Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pirates' ABSA Premiership wrecked as Chiefs rule, just though

After Orlando Pirates were held to a 0-0 draw by the University of Pretoria in a Premier Soccer League (PSL) match at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night, it was evident they had hit a brick wall. The TUKS defended for dear life and The Ghosts coach, Roger de Sa complained that the students came just for a point.

He had a point but the point is the season begins with everyone on 30 points. The University of Pretoria's best bet was to keep the point they had before kick off, that lose it or indeed donate to the Sea Robbers. That result saw the defending champions on 43 points, trailling Amakhosi by a cool 7 points after the Naturena Boys beat Bloemfontein Celtic 3-0.
"They came here for a point and sat back and waited for the counter, we expect that and have to expect that from all teams," De Sa said after the match.
Chiefs huffed and puffed earning the respect of the linesman and the referee on several occasions as Siwelele could have had penalties that could have changed the match result and probably the championship destination. They created their own luck and that is football.

The obvious fact of Pirates failing to defend their title is as bare as the truth of Chiefs being not good enough to do it for themselves despite an extremely talented line-up that makes Mamelodi Sundowns jealous. Manchester City would do with what Stuart Baxter has, really, but they have not lived up to their billing save that The Happy People are a pathetic lot at the moment.

Andile Jali and Oupa Manyisa suddenly look as over-rated as I initially suspected. Their contribution to the title fight favours Kaizer Chiefs. The usual suspects in Collins Mbesuma, Dane Klate and Tlou Segolela blatantly fire blanks with chilling accuracy and one can only cry for the return of injured Thulasizwe Mbuyane.

Suspicions of Benni McCarthy destabilising RDS following their last season fall-out while at different camps does not hold water but one cannot help smelling a rat. Pirates are pathetic to be polite. Camping in enemy territory and remaining that blunt in front of goal is something Africans attribute to being 'tied'. I think one could use the word 'curse' if it makes for good understanding.

Kaizer Chiefs on the other hand start and stutter and hope that the Pirates ship remains wrecked for the next few weeks. It may be high time the Glamour Boys took the honours as the complacent Orlando boys wake up from their slumber. One hope the wake up call will be enough to have them out of the blankets by the dawn of the next season.

Could it be RDS cannot handle Pirates, or that just that they are going through a patch to be overcome in due course, given that Chiefs are not doing much either, other than gleaning on the misfortune of a struggling neighbour? Whatever the answer, Kaizer Chiefs will grow in confidence and believe they can actually do it for themselves. From past experience, Pirates do not want to build a monster they will fail to destroy and so far, they are doing a very bad job of it.

As for pushing RDS into sea, I do not see it as a solution and especially now. The coach should remain until the end of the season and probably steady the ship in time to challenge for the lost titles. There is however a risk of doing a 'Sundowns' if Irvin Khoza does not nip the bud on the head. Even Kaizer Motaung knows that for now, their fortunes are purely the misfortunes of Pirates.