine set aside specifically for the Absa Premiership, they won six.

If that is not total dominance, tell me what is.

The way that the 2015/2016 season panned out should act as a wake-up call for the other giants, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

They need to take some drastic steps if they don't want to forever live in the shadow of the mega-rich side from Tshwane.

The first question marks must be over the two coaches the clubs have. Steve Komphela (Chiefs) and Eric Tinkler (Pirates) reached two cup finals and lost both in 2015/16.

That's a serious indictment on the pair because in the past it has been very rare for these two clubs to lose in cup finals. And two in a season is rather too much for their myriad of followers to swallow.

Amakhosi have started with some spring cleaning after announcing that they are not renewing Morgan Gould and Siboniso Gaxa's contracts. Reneilwe Letsholonyane and goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse have already left for SuperSport United.

The club has also released Philani Cele, Ovidy Karuru, Levy Mokgothu, Simphiwe Mtsweni, Shandukani Mulovhedzi, Chris Matombo and Zitha Macheke from their contracts.

Defender Siyanda Xulu, strikers Bongani Ndulula, Edward Manqele and Siphelele Mthembu as well as midfielder Sula Matovu and defender Ivan Bukenya have all been put on transfer.

The club has also extended the loan spell of David Zulu with Chippa United as well as Andisiwe Mtsila while Keagan Ritchie goes to SuperSport in a swap deal with Sibusiso Khumalo.

This is quite a bold move by Chiefs but it remains to be seen who are the players they are going to bring in.

For quite some time now it has been obvious that there is a lot of dead wood at Naturena.

However, I have my doubts that the players they bring will be able to fire on all cylinders and take the club back to its glory days under Komphela.

In his maiden season, the coach failed dismally to convince me and many others that he is ready for a position as high-pressured as that at Chiefs.

Under his guidance, the club meekly surrendered the league and the MTN8 they had won in the previous season.

Chiefs were also badly exposed in the Telkom Knockout Cup final, where Sundowns ran rings around them and from the second half it was obvious that Komphela was in the deep end of the sea with no tactics to swim ashore.

At Pirates, Tinkler huffed and puffed through the season, blowing hot and cold in the process. Sometimes he got it right while sometimes he got it completely wrong, leading to questions over whether he knew exactly what he was doing or was just playing finder, finder (the guessing game).

What happens to the two coaches in the off-season will have a huge bearing on what transpires with the two clubs in the new season.

Maybe, just maybe, it is time for new brooms at both clubs. 

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 over 30 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

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The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

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