Monday Column: Balance of power has shifted
Posted: 4 December 2017 Time: 13:00
KickOff.com editor Tshepang Mailwane believes it's good that there is a shift in power, with 'The Big Three' struggling to get their hands on knockout competition trophies.
Football in South Africa has changed. It’s no longer about the big three teams of Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.
The balance of power has shifted. Gone are the days when you’d see one of the giants lifting a trophy every season. Now they are finding it difficult to win knockout competitions while the likes of SuperSport United and Bidvest Wits get their hands on titles.
You’d just have to look at the cup finals in the last two-and-a-half seasons to see how much of a change there has been in PSL football. Not since 2015 has one of the big three clubs won a knockout competition, when Sundowns beat Chiefs in the Telkom Knockout final in Durban.
Pirates were the last of the big three clubs to play in a knockout competition final, but they were on the losing side in the Nedbank Cup decider played in Durban in June this year. On that night, Pirates did not resemble a big team as they were outclassed by a rampant SuperSport side coached by Stuart Baxter at the time.
Let’s go back a bit to see how football has changed.
In 2015/2016, Ajax Cape Town won the MTN8, Sundowns won the Telkom Knockout and SuperSport got their hands on the Nedbank Cup title.
Last season, Wits claimed the MTN8, Cape Town City were crowned Telkom Knockout champions and SuperSport claimed the Nedbank Cup.
This season we’ve already had two knockout competitions. SuperSport and Cape Town City were involved in a MTN8 showdown while Wits and Bloemfontein Celtic met in the Telkom Knockout over the weekend. The big three clubs have not featured in any of the finals this term and there’s one more knockout competition left for them to win.
While many of those who support the big three are likely to disagree, it's great that the local league is not predictable and different clubs get to celebrate having silverware in their cabinets. It gives many of the other clubs that are yet to taste victory hope that they too can one day get their hands on the trophies on offer in local football.
The balance of power has shifted and supporters of the big three clubs will probably have to wait a while before they see their clubs winning another knockout competition.