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No PSL title since 2010: Where are SuperSport United getting it wrong?

14:48 EAT 31/07/2019
Kaitano Tembo SuperSport United - July 2019
It's been nine years since Matsatsantsa last lifted the PSL title, what has gone wrong?

SuperSport United are set to begin their 2019/20 Premier Soccer League (PSL) campaign on Saturday against rivals Mamelodi Sundowns with great optimism.  

While the Tshwane giants have won several cups in recent years, their last PSL triumph came back in 2010.

Until today, the tenure of Gavin Hunt at the helm - which saw SuperSport win three back-to-back titles - remains their only domestic league triumphs.

Since then the club have been chopping and changing coaches in the hope of rediscovering their verve and finding the ideal formula in order to bring back glory to the club.

But things are looking up after the club kept faith in their longest-serving member Kaitano Tembo as their head coach, and Matsatsantsa will be hoping this might be the year where they finally lift the PSL title once again.

However, there are many questions being asked about the reasons behind the decline in fortunes.

SuperSport overtaken by Sundowns

Since that accomplishment back in 2010, there has been a change in mindset, but not so much for SuperSport.

As the popular saying goes, football waits for no one and following the appointment of a familiar face in coach Pitso Mosimane as head coach of Sundowns, SuperSport’s rivals have grown in leaps and bounds.

They have also exerted their financial muscle on SuperSport, raiding the club of some of their top players.

This has perhaps been the biggest setback for SuperSport considering the talent the club once had on their books.

Players such as Jeremy Brockie, Anthony Laffor and Tebogo Langerman were once some of SuperSport’s most influential players, but their departures have only seen Sundowns grow in abundance while they have stagnated.

A lack of identity

With the appointment of several coaches following the departure of Hunt, understandably, the club suffered an identity crisis.

Although the club have never been one of the more glamorous ones in South African football, they were known for playing effective, results-driven football.

This has seen them go through many phases and experiments as they looked to alter their approach.

Another important factor to understand is their over-reliance on experience, as well as the tendency to sign players who were surplus to the club’s current requirements.

Prior to Tembo’s appointment, SuperSport relied heavily on the experienced troops despite exciting talent coming from their academy.

Teboho Mokoena and Sipho Mbule have both come through the ranks, with the former slowly making a name for himself. But there have still been times where more experienced players have been favoured over the younger players.

Nonetheless, there does seem to be a considerable shift in paradigm this season.

The club have parted ways with Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Morgan Gould - two experienced campaigners and have opted for slightly younger players.  

This could be due to Tembo looking to assert his footprint on the team.

Having been in charge of SuperSport for a full season and being given the stamp of approval, he has a better understanding of his team and can afford to play his cards, and this could potentially be what the club needs - stability and consistency.