Bongani ‘Da Bongz’ Nkosi and Thabang ‘Cheez’ Kgeledi discuss this week’s soccer topics.
The Discussion This Week:
1. What Are The Implications Of The Sundowns/Chiefs Game? 2. Which Team Has the Edge Going Into The Last Three Game? Sundowns or Chiefs? 3. Summarise Orlando Pirates Season? 4. What Will A Move Away From Barcelona Mean For Messi and Barca? 5. Where Will Lionel Messi Best Fit? PSG or Manchester City? 6. How Long Till Frank Lampard Feels The Pressure At Chelsea? 7. Quick Hits!
Yes, local football is back! As the kids would say it’s been a minute (It has actually been 137 days, 3277 hours, 196667 minutes since the last PSL game was played but, who is counting?)
Your minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa doesn’t want you to get too excited about the return of the PSL though. He has promised to shut down the whole thing if teams don’t follow stringent measures outlined in the department’s Covid-19 protocol.
“It therefore means that those plans that they have submitted should be adhered to‚ it’s not a fait accompli that people will just get on the field and play‚”Mthethwa said.
“They will play based on the plans which were submitted to the department and we reserve the right to halt any activity if we feel and think that those protocols and plans are not adhered to.
“We are pleased that the department of health has concurred with the proposal for football to return to completing the season behind closed doors in a Biologically Safe Environment (BSE)‚ which is a closed environment of the procured hotels‚ the transport hubs‚ training grounds and stadiums.
“This is subject to the plans they have submitted and all other protocols as outlined in the regulations and directions published by the department.
“The compliance officers of both the SA Football Association and the Premier Soccer League will work together and ensure that all measures comply with the commitment made by the PSL in their submissions to government.
“We are expecting to receive the compliance officer’s report from Safa on the state of readiness for the NSL to resume play.”
Shutting down the PSL might be an idle threat by Minister Mthethwa. It may be a promise that his department won’t keep, lord knows that wouldn’t be the first time the government fails to deliver on a promise.
Politics aside, some teams, players, and even club executives have not taken the threat of Covid-19 as seriously as you might have hoped. We’ve heard rumors about Sundowns and Orlando Pirates breaking their own club protocols by going out drinking (I wonder where they are getting the alcohol, if one of you guys is reading this please let me know). We’ve seen certain club managers throwing parties at their residence during the lockdown…
It would a shame for one team to mess it up for everybody else. The season is going to be done in 30 days. I’m sure players, managers, and staff can hold out for a little while longer till the 5th of September.
Big clubs have been circling around Bidvest Wits like sharks. Their mouths salivating at the opportunity to snatch players on the cheap or for free from the sinking Titanic. Thabang Monare has been linked with a move to Kaizer Cheifs. But, Amakhosi are banned from making transfers in the next window as per sanction handed out by Fifa.
Mamelodi Sundowns are stacked in Monare’s position. They even had to let go Oupa Manyisa to make room for George Maluleka recently. I doubt Pitso Mosimane will be looking for another central midfielder. Orlando Pirates are another team with the rich people problem of having too many talented midfielders. The likes Fortune Makaringe, Linda Mntambo, Xola Mlambo, and Ben Motshwari are all competing for a place in the first team.
The only team I could see Thabang Monare going to is Supersport United. Dean Furman has said he is leaving for the UK to be with his wife and family. This, of course, leaves a gap in the midfield that can be filled by the talents of Monare.
If the PSL would have declared an end to the season after the lockdown, these are the players who would have snapped up the Absa Premiership awards:
Absa Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season:
Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United) – Williams was has been the most consistent keeper in the league again this season. He has bailed his ageing defence out on may occasions. 👴🏿
Absa Premiership Defender of the Season:
Eric Mathoho (Kaizer Chiefs) – I thought Eric Mathoho was finished. 💀
For the past couple of years, Mathoho missed games due to injuries and dip in form. Mulomowandau used to dominate opposition players on the ground and in the air. But, not anymore.
This season, however, he is back to his old self. Mathoho is a very important player in Ernst Middendorps log leading team. His defending has been sublime, when not in the team his absence has been felt, and he has even pitched in with a couple of important goals.
Absa Premiership Young Player of the Season:
Sipho Mbule (SuperSport United) – Sipho Mbule has had a breakout season. Mbule is a highly skilled midfielder. He has an excellent range of passing, a very good setpiece taker, and has a sprinkle of flair to his game.
Teboho Mokoena (SuperSport United) – At only 23, Mokoena has a bright future. Being one of the best players at a position that takes years to master is a testament to his talent. Mokoena is technically sound and his work rate both in attack and defence is excellent. Let’s hope he gets a move abroad sooner rather than later. ✈️
Absa Premiership Goal of the Season:
Cole Alexander (Bidvest Wits)
Absa Premiership Top Goal Scorer:
Gabadinho Mhango (Orlando Pirates) – Mhango moved from to Pirates from Bidvest WIts this season. It didn’t seem as though he was Gavin Hunt’s cup of tea beside the obvious talent. ☕
Mhango had to fight his place in the first Pirates team. Mhango now could be the Buccaneers most important player due to the goals he scores. ☠️
Absa Premiership Coach of the Season:
Ernst Middendorp (Kaizer Chiefs) – Don’t lie Kaizer Chiefs supporters, don’t act like you were all juiced up when you heard Chiefs brought Middendorp back to be your coach.
Mazinyo did okay in his stint from 2005-2007 but some fans still blame him for the departure of Scara Ngobese from Chiefs. That’s another story for another day. 📅
Like him or not you’d have to admit, Middendorp has improved as a coach. He doesn’t have the most talented team but it functions well as a unit.
Absa Premiership Player’s Player of the Year:
I do not know who the players would have voted for as their player of the season. 🤷🏿♂️
But, most of the time it ends up being the same player as the:
Absa Premiership Footballer of the Season:
Lebogang Manyama (Kaizer Chiefs) – Manyama another player who resurrected his career this season. He has on occasion single-handedly won a game for Chiefs. He is intelligent, skilful, can pick a through ball and scores occasionally.
Ernst Middendorp has given him the keys to the Chiefs offensive and he has single-handedly driven it to the top of the standings. He is the footballer of the season. 🗝️
I bet some of you didn’t think the day for the return of the PSL would come. I was just like you. The date moved from the 18th of July, to the 1st of August, to owners apparently wanting the season to be null and void (something gives me a feeling it was one of those guys at the bottom of the table).
We finally know when local football will be back! 🎆
Yesterday The Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairman Irvin Khoza held a press conference confirming the return of domestic football in South Africa.
“This is a historic moment. At this point in time I can gladly announce that 8th of August is a definite goal for the Absa Premiership and GladAfrica Championship.
“We are resuming on the 8th of August. The first games will be the Nedbank Cup semi-finals, and the last game will be the Nedbank Cup final.
“It’s all systems go.”
The official return date is scheduled for Saturday, 8 August with the Nedbank Cup semi-finals between Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits. The Absa Premiership will return three days later with a midweek game on Tuesday, 11 August.
It is said the association looks to complete the 2019/20 season by Saturday, 5 September. Games are expected to play every three days for the league to reach the target date. But, Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits still have three more games to play than everybody else. We’ll just have see how they work that out.
Stay tuned for more updates and opinions from the ZoBo Blog!!