Sundowns need to shake off a late-season wobble
Sundowns are still well in charge of their own destiny, but have not had the best of weeks, or indeed the best of months.
If you are looking for a player with a so-called never-die attitude, you probably won’t have to look any further than Kermit Erasmus. Picture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
This has been Mamelodi Sundowns’ most unproductive week of the season, from being knocked out of the Nedbank Cup by TTM, to drawing with title rivals AmaZulu, to going down 2-1 on Sunday at home to Kaizer Chiefs.
It’s hard to be too critical of Masandawana, given that they have had a magical campaign under coaching trio Manqoba Mngqithi, Rulani Mokwena and Steve Komphela, cruising into the Caf Champions League quarterfinals, and surging clear at the top of the DStv Premiership, well set, despite Sunday’s defeat, for a fourth league title in a row.
Having said that, cracks are starting to show, which would give the likes of Chiefs and Orlando Pirates encouragement, if they were anywhere near to Sundowns in the title race. AmaZulu, the in-form team in the country, are the ones who are best equipped to benefit right now, if Sundowns were to fall apart.
The Tshwane giants have been wobbling a little for a while now, in truth, with just three wins in their last nine matches in all competitions, even if that does include a couple of dead Champions League rubbers, and even if in that time they also gave Pirates a 4-1 thwacking in the Nedbank Cup.
It would be entirely understandable if tiredness has set in at Sundowns, too, with Mngqithi and co not always too keen to mix-up the team, perhaps over-cautious with such a huge and vastly-talented squad.
It may be time for Sundowns to try and freshen up ahead of another tricky week, that sees them take on third-placed Golden Arrows on Wednesday, and Orlando Pirates on Sunday.
Lose those games, and the chasing pack really will have reason to smell blood.