THE NUMBER 10 CURSE
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.