Greetings, peaceful and loving Amakhosi.
Welcome to the day before the transfer window deadline. From today on, watch out for news reports linking us to various players who are club-less, it’s perfectly normal, so don’t be alarmed if you hear that we are after the signatures of Jabu Mahlangu or Bennedict Vilakazi or even Thabiso ‘Skappie’ Malatsi for that matter. Basically what happens during this time is that newspapers start looking at who gets offloaded and who’s looking for a club and they start being ‘creative’ by linking those names to various clubs. It sucks I know, but newspapers need to sell newspapers.
Talking about last minute transfers, Kickoff.com reported yesterday that Papi Zothwane had been offloaded by Sundowns and was deemed surplus to requirements. Their new coach Johan Neeskens simply said he doesn’t fit into his plans for the season. He’s 30 and injury prone, so would you fault Neeskens for offloading him?
Anyway the reason I’m talking about him today is because as soon as the report came out yesterday, he was immediately linked to Chiefs. Yes really, quite a number of Amakhosi fans think he’s the player Bobby should sign to strengthen our midfield. Of course my reaction to this was like: Really? At 30? Is he better than what we have?
Numbers don’t lie
Now I don’t want you to get me wrong, I like Papi Zothwane, I liked him a lot when he was at Golden Arrows and I think the national team coaches (Parreira in particular) also liked him when they called him up to represent Bafana. He did really well until the day he was booed off in the 3 – 1 loss to Zambia in the September of 2007. That affected his self-esteem and with injuries playing their part, he never made it back to the National team setup. He was never the same player.
Fast forward, 2009 he joins Sundowns from Golden Arrows, a transfer Chiefs had longed for but because of unforeseen issues, sadly missed out on. But he didn’t have the best of time at Sundowns did he? Well let me break it down to you:
Since arriving at Sundowns, here’s how it all went for him:
Matches started: 17
From the bench: 12
Total Appearances: A whooping 29
That is 29 appearances in the whole two seasons at Sundowns, and in the process he scored a whooping 8 goals. But like I said, injuries played their part in his unsuccessful career at Downs.
Form is temporary, class is permanent?
Well, yes class is permanent, but when you are 30 years old, form plays a bigger role in your career; look at Josta Dladla, what’s carrying him now is simply ‘good form’. So what I’m saying is that because of his age, Papi needs to be playing week in week out to be really effective and display the class he has, because he is a gem to watch.
I know many are sympathetic to his situation because of his bad luck with injuries, but should a club like Kaizer Chiefs be looking to sign a player like him when it has ambitions of winning the league? Should we be running after a name or quality? Let’s hear your views, let the debate begin.
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