2017/18 Season review: Chippa United
Posted: 17 June 2018 Time: 16:00
With the 2017/18 season officially over, KickOff.com looks back at each club’s campaign over the past year, reviewing their relative success, failures and where improvement is needed.
Here’s our analysis of Port Elizabeth-based Chippa United.
In typical Chippa fashion, two losses and a win in the first three games of the season saw Dan Malesela relieved of his duties, and Teboho Moloi was once again recruited to change the club’s fortunes.
And that he did, going 10 matches unbeaten as the Chilli Boys ended 2017 in a respectable sixth place. Yet constant changes in playing personnel, including the January exits of Diamond Thopola, Menzi Masuku, Samuel Julies and Moeketsi Sekola didn’t help matters, with one win in just eight games since the turn of the year resulting in a coaching changes as well, as Vladislav Heric was brought in to replace Moloi and see out the season.
Heric lost just one of the eight league matches he oversaw as Chippa crossed the finishing line in 10th with 37 points on the board, nine points more and three places higher than last season’s 13th-place finish.
The Chilli Boys provided one of the shocks of the tournament as they ousted giants Mamelodi Sundowns in the Last 16 of the 2017 Telkom Knockout, yet came unstuck in the next round, going down 1-0 to Kaizer Chiefs.
Their Nedbank Cup run began with a routine 2-0 victory over minnows Phiva Young Stars, before going down 2-1 in the Last 16 to eventual champions Free State Stars.
Chippa took the least shots on goal per match of any team in the PSL, taking on average 9.8 shots at goal per match, while scoring just seven goals in the first half of this season – again the lowest tally in the PSL.
On the flip side, the Chilli Boys made the fourth-highest number of passes, on average, per game (473), won the highest percentage of ground duels (52.9%) and suffered the most number of fouls (15.5) per game of all 16 teams in the league.
Areas of improvement
It’s once again a question of consistency for Chippa United. Linda Mntambo, Paseka Mako and Abel Mabaso are all already confirmed exits, meaning another new-look side at the start of the campaign. Thabo Nthethe will provide a cool and experienced head at the back, but as with most other PSL clubs, it’s at the other end where they will need a boost: top scorer Mntambo, who scored just five goals, has left, and 27 goals in 30 games along with the least number of shots at goal is something Malesela – back for yet another stint at the helm – will need to rectify.