CHIEFS VRIES FOR A MOMENT… DOWNS POUNCE!
Nompumelelo “Mpumi” Nyandeni - Banyana Banyana midfielder
Over the past weekend, Kaizer Chiefs controlled and dictated terms in most parts of the game against Mamelodi Sundowns. We also created most chances, which is a positive for us. However, we failed to convert them. For the first goal that we conceded, our defence and the goalkeeper (Virgil Vries) should have done better. We put on a good fight and equalised. The problem started when Willard Katsande pulled his hamstring and had to be substituted. Downs were then able to go on one-on-one situations because our defence was not properly shielded. Again, our keeper made a blunder when he misjudged the bounce of the ball that came from a cross from Lyle Lakay and we conceded the second goal. I have forgiven the fact that Pitso Mosimane is the only one allowed to park the bus as per his rants. Very early in the second half he replaced all his strikers with midfielders, making his engine very compact and, as if that was not enough of defensive ingenuity, he brought defender Motjeka Madisha on to the party. I’m not saying there is something wrong with that, but when the same approach is implemented against him, he cries foul. Nevertheless, I am only trying to pick up the positives from my team, but I don’t see Godfrey Walusimbi improving anytime soon. This dude seems confused and I don’t see him playing for Ernst Middendorp again. Siyabonga Nkalambela, KwaDukathole Lady Frere Only Kaizer Chiefs players know why they did not win the game on Saturday. They did everything right in the first half. I think the problem came because of those two substitutions of Hendrick Ekstein and Godfrey Walusimbi, who were replaced by Teenage Hadebe and Bernard Parker. I believe that killed the initial game plan, which was going to work like a charm. Parker is just a passenger and that’s just my honest view. Please let him go or send him on loan. Anyway, there had to be a winner and, unfortunately, it was not Amakhosi. Virgil Vries, sorry for your misjudgement. It happens. Just rectify a few mistakes and then you will be number one. Lastly, Chiefs’ backline must stop their unnecessary back passes as that will cause damage one of these days. Lebatlo Joshua Mati Dilopye, Temba Great start by Mamelodi Sundowns by putting Kaizer Chiefs under pressure. After Pitso Mosimane’s charges scored, the Glamour Boys started to pick up the pieces and take the game to Downs and they responded well with an equaliser. In my opinion, Sundowns struggled to play their free-flowing game as Gaston Sirino was marked tight. Willard Katsande’s goal showed that the Chloorkop-based side were disjointed as they failed on many occasions to defend set pieces. Chiefs had a lot of chances and they failed to convert them and made too many passes in the third half. The injury to Katsande was a big blow for the team and I thought the coach would bring on Siphelele Ntshangase to partner George Maluleka to stabilise the midfield as well as Kabelo Mahlasela as an attacking player. Virgil Vries made an expensive mistake and he should have done better in that situation. That mistake will haunt him for a long time. Anyway, Happy New Year to all family in our beautiful game! Madimetja Vic Mashamaite, Renstown Kaizer Chiefs played good football on Saturday and a productive one at that. From the first minute, Virgil Vries was a suspect. Chiefs without Itumeleng Khune are like tea without sugar. Let’s give Ernst Middendorp a chance and we will see what happens as the season progresses. E.S Matlala, Rethbiseng Happy belated birthday to the Khosi family even though we could not celebrate the way we wanted to due to the unfortunate loss. Virgil Vries made a terrible blunder of misjudging a ball, but I urge our fans to please forgive him. He has always done well when deputising for Mzansi’s finest, Itumeleng Khune. Now that it is confirmed that Itu’s season is over, we need Vries desperately. Overall, we played far better than inthose two losses that we suffered against Orlando Pirates and we could have wrapped the game in the second half had we converted our chances. Kabelo Mahlasela must learn to take responsibility inside the box and not pass unnecessarily when he has a good opportunity to score. Our players must just ensure that they put smiles back on our faces by winning the CAF Confederation Cup. Lastly, compliments to everyone associated with this priceless and glorious newspaper.
Amos Tshukudu, Ga Maria I watched the Kaizer Chiefs v Mamelodi Sundowns match with keen interest and I must confess that Anthony Laffor is a marvel to watch. I urge coach Pitso Mosimane to call the boy aside and iron out all their differences in an acceptable way, like the gentlemen they are, for the sake of the Masandawana faithful. Laffor deserves better and, with regular game-time, he will regain his confidence. Laffor is a raw talent. I don’t mean to single out one player, but looking at Lebohang Maboe’s performances, I must point out that he made all Sundowns haters eat humble pie. Many things were said and written about him joining the Chloorkop-based club. Some said his move to Sundowns was career suicide. I wonder what they are saying now because Lebo is now playing week in and week out. Keep up the good work, young man. Tente Mokoka, Sepharane There is no way Kaizer Chiefs will redeem their pride. We as supporters are just being fooled by the Motaung family who are starting to recycle coaches who failed at the club. The only coach who was successful even after being recycled was the late Jeff Butler who was fired by the club after he had an argument with the then NSL when he refused to pay the R10 000 fine after telling the truth. He said, “I’m not worried about the organisation that doesn’t care about football from grassroots but worried about building big stadiums that will stay empty because people will never get to watch mediocre soccer.” Go figure. Amos Motloding, Jamela Village The Kaizer Chiefs that played against Mamelodi Sundowns is a well-oiled and menacing machine under the tutelage of the shrewd coach, Ernst Middendorp. They were supposed to kill the game in the first half when it was evident their opponents were still on a Christmas break. The lack of regular players in the right back position and the absence of Itumeleng Khune through injury did not help matters but instead forced the coach to improvise, which he did consummately, only to be let down by the injury to Katsande. That opened the floodgates for Downs to attack fearlessly. Mamatonyane Maila, via email Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Virgil Vries made a big blunder on Saturday when he misjudged the ball when we lost 2-1 against defending league champions Mamelodi Sundowns, but it’s like we sometimes forget that even the best keepers in the world have made big mistakes which cost their clubs big games. Vries is an experienced goalkeeper. He is Namibia’s number one shot-stopper and I think he made the right choice when signing for Amakhosi. As Chiefs supporters, we need to lift his spirits and stop making him a scapegoat for our team’s loss to the Brazilians. Our players failed to score enough goals for us to get maximum points on the day and let’s make peace with it. Hard luck, Khosi. Maybe our players will start to score more goals in the remaining games as they saw that one goal is not enough. Nemusunda Mmboniseni, Thabo Mbeki Village Mr Pitso Mosimane will remain the best coach in Mzansi and in Africa as a whole. The guy just knows how to make us Yellow supporters happy. Slowly but surely, he is going to the top of the Absa Premiership while others are still battling for a spot in the Top 8. We love and honour you, Mr Jingles! Roger Stemele, Alice
Great game and great atmosphere by both Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns. Even though Chiefs had good chances to finish the game, the experience of Sundowns came to the fore in the end. Looking at how both teams scored their goals, it seems that this game was characterised by a lot of mistakes. It’s a welcome three points for Pitso Mosimane and his charges. I’m glad that we are picking up points before the busy schedule comes around. Hard luck, Mazinyo.com. Terah Maqepula, Mount Fletcher Losing the game against Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday was a bitter pill to swallow. Not that Downs didn’t deserve to beat us, but it is the manner in which we conceded the second goal that made me sleep on an empty stomach as I lost appetite for food. Virgil Vries must know that he is now playing for one of the biggest teams in the country where there is little or no room for such errors. But I am not going be too hard on him since he’s not used to playing in games of such magnitude as Itumeleng Khune is always between the sticks in games like these. What a lucky escape for Sundowns, but congratulations nonetheless. As for Kaizer Chiefs, let’s rally behind the team as we can see that now we have structure and the team is starting to play with purpose. Makhado Nemalili, via email Congratulations to Mamelodi Sundowns for grinding out their three points against Kaizer Chiefs. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to open the second half of the season than at the expense of Amakhosi. I would also like to show my gratitude to the Sun- downs supporters who matched the Amakhosi faithful pound for pound in terms of bums on seats. It was a difficult game for Sundowns despite scoring early in the game, while it seemed that Amakhosi were still in Christmas mood. Ernst Middendorp’s charges piled on pressure after pressure, but they were unlucky not to convert the chances created. Downs absorbed the pressure very well. Hlompho Kekana and Tiyani Mabunda’s combination and Champions League experience in the middle of the park showed big time. Pitso Mosimane is a master tactician – he can read the game very well. The 2-1 scoreline was a true reflection of the game because you only win games with goals being scored not ball possession and crowd cheering. Chiefs players must play as a unit, especially Khama Billiat. Aphane JM Libangeni, Vaalbank, KwaNdebele BUCS ESCAPE FROM THE JAWS OF THE LIONS OF THE NORTH The Buccaneers dropped another two valuable points in their league encounter against Highlands Park on Saturday night, but goodness me, what a thrilling game of football! I was not happy with the result because I thought we would go for a win and put pressure on the runaway log leaders (Bidvest Wits), but we failed. Having said that, I was happy with the performance of the boys on the night. If we could fix our goalkeeping department, then I don’t see any team stopping us from marching to the Promise Land and collecting the Absa Premiership title come May. Bongani Mgubela, Diepkloof Coach Micho, take it easy! As an ardent diehard Orlando Pirates fan, l am getting very worried before we even conquer our African expedition. Don’t change what is not broken. Don’t scratch where it ain’t itching, pal. Why is our technical team changing the line-up in each and every single game? Is it in this way that we will get consistency? Never!I suppose it is still too early to push panic buttons. We are behind our team all the way. All we need to do is to close the leaks at the back. There have been too many erratic, schoolboy and childish mistakes in this department. Once a Pirate, always… McDivett ‘Big Mac’ Khumbulani Tshehla, Halfway House Are we about to see the fall of Orlando Pirates? It seems all teams know how to play against Pirates and they have learned how to stop them. Bucs have good players but a questionable technical team. It seems like they don’t have plan B. They stick to one playing pattern even if it’s not working. Sometimes you grind the results for the sake of progression and confidence. At Pirates, they stick to the technical side of their game and forget about the tactical side of it. I believe that if they can get rid of Rhulani Mokwena, then we will see the best of Micho. Terah Maqepula, Mount Fletcher MEANWHILE, THINGS ARE HOTTING UP IN ENGLAND… Although Liverpool stumbled when they crossed paths with Manchester City last week, I still stick to my guns and think that the Jurgen Klopp-led side are unstoppable in the English Premier League at the moment. They destroy everything in front of them and I don’t see any team, including the Pep Guardiola-led City, derailing this Express train. I know that there is still a long way to go before the season is wrapped up but in my opinion, it would be safe to declare them champions-elect. You Will Never Walk Alone! Bongani Mgubela, Diepkloof A ‘one game at a time’ approach will be very crucial for Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool team as they are on the verge of being crowned EPL champions this season. Focus and consistency are key. I’m worried though, as I would not want to see a repeat of the same mistake that they did under then manager, Brendan Rodgers, letting it slip through their fingers at the last minute. Phumzile ‘DVD’ Ngwane, Thokoza For a long time in the EPL, I have never had a number one team that I have supported. I used to be torn between Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke’s Man United team and Dennis Bergkamp’s, Nwankwo Kanu’s and Thierry Henry’s Arsenal. I must also confess that the emergence of Man City changed that a bit because for a long time
there was no real Man United title challenger. I have followed teams that were doing well in that particular season, like when Leicester City won the league. Now this season I have a soft spot for Liverpool. It was bittersweet results for me when Wolverhampton beat Man City 3-1 and when Man City beat Liverpool 2-1 recently. Now the points gap has been reduced greatly. With the Pep Guardiola-led club’s ability and capability to bounce back, Liverpool could yet again be left with broken hearts like when they narrowly missed out the title at the feet of the very same team in the 2013/14 season under Brendan Rodgers. Jürgen Klopp deserves something for his effort as he has built a formidable team. Lucky Khunou, Meriting We have enjoyed a glorious welcome into 2019 by watching the epic clash of football giants, Manchester City and Liverpool FC. The title race is now wide open after the high-pressing City team subdued the stubborn Liverpool. Although the generally consensus is that the title race is between the Citizens and the Reds from Anfield, it would however be amiss to rule Tottenham out of it. The dramatic resilience of Spurs is a great threat to both clubs in first and second position. Mauricio Pochettino is doing an excellent job as he is driving an ordinary team to extraordinary achievements. Pochettino has moulded a team with a low budget to compete against big-spending clubs. Tottenham has become the highest-scoring team in England because of Pochettino’s managerial skills. Hats off to him. Batsirai Kativu, Johannesburg
Good start for Steve Komphela at Golden Arrows. Muhsin Ertugral, you are not going to have it any easier there at Maritzburg United considering how the performance of the players has dropped this season. Chippa United, ha, ha, ha, you deserve what is coming to you, but I do feel for the players because they don’t deserve this. Unfortunately,
they have to pay the price for the work that has been done by their owner. Looking at Highlands Park, Owen da Gama and his boys are a tough nut to crack and you can go and ask Orlando Pirates who were fortunate enough to walk away with a point on the evening. Siyabonga Nkalambela, kwaDukathole Lady Frere Let me take this opportunity to congratulate Black Leopards for winning backto-back Limpopo derbies against Baroka FC. Lidoda Duvha made their intentions clear from the word go and Bakgaga Ba Ga Mphahlele were still sleeping. It was a game of two halves though, and Wedson Nyirenda’s boys came out strongly in the second stanza. They gave Leopards a lot of space in the first half and didn’t defend well, which was their letdown. My word of advice to their technical team is that they must prioritise all their games and not target only the so-called big scalps. If they don’t wake up now, they will regret it later. Madimetja Vic Mashamaite, Renstown I don’t want sound xenophobic, but our foreign coaches never allow our dribbling wizards to express themselves on the field of play and that’s the main reason why we don’t go to stadiums anymore. There’s no entertainment. I am an Orlando Pirates fan, but given a chance and when time allowed, l would go and watch any soccer match as long as there would be shibobos and tsamayas, which is our football culture from the era of Doctor ‘16V’ Khumalo, Zane ‘Kula’ Moosa, our own Ernest ‘Botsotso’ Makhanya, Thabiso ‘Skapie’ Malatsi, Scara Ngobese, Mark Mayambela, Thabo Qalinge, Thabo Rakhale, Junaid Hartley…oh so endless is the list. That is all we need (entertainment), or am l asking for too much? McDivett ‘Big Mac’ Khumbulani, Tshehla, Halfway House