Merriest Xmas for Amakhosi

Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)
Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)
Ho, Ho, Ho! ‘Tis time to be merry!

This is a usual cry around this time as that character called Father Christmas makes his rounds dishing out gifts. This is also followed by a time to reflect as we usher in the New Year.

It is indeed a time to be merry for some in South African football, more especially Kaizer Chiefs and their followers.

Amakhosi will enjoy Christmas perched at the top of the Absa Premiership log with 30 points from 14 matches. They scored an emphatic 4-1 victory over hapless AmaZulu in their last game before the 'Big Day'.

Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits bosses will look at their decisions to rope in Pitso Mosimane and Gavin Hunt as coaches respectively with glee. It was indeed a stroke of genius for the administrations of the two clubs.

Sundowns are five points behind Chiefs with a game in hand. And their score will be settled in their rescheduled fixture that will now be played on Tuesday, January 28 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

The Happy People that are Orlando Pirates fans, will look at the log and not be very happy (forgive the intended pun) with seeing their club 11th on the log.

However, this will be no big deal for them to choke on their turkey as a look at the matches played column will show that The Buccaneers have only played a mere eight matches, which is fewer than any side in the PSL.

And they scored an emphatic home 3-1 win over struggling Golden Arrows in their last game before Christmas.

Their playing fewer games than anyone is as a result of their good run in the CAF African Champions League where they ended up losing in the final. This is now going to affect them and in turn Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund negatively - but more on that subject later.

If there are any people that will have a bleak Christmas and ponder what the future holds, it is Golden Arrows and their coach Mark Harrison. Harrison replaced Manqoba Mgqithi who jumped ship when things did not go well. Harrison’s arrival has failed to change the club’s fortunes and they remain stuck at the bottom of the table.

Free State Stars are still in the same boat even after firing Steve Komphela. They are second from bottom and were held to a 2-2 draw by Moroka Swallows at home on Saturday.

Maritzburg United coach Clinton Larsen is also not out of trouble as his side continues to struggle. He’s been growing more grey hair since his move from Bloemfontein Celtic in the usual coaching musical chairs that saw him swap places with Ernst Middendorp.

The German has had a bit of a better fortune in the City of Roses and Phunya Sele Sele is now occupying 12th position.

Another coach set to grow more grey hair is Igesund. Just when it looked like his bosses at SAFA House and the PSL big wigs in Parktown would reach an amicable arrangement to give him a free hand in selecting players for the African Nations Championship (CHAN), the league dropped a bombshell.

They have announced that there will be matches interspersed between the tournament. This will deny the national coach players from six clubs - Chiefs, Pirates, Sundowns, Ajax Cape Town, SuperSport United and AmaZulu.

You don’t need to be a genius to realise that this will rob Igesund of the cream of the crop as these clubs - more especially Chiefs, Pirates and Sundowns - have some of the best locally based players.

So as we celebrate Christmas on Wednesday, here is to a merry one, a prosperous New Year to everybody in football.

Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to help those with a Black Christmas and those facing a bleak New Year. It comes with the territory.

All we can do is to wish and it ends there.

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 well over 20 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

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