Since the beginning of the South African Premier League, Mamelodi Sundowns has historically made a huge meal of this season start, an unprecedented record. Many believe white people do not use juju or that is does not stick to them and if anything, 'The Sky is The Limit' coach seems to have a strong one, but I think his muti will expire soon. This is not how Patrice Motsepe plays and Johan knows it.
Whether the billionaire's appetite for foreigners will continue is a different story. We will see if the cheap and clueless Eastern Europeans will grace our shows once more, or will it be the recycled crop of old? It may be the expensive long shots, maybe Diego Maradona or something. Usually the appointments make a statement than worthy of the intended mission.
Johan Neeskens should be job-hunting by now, and I am sure he is, because I think he is a clever man. The latest defeat 0-2 to Moroka Swallows, who scored through man of the moment, Lerato Chabangu and Obada, is proof that Sundowns are down. This follows Chabangu burying them in the MTN 8 match a few weeks back. More so, it is good news for the Dube Birds' coach, Zak Marques. I knew Zak from his days as Roger De Sa's right hand man at Bidvest Wits. I thought he could be his own man and he is proving it.
Orlando Pirates's bold Roger De Sa appointment should have given local giants an idea that good homeboys can coin some super-diski that can attract spectatorship and win things. The Buccaneers are still to see the returns, that is by layman's standards since a man needs a season minimum to stamp his signature football. Knowing the axing appetite, many want results yesterday and he may not have represented local products well with the 0-1 defeat to Bloemfontein Celtics at FNB.
It is however Kaizer Chiefs who are smiling all the way to the bank for signing a host of talented players and even those who claimed that Stuart Baxter lied in his CV are quiet. The form of Bernard Parker is encouraging but it is the staying power that will tell.
The story of the league so far is how newcomers, University of Pretoria are unbeaten. AmaTuks crushed AJAX Cape Town by an amazing avalanche of 5 clinical goals despite conceding twice. Currently second behind Amakhosi, they are realistic enough not to think they can go all the way. One thing for sure, they have sent enough shock waves that relegation will not be associated with them this season.
One must not forget they reached the finals of the Nedbank Cup while still in the First Division and produced Yende and Mongala among a host of others. Theirs is a mixture of discipline and fortune. They have good and professional facilities and they thrive on the tag of underdogs. Surely, a top 8 finish beckons.
At this juncture, defending champions, Pirates have a lot of work to do and their finishing is their Achilles. Chiefs will be pocketing the R1.5 million for leading the gang in the league's Q1. That money will be so palatable that something special will have to be done to pluck that away from them. By the way the things are going, they seem like getting stronger as the season progresses.
There is no doubt how much Kaizer 'Tshintsha Guluva' Motaung spent in bringing overseas players to his stable and it is paying dividents. It is not really how well the new boys play, but the way players like Parker, Josta Dladla and Yeye are rejuvinated by their presence. Reneiloe Letsholonyane is red-hot and pushing the limits.
Pound for pound, Chiefs have a better squad than Sundowns, Pirates and Swallows. How other teams will rise and play catch-up in Q2 will be interesting to see. Siboniso Gaxa, Morgan Gould and Tshepo Masilela are just a few huge names that can make it anyway in Europe. Masilela has UEFA Champions League experience and toyed with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in La Liga.
Abia Nale has been showing positive signs of his known potential and the coach will need to show more faith in him. The same can be said of Majoro. It is Kingston Nkatha who has been terrorising defences and turning goalkeepers'days into nightmares. Chiefs are far more scary than the Ghosts this year, literally that defending champions seem to have no answer.
To cap it all.Itumeleng Khune regained his long lost confidence after his travel to Brazil with Bafana and he is one man a striker would not want to face any day given his form.