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Mamelodi Sundowns

COMMENT: Are Sundowns where they are supposed to be?

12:00 SAST 2018/12/24
Sundowns celebrate Tshwane Derby win over SuperSport United, December 2, 2018
Goal looks back Masandawana's start to the PSL season and whether or not they should be happy with the position they find themselves in

Mamelodi Sundowns ended 2018 in fifth position on the Premier Soccer League (PSL) standings, but is this where the defending champions would have hoped to be at the midway point in the season?

Masandawana coach Pitso Mosimane has certainly built a squad to be reckoned with and their dominance has displayed itself on the continent as they brushed aside their opponents and rather comfortably reached the Caf Champions League group stages.

However, it is on the domestic front where the Tshwane giants have not been entirely convincing.

While there have been times where Sundowns’ class has shone through, for the most part, they have failed to really set the South African local domestic scene alight this season. But let’s not forget that Sundowns are still unbeaten in 25 league matches, last losing against Orlando Pirates back in January.

This is a formidable statistic considering that Sundowns appear to have not moved out of first gear yet. They have also allotted 22 points, winning five games and drawing seven, but the gap between Sundowns and log leaders Bidvest Wits is eight points.

This would be worrying for most but in actual fact for Sundowns, it perhaps has them in a pretty convenient position.

Sometimes being the pacesetters is not always the easiest and playing the waiting game is a better option. This is why Sundowns’ position sets them up for a calculated assault on the log leaders.  

With three games in hand, Sundowns have an opportunity to grab the maximum nine points. This will immediately put Sundowns back in the running.

Although, games in hand are not necessarily points in the bag, a Sundowns team with such talent are unlikely to take their foot off the accelerator. They have shown signs of what they are capable of and as their new signings continue to acclimatise themselves with life at Chloorkop that only bodes well for Sundowns.   

Mosimane would have hoped for a fast start to the season and maybe a cup or two. But after failing to win the MTN8 and the Telkom Knockout, he would have been rather disappointed with his start to the season.

This though is by no means is a train smash as the 54-year-old has consistently stated the need to prioritise some trophies such as the Champions League and the PSL. So, he might not be too disappointed with his club’s position on the log currently.  

At the end of the day, it’s not about how you start but rather how you finish and Sundowns have epitomised that of recent times.

Their only cause for concern is their league form at home. Sundowns need to make Loftus Versfeld Stadium their slaughterhouse. Since the beginning of the campaign, they have won just one game at home, that is not good enough for a side of Sundowns’ calibre.

Nonetheless, while there is still a lot of work to be done by Mosimane and troops on their return from the festive season, the future looks promising, and clubs such as Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Wits should be wary as Sundowns are waiting to pounce.