A candid Siphiwe Tshabalala offered the best description of what has been an inconsistent season marred by too many draws.
The Kaizer Chiefs’ midfielder said that the league has been kind to them and many other teams who have dropped points but still kept their place in the leading pack.
Baroka FC went on a four-match winless run yet they still kept their place at the summit before Mamelodi Sundowns replaced them with a 4-0 thumping.
Only five teams have won more matches than they have drawn which has seen a win give clubs a big jump in the Absa Premiership standings. Amakhosi are third yet they have won just one match in their last six games.
“Since I started playing professionally in the PSL (in 2004), I don’t recall this happening,” Tshabalala said.
“I think that the league has been kind to a lot of teams, including us whereby we drop points yet we still aren’t far from the log leaders. But that’s something that will change soon. There are teams that once the heat is on and consistency is demanded from them, they’ll be in danger (and they will fall out of the race).
“The current log tells you that consistency is key and consistency has been a challenge for most teams. We just have to focus on ourselves and get as many points as we can. Consistency is something that we need to work on next year.
“There’s isn’t much time to work on that because next year is next month, and there are big games coming in January.”
Mamelodi Sundowns have a semblance of consistency, which is why they find themselves at the summit. The Brazilians have been picking up momentum by winning their last three matches.
The reason for this inconsistent season is due to a number of factors.
Cavin Johnson argued that it’s because of how conservative many teams are, playing not to lose rather than going for a win.
Sundowns’ coach Pitso Mosimane said that the situation will be even worse next year as clubs will be fighting for survival and honours in the second round of the season.
Another reason for this inconsistent season is that our teams tend to get easily carried away. Chippa United beat Kaizer Chiefs to move from seventh place to second. That result moved Chippa Mpengesi so much that he decided to give Teboho Moloi the job permanently.
It was a good decision on Mpengesi’s part as Moloi has done a good job with the Port Elizabeth-based side.
But that’s not a decision that should be based on one match.
The Chilli Boys were rudely brought back to earth by a struggling Ajax Cape Town in the following match. Chippa hadn’t turned into a bad team overnight. They just got carried away by the win over Chiefs, which led to complacency.
Complacency is the devil that sees many clubs struggle for consistency.
The current standings give a number of clubs false hope into thinking they are something that they aren’t which means that they relax, thinking that they are on the right track.
Our clubs need to strive for higher levels of excellence rather than be easily satisfied as there is always a bigger challenge.
Bidvest Wits find themselves at the bottom of the log after winning the league last season due to that problem. The Clever Boys are satisfied now that they have made history by winning the championship for the first time in the club’s history.
But there are bigger things on offer like the Caf Champions League and representing Africa in the Fifa Club World Cup which should push them. That hasn’t been the case.
What has amplified this inconsistent season is the number of dull draws that we have witnessed in this campaign.
It would have been easier to accept the current standings had this been out of strong competition due to the playing field being levelled. That’s not the case.
Clubs just get too easily satisfied. It shows in how we view cups that offer instant satisfaction.
A number of teams tend to struggle after winning these cups because they have “made” it. That attitude needs to change if clubs are going to build dynasties that conquer the country and possibly the continent for a long time.
With the Brazilians slowly setting the pace, maybe that could be the motivation clubs need to start being consistent as the Tshwane side can be hard to catch once they get going.