The Premier Soccer League (PSL) is one of the most unpredictable leagues in the world especial at the bottom of the log. Almost all the PSL teams have tasted the last spot (Number 16). Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates have all tasted the bottom of the log spot due to different reasons.
Many local fans are shaken that the only PSL team with attributes of true Mzansi diski coupled with good flair and excellent flow of the ball Golden Arrows is deep-rooted at the bottom of the log. Abafana Bes'thende is known for playing a true Mzansi diski but chopping and changing of the coach has affected the rhythm of the team. The Chairman Mato Madlala must shoulder the blame of strengthening Orlando Pirates by weakening Golden Arrows.
Arrows is now used as Pirates feeder team whilst Pirates use Arrows as a dumping ground of the fringe players. The players’ transaction between Pirates and Arrows is imbalance towards favouring Pirates. Madlala is forever replacing quality by quantity not adding any positive value in the team.
Another team at the bottom of the log is Free State Stars. Ea Lla Koto is famous for unearthing unknown talents to become PSL best players within short period of time but due to lack of financial muscles, Free State Stars always sell its best players to the big teams. Free State Stars poor form is attributed to the early departure of the coach Steve Komphela which resulted in low fighting spirit in the camp. Free State Stars hasn’t won a game in the last 7 games. They last won a game 3 months ago which was on the 09th November 2013 against Polokwane City.
I am also shocked to find Maritzburg United in the bottom half of the log. The “Team of the Choice” have adequate quality of good players but chopping and changing of the coach has affected the rhythm of the team. United will improve under the master tactician Komphela. They will climb the ladder to be in the top 8.
City is also in the mix of the bottom team. I am not surprised that “rise and shine’’ is in the relegation zone. The team lacks experience and matured players. They have a good coach Boebie Solomons but quality in the team is questionable. They already lost crucial points in the dying minutes of the game due to elapsing of concentration and lack of adequate experience at the back. The team lacks a leader in the pitch to motivate the youngsters not to drop their heads when chips are down.
I am also shocked to find University of Pretoria in the bottom half of the log. AmaTuks had an excellent maiden year in the PSL but struggling this year after losing key players who formed the spine of last year excellent performance. The team lost regulars of last year such as Bongani Zungu, Mame Niang and Aubrey Ngoma who made positive impact in the team.
Mpumalanga Black Aces is also in the bottom half of the log but I am shocked that they have done well more than I anticipated. AmaZayoni have good team made up of experience players who are hungry to prove a point to the previous teams that they are still PSL material. Aces have financial muscles to avoid relegation. They are coached by a quality coach who believes in his boys. With Clive Barker nothing is impossible and I foresee a good PSL finishing but outside the top 8.
Indeed the PSL is unpredictable and many soccer fans will be focusing at the bottom half of the log. The top of the log is predictable with Chiefs running away with the league but at the bottom half, we are not certain who will be at the receiving end of the Brand de Villiers’s axe at the end of the season.
By Owen Mundalamo
By Owen Mundalamo