September 21, 2017

News:

What a season it has been!

THAPELO-MOLEBATSI-2

THAPELO-MOLEBATSIThis year’s PSL season is reaching its climax next week and, oh what an enthralling affair it has been! It will surely be the one of the most talked about for years to come for its unpredictability.
While the so called big teams have failed to rise to the occasion, I am extremely excited because South African Football League is no longer predictable. And this competitiveness is a sign of the quality of the league.

South African football has for many years revolved around three teams and their dominance in cup competitions but their reign is slowly but surely beginning to come to an end as they are now forced to dig deep and prove themselves worthy to still be called ‘the giants of the beautiful game’.

One person – a legend – who made it clear that he detested this new dispensation is none other than, Jerry ‘Legs of Thunder’ Sikhosana, who recently expressed disappointment in the two Soweto giants – Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

Not one known for mincing his words, Sikhosana summed up the performance of the two teams thus: “This is unacceptable, I don’t care who says what.” He described the state of his former club (Orlando Pirates) and blood rivals Kaizer Chiefs as ‘tragic and unacceptable’. “We can’t have these two big clubs playing the way they are now….This is not good for South African football at all.

The legend stated that the failure of today’s players to understand the honour of playing for these clubs or the responsibility that comes with wearing their jerseys was a major contributing factor to their positions. Chiefs are condemned to a third consecutive trophy-less season while the Buccaneers are struggling to break into the Top 8.

The only team in the PSL not to have ended a season outside the Top 8 bracket and revered across Africa for hoisting the South African flag high, Pirates could still salvage an otherwise horrible season by winning the Nedbank Cup.

Sikhosana feels if they (players) truly understood what wearing the black and white or gold and black jersey truly meant they would not be playing the way they are…” Their performance is a clear indication of lack of understanding for the kind of clubs they are playing for.”

Well, since I’ve never played professional football, let alone for either club (although at some in my life point I felt I was good enough to do so), those who don’t believe me should ask Rali Ramobodu what this man did during his times.

While I cannot argue with some of the sentiments echoed on this thorny topic, particularly the ‘lack of commitment on the part of some players’, I am optimistic about the future prospects of South African football. Because of this season which has seen the emergence of new powerhouses like PSL new boys Cape Town City, I am convinced there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Sikhosana’s concerns are valid, taking into account the high expectations on the big guns, but the reality of the matter is that it’s highly improbable for them to always come out victorious in every cup competition. It’s just not possible.

Why am I particularly impressed with this? Well the answer is simple: anyone with the slightest idea about the beautiful game (not to say Jerry doesn’t) would agree that the so called small clubs pulled the carpet from under the big teams’ feet, thereby injecting some welcome excitement to the league.

The South African Football Association’s recycling of coaches aside, I am delighted that some of the young players who have emerged on to the scene and set it alight will finally be afforded a chance to showcase their talent to the world because, in all fairness, complacency has crept into the so-called senior players who have, as a result, done nothing but turn us into a laughing stock in the international football arena.

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