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A proudly South African blog about all things sport. From surfing to football to rugby to hockey, my thoughts are shared on all of these and more!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The PSL Half Time JABU Report Cards

As the PSL passed its half way stage last week, I felt it would be a great time to give feedback on the performances on the teams so far. I have taken into account what was expected of them and of course their own ambitions in coming to my rating for the first half of the season, I have also excluded the weekend fixtures as that is not quite halfway yet. Listed in league order here are "The JABU Report Cards":

1. Sundowns (31 Points) B+

Sundowns looked for all means and purposes to be running away with the league title, but a blip on the radar has brought the mean from Chloorkop back within touching distance of Chiefs and Pirates. Sundowns have picked up just 4pts from the last 12 available, but what would hurt the most was losing to Chiefs. I still think they are favourites to win, but having twice gone this year to watch them and both times they've lost, well that just means I'll have to go to Attrigeville more often!

JABU prediction: 3rd

2. Chiefs (29 points) B

Kaizer Chiefs are an exciting team, but infuriating team at the end of the day. I have supported the Amakhosi since I was a lightie that played in the same position as 16-Valve. We have beaten Sundowns, Pirates and Supersport, but suffered losses to Ajax, Vasco, Free State Stars and Santos. I feel coach VV has us best poised to win the league since 2005, but we need to take all the games seriously and not focus all our efforts on the big games. The season so far has also been remarkable for the emergence of Knowledge Musona who leads the goal scoring charts.

JABU Prediction: 1st

3. Pirates (29 points) B+

From 8th in 2008, 2nd in 2009 and 5th in 2010, Pirates have never finished outside the top 8 in the 14 year PSL history. They are always there and thereabouts. They have twice been stung by Kaizer Chiefs (once in the cup final!) but were also very good in beating Sundowns at Sundowns (A game I attended). Their biggest frustration will probably be the loss to Black Aces coupled with the hidings given to them by the Amakhosi, they draw too much. A good team, but never great. They drop from an A to B as a result of that humiliation.

JABU Prediction: 2nd

4. Ajax Cape Town (27 points) - A

Under the guidance of Dutchman Foppe de Haan, Ajax have looked a fine side this season. They finished 7th in each of the last two seasons and were only a very distant outside threat this season. However with victories against Kaizer Chiefs (in the game of the season so far) and getting three points against all the "lesser" teams, Ajax have found themselves right up top of the pile. They are vulnerable in the big games shown in losses to Pirates and Sundowns and a draw to Supersport, but they will push all the way to the end of the season.

JABU Prediction: 6th

5. Santos (25 points) B+

These guys are entertainingly good at times. Twice finishing in the top 4 in the last three seasons I think they are capable of it again. They got a moral boosting away draw in the Cape derby against Ajax and beat Kaizer Chiefs in Joburg as well as beat Supersport. There problem is much the same as Fulham in England (except for being 5th) in that they draw too many games. Draws against Maritzburg, Amazulu and Swallows are games they should have won and would have put them top! The Peoples Team have what it takes to push the bigger teams all the way.

JABU Prediction: 4th

6. Bloem Celtic (25 points) B

Phunya Sele Sele, the team with the greatest supporters in South Africa. I was privileged enough to watch a Confed Cup game there in 2009 and was amazed by the supporters. They are truly great. Bloem Celtic have of course rewarded those supporters by remaining undefeated in their 8 home games so far this season. I like this team and I hate it when Amakhosi have to play them.

JABU Prediction 5th

7. Golden Arrows (22 points) B-

Lamontville Golden Arrows are an interesting team as well. They are currently the highest ranked team from Kwazulu Natal (out of 3, Amazulu and Maritzburg the others!). They have lost 5 games this season, 4 of them to teams above them (Sundowns, Chiefs, Pirates and Santos) nothing shameful in that. They were however thoroughly embarrassed by under performing Wits in a 4-1 annihilation. Apart from that they have got results where they should get results and should be able to get through to finish in the top 8 for only the 4th time in their PSL Stay

JABU Prediction: 8th

8. Platinum Stars (20 points) C

Argh.. Well its an improvement on the past 3 years when they have finished 10th, 13th and 14th respectively. Owen Da Gama is back at a club where he took them to 2nd place and won their first ever major trophy. They definately are a better team now than they have been in ages. They are not greatly entertaining though as 8 of their 15 games have ended in draws 4 of which have been 0-0. Their win against Supersport will be the highlight for them so far.

JABU Prediction: 10th

9. Free State Stars (19 points) C+

They have 7 draws of which 4 have been 0-0. I guess no team with "Stars" in the title really set the stars alight. I do like Steve Khompela but at times feel they are too obsessed with playing to not lose (a la Manchester City) than trying to win. They have shown they are capable this season with victories against Ajax and Kaizer Chiefs. But 4 wins out of 15 is not good enough!

JABU Prediction: 11th

10. Supersport United (17 points) E

The three times defending champions have been woeful this season. They were the team being spoken about to win for an unprecedented 4th time. Unfortunately they have become victims of their own success as their players became under demand and looking for new challenges. They havent replaced Dane Klate yet and dont look like the same force during set pieces. The loss of Bongani Khumalo was huge, but at last Supersport are starting to look better defensively. The brilliant Morgan Gould seems to be a lot happier with experienced former Arminia Bielefield goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez behind him. They might not be expected to win the league, but you can bet they will have a say in where the league title goes.

JABU Prediction: 7th

11. Vasco da Gama (17 points) B

Are they the fairytale side? Simply answered, Yes. They have been a breath of fresh air who play exciting attacking football. They looked for certain to be pushing for top 8 in early December but since then a run of 3 draws and two losses has set them back. I predicted that they would be the whipping boys of the PSL this season, but have been pleasantly surprised by them. Their highlight will definately be the 3-2 victory over Kaizer Chiefs on the 27th Nov.

JABU Prediction: 9th

12. Bidvest Wits (16 points) E

They beat Sundowns, Arrows, Free State Stars and Supersport showing just how good they can be. But the Clever Boys have also lost to Swallows, Maritzburg and Vasco. Roger da Sa recently admitted that morale was at an all time low in the camp. Something needs to come right at Wits and Im not sure what it is. They are really poor right now and could easily be pulled towards the lure of the relegation zone.

JABU Prediction: 13th

13. Maritzburg United (16 points) D

They were my other picks for relegation this season and I think they still are. The men who ply their trade at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg have flattered to deceive this season. And rather than their own brilliance I think it is down to their oppositions inability to punish. They have the second worst defensive record in the league. However they also hold the shock of season so far with their 3-0 dismantling of Ajax.

JABU Prediction: 15th

14. Amazulu (15 points) D

If you want entertainment, go to an Amazulu game. There 15 games so far have produced 49 goals so far, at an average of more than 3 goals a game. I was at their stunning last minute victory against Sundowns, and it almost seems with them that there is a goal in the game at any point. They got rid of Neil Tovey but on their day they can back 4 past anyone. The problem they have is they will probably concede four too!

JABU Prediction 12th

15. Moroka Swallows (11 points) F-

The biggest dissappointment in the league is cleverly disguised by two wins in a row. Legendary Gordon Igesund has brought a sense of normality back to preceedings for the 3rd biggest club in Soweto. They should come back from this but will they ever live down the fact that their first win was their 14th game. Its a real pity because its always good having an extra Soweto derby in the calendar.

JABU Prediction 14th

16. Black Aces (5 points) - F

They are one of the worst the premier league has ever seen. On Robert Marawa live on Thursday night the assistant coach said they are putting up to 17 players on transfer. This just 6 months after 15 players were purchased. Its ridiculous and I can only see one way for them. Thats Down. Sorry Black Aces fans. If there are any.

JABU Prediction: 16th only because they cant go lower.

There you have it. The All things Jabu report card. Now as promised I have 4 tickets to Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates at soccer city up for grabs. The first person to correctly tell me on my twitter account who is the top league scorer will win the tickets. Of course all other costs are yours and the judges decision is final and any other legal babble that goes with competitions.

Click here for my twitter account

Until next time


1 comment:

  1. Sundowns will still win. Don't come with you're Glamour boys ridiculously winning the league sigh... You'll be in Attridgeville watching my boys win the league!!