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PSL Talking Points – Matchday 7

PSL Talking Points - Matchday 7

30 September 2019, by: Thabang Kgeledi

PSL Talking Points – Matchday 7

Lots of goals in another fascinating weekend of PSL football as Kaizer Chiefs continue their solid start to the season. Meanwhile, Orlando Pirates and Cape Town City treated fans to another thriller, although both coaches will be concerned about their teams lack of defence.

Let’s get into the weekends biggest PSL talking points.


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Kaizer Chiefs are on a hot streak as of late. They’ve won five out of their first seven league games including last weekend’s 1-0 victory over Baroka. I’d love to say Ernst Middendorp has reversed the fortunes of a team that finished out of the top 8 last season but being the pessimist that I am, I’m not yet convinced.

Amakhosi have been somewhat lucky to get favourable results in their last few games. In their win against Highlands Park, they sneaked a late winner in a game that should have been a draw. Against SuperSport United they should have lost. Over the weekend, Baroka hit the woodwork twice and Chiefs solitary goal should have been flagged for offside.

I may be nitpicking to annoy Kaizer Chiefs supporters. Every team needs a bit of luck to win a championship. They are well drilled and generally play good football. Middendorp is getting his combinations together. They are picking up points in games they shouldn’t be, that on its own shows championship resolve.

Itumeleng Khune played only his second game in 8 months against Baroka after returning from a shoulder injury that kept him out for more than half of the calendar year. Unfortunately, Khune didn’t last half an hour as he went off with an injury after 27 minutes with what looked like a groin injury.

Khune plays a lot of games every year and has been doing so since 2010. When he isn’t pulling off amazing acrobatic saves for Kaizer Chiefs he is picking the ball out of the net for Bafana Bafana. He turned 32 in June, which makes him relatively young for a goalkeeper.

That’s the age most keepers hit their prime. Itu, however, seems to have a body that could carry a lot of weight should he stop training. On Saturday he didn’t look in shape. It’s tough to recover from injuries if you are over 30 and are on the heavy side.

Orlando Pirates and Rulani Mokwena have a problem. A defensive problem. For neutrals, DSTV subscribers, and the PSL, their defence is a gift that keeps on giving because when you watch a Pirates match you are guaranteed to see goals.

They conceded another three goals with their draw with Cape Town City over the weekend after letting in four the week before in their loss to Bidvest Wits.

If any PSL coach is reading this, here is a quick tutorial on how you score against Orlando Pirates:

  1. Goalkeeper of centre-back play ball over the Pirates backline

  2. Quick striker is through 1-v-1 with the goalkeeper to score

  3. Thank me later.

I feel I can copy and paste this section of this piece for the next week’s “Talking Points” because I don’t think it’s going to change. How do you play two slow centre-backs in Happy Jele and Alfred Ndengane in a high line?

How do you play Musa Nyatama another player who moves at a glacial pace as a defensive midfielder to cover for the aforementioned defenders? I guess coach Rhulani Mokwena has the answers.

For the first time in a long time, I am excited about the race for the top goal scorer (aka. Lesley Manyathela award). Our strikers are finding the back of the net with regularity. Peter Shalulile the Namibian and Highlands Park forward is sitting on top of the charts with six goals.

Behind him SuperSport’s Bradley Grobler and Cape Town City’s Erasmus on five, then Orlando Pirates’ Tshegofatso Mabaso with four goals in four games played.

SuperSport United put their faith in Kaitano Tembo to coach the team for another season. Tembo led the team to a sixth-place finish in the league and an MTN 8 final (which they lost) in their last campaign.

He is mandated to finish in the top four and win a trophy this season. Their belief in the Zimbabwean mentor may pay off. His team is scoring goals. Mastatsantsa have a young talented midfield with Mokwena and Mbule, their defence is solid and their goalkeeper may be the best in the league.

They beat struggling Amazulu 1-0 to lift them sixth on the table with 11 points (level with fourth-placed Sundowns). They dispatched Sundowns a couple of weeks ago to book their place in the MTN 8 Final. With a bit more consistency and this team could compete for the league.

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