THE NUM­BER 10 CURSE

Kick Off - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

Siphelele Nt­shangase has been handed the world-fa­mous jersey num­ber 10 at Kaizer Chiefs this sea­son after wear­ing num­ber five over his first six months at the club. It is a jersey that hasn’t been worn with great suc­cess in re­cent times de­spite be­ing given to mid­field­ers who were ex­pected to pro­vide the much-needed creative spark in mid­field. So much was ex­pected of Keagan Buchanan when he was handed the very same jersey, but he left hav­ing failed to shine after spend­ing more time in the stands than on the field. Be­fore him was Mthokozisi Yende who also didn’t reach the heights that were ex­pected of him in his three years at Na­turena. Prior to that, Michael Nkam­bule turned out to be a dis­ap­point­ment as well, while Siyabonga Nkosi oc­ca­sion­ally did the shirt jus­tice in his first spell be­fore mov­ing abroad, but upon his re­turn for his sec­ond stint, he had dra­mat­i­cally slowed down. Zam­bian im­port Songwe Chalwe was not a bad foot­baller, but also didn’t ful­fil the ex­pec­ta­tions that pre­cedes a foot­baller who is handed the iconic num­ber 10 shirt. Stan­ton Fred­er­icks will have rea­son to feel he has been the best per­former wear­ing jersey num­ber 10 in this mil­len­nium, hav­ing done enough to earn a move to Rus­sia after his time with Amakhosi. It now re­mains to be seen whether or not Nt­shangase can make the jersey great again in the same way stal­wart Ab­sa­lom Scara Thindwa did.

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