Early wobbles already detected for some PSL sides

2014-08-16 00:00

AFTER a woeful opening round of PSL fixtures last weekend in which only 12 goals were scored in eight matches, there was reason for optimism after the midweek games. In the eight matches spanning over Tuesday and Wednesday nights, 20 goals were scored. This is hopefully a sign of teams dusting off the pre-season rust and hitting their stride.

Wednesday night’s match at Harry Gwala Stadium was as exciting an affair as Pietermaritzburg has seen in recent times. It may have taken a player from each side being sent off, but the extra space that was a result of the red cards was welcomed by both sides.

It was pacey, riveting football, and though neither side was able to really capitalise on the countless chances that came their way, it still made for thrilling viewing. Maritzburg have long been a counter-attacking team, since the days of Ernst Middendorp that seem such a distant memory.

It seems that, under Steve Komphela, they are becoming masters of their trade. All they need now is to finish.

Bloem Celtic and Orlando Pirates shared four goals midweek, and there were no goalless draws anywhere in the country in round two — an obviously encouraging statistic.

It is obviously far too early to make any real assumptions — most of the sides have still not been able to field their foreign stars due to work permit issues — but already there are a few managers who will be sweating it.

Pitso Mosimane and Vladimir Vermezovic at Sundowns and Pirates respectively have stumbled through their first couple of fixtures and they won’t be allowed too many more slip-ups before serious questions are asked. Pirates supporters, in particular, will simply not tolerate another season where they do not challenge for league honours.

But closer to home it is the story of Craig Rosslee and a struggling AmaZulu that is the most intriguing. Usuthu have a talented group of players and an experienced technical support team. But at a pre-season press conference at Moses Mabhida Stadium earlier this month the club’s communications manager Lunga Sokhela shocked media in attendance when he said that the board of directors expected a top-four finish as well as a cup win from AmaZulu this season.

As it turns out, the media weren’t the only ones shocked and Rosslee himself sheepishly poured cold water on the sky-high ambitions.

It is crucial to aim high in a league that is incredibly competitive and a few bad results can leave a team suddenly hovering in dangerous territory. But while shooting for the stars may appear an attractive option and a quick remedy, it surely needs to be accompanied by a sense of realism.

Rosslee is a tough character and he will no doubt back himself to get back to winning ways soon enough. But one has to question whether or not the actions of Sokhela and the Usuthu board before a ball was kicked are likely to help or hinder that process.

We’ll know soon enough. Another round of midweek fixtures awaits, and AmaZulu are off to Pirates. Eish.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.