by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – IT is early days in the DStv Premiership yet a number of coaches are already skating on thin ice.
This spells doom for the mentors in this league with a reputation for trigger-happy club owners.
It was inconceivable ahead of the new campaign that Eric Tinkler’s Cape Town City would be sitting at the bottom of the 16-team standings.
The Citizens, who finished second last season, find themselves in unfamiliar territory after a dreadful start consisting of three successive losses.
A 1-2 defeat at AmaZulu is the latest in a series of setbacks constituting a crisis.
City have the ignominy of being the only side yet to register a point.
After shipping in seven goals already, it is certain where their biggest problem lies.
SuperSport United are also without a win and in an unfamiliar 14th as Gavin Hunt’s second stint at the helm gets off to an anticlimax for the Pretoria-based side.
A 2-0 loss at TS Galaxy has exacerbated matters for the four-time league championship winner.
With his first stint producing a hat-trick of titles, Hunt’s return was anticipated to revive the glory days for the side from the capital city after they only squeezed into the top eight on the last day of the previous campaign.
His return coming on the back of forgettable campaigns at Chippa United and Kaizer Chiefs, Hunt’s star seems to be waning.
Also winless, Golden Arrows and Maritzburg United are two other sides dicing with danger early into the season.
After guiding Royal AM to a credible third last season, coach John Maduka is yet to work his magic at Maritzburg, who are 13th.
Arrows, who retained faith in co-coaches, Mabhuti Khenyeza and Vusumuzi Vilakazi, are languishing in second-bottom in what is shaping up to be another underwhelming campaign.
Meanwhile, by demolishing Chiefs on Saturday, Sundowns have sent an emphatic statement to the pretenders to their crown. Hotshot striker, Peter Shalulile, also issued a warning of another torturous season for opposition defences.
Coach Arthur Zwane’s Chiefs had come to Loftus Versfeld with their tails up following a 3-0 midweek victory over Maritzburg, more so with Downs having gone down to Galaxy also in midweek but left with those tails between their legs after a 4-0 thumping.
The result widened the gulf that has been evident over the past seven years, when Chiefs last won a major trophy and Sundowns has clinched every title on offer.
The champions are fourth and Chiefs 12th.
If inconsistent Orlando Pirates’ latest stumble, a 0-1 loss at home to Chippa, is anything to go by, fans of the two iconic Soweto sides are in for another agonising campaign.
New coach, Jose Riviero, must find a solution to Pirates nonstop failure to deal with set pieces, lest inconsistency blights another season for The Buccaneers, who are eighth.
Conversely, the result in Orlando eased the pressure on Chippa coach, Daine Klate, and lifted his side to tenth.
Caoch Pitso Dladla’s rookies, Richards Bay, and Galaxy deserve mention for leading the standings, with seven points apiece, alongside AmaZulu.
The newcomers from the KwaZulu-Natal have responded to being the bookmakers’ favourites for relegation by beating Golden Arrows (2-1), Sekhukhune (1-0) and securing a point against Marumo Gallants.
Galaxy, under the mentorship of German Sead Ramovic, survived relegation to the first division on the final day last season.
Team P W D L DG Pts
Richards Bay 3 2 1 0 3 7
TS Galaxy 3 2 1 0 3 7
AmaZulu 3 2 1 0 2 7
Mamelodi Sundowns 3 2 0 1 5 6
Royal AM 3 2 0 1 1 6
Stellenbosch 3 1 2 0 2 5
Moroka Swallows 3 1 1 1 0 4
Orlando Pirates 3 1 1 1 0 4
Sekhukhune United 3 1 1 1 0 4
Chippa United 3 1 1 1 -1 4
Marumo Gallants FC 3 0 3 0 0 3
Kaizer Chiefs 3 1 0 2 -2 3
Maritzburg Utd 3 0 2 1 -3 2
SuperSport Utd 3 0 1 2 -3 1
Golden Arrows 3 0 1 2 -3 1
Cape Town City FC 3 0 0 3 -4 0
– CAJ News