Mamelodi Sundowns recently bowed out of the Caf Champions league and MTN8 leading many to wonder how things could have gone so bad in such a short space of time.
Sundowns are currently the defending PSL champions, but have been beside themselves this season, and Goal looks at the possible factors responsible for their slow start.
While the core of the Sundowns team remains the same, the departures of Percy Tau and Khama Billiat left a void that has undoubtedly been difficult to fill.
This is important to note as the attacking duo contributed 19 goals in Sundowns league campaign last season alone.
None of Sundowns' strikers currently look as though they will reach those kind of figures, but it all comes down to how they will eventually settle.
Jeremy Brockie in particular, certainly has a knack for goals and if he does find the back of the net consistently, Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane may not have too much to worry about.
However, while goalscoring is an issue, it is definitely not the only issue that Sundowns are currently experiencing. Tau and Billiat were not only Sundowns’ goal poachers but they were also their creative players.
While Sibusiso Vilakazi, Themba Zwane and Gaston Sirino have displayed a few moments of brilliance this season, they are yet to hit their best form where they can take the game by the scruff of the neck.
Nonetheless, these may be problems that Sundowns are currently facing, but it is by no means the end of the road for the Tshwane giants.
There comes a time at all clubs where rebuilding is necessary. Just look at some of the great African teams such as TP Mazembe and Al Ahly, who consistently lose top players and are forced to rebuild.
This is evident by looking at their defence and how they played against AmaZulu on the weekend. Their defence made some schoolboy errors to allow Usuthu to score three goals which is unusual for Sundowns.
So, while it may be frustrating to watch Sundowns struggle to find their feet right now, fans should remain patient.
It is not like Sundowns have not bolstered their squad significantly.
On paper, this is arguably the strongest Sundowns squad compared to previous years with a good balance of youth and experience, but it takes time for players to settle down at a new club,
Just the prospect alone of imagining Sundowns finally kicking into gear should send shivers down the spine of the opposition.
Also, with Sundowns having exited from two competitions already, they will have time to focus on the league.
In all fairness, Sundowns are unbeaten in the league so far. So, it is most definitely not a train smash just a mere bump in the road, and they might now have an even bigger point to prove.