Just a slow start, or reigning champions FC Platinum are out of steam?

Spread the love

By Bhorafrika

What’s different is only the order of the wins, draws and losses in the last 5 games, but FC Platinum has so far collected the same number of points (12) that they had after 8 games in 2022.

2022: WWLDDWDL [P8 W3 D3 L2]
2023: WWLWDDLD [P8 W3 D3 L2]

The run of form or lack thereof was acceptable and expected in 2022 because the club had released several of its seasoned players.

2022 was a year in which not winning the title would not have been even viewed as failure for the Norman Mapeza coached side.

It was a year of rebuilding a squad that had shipped out of several experienced campaigners like Rodwell Chinyengetere, Stanley Ngala, Ralph Kawondera, and Donald Ngoma.

That the 2022 FC Platinum squad went on to win the title comfortably with two games to spare was a case of a team peaking too early, even beyond the expectations of the club.

It is against that background of success in a rebuilding season that Mapeza set a 13-point target in the first 5 games for his reigning champions.

With 12 points now, it is a target that the team hasn’t met even after 8 games.

What has been worrying at this stage for Mapeza is his team’s timidity and lack of character to grind results.

While Mapeza’s motto last season was ‘if we can’t score they must not score, it seems to have been flipped around.

If they can score, we can also score.

Only one clean sheet in 8 games is so unlike FC Platinum, a club that kept ten in a row in 2022.

That trend of conceding has encouraged teams that are aiming to dethrone the champions.

There is still time?
It was only in game 14 that the champions took off by keeping the first of their 10 successive cleans sheets.

When the mid season break arrived, Chicken Inn led the standings with 35 points, a point ahead of FC Platinum.

FC Platinum went on to win the title with 75 points, 12 ahead of second placed Chicken Inn.

The relentless title charge was anchored on a 21-match unbeaten run that began with 10 successive clean sheets and 9 wins in 10 games.

Wallace Magalane had replaced Petros Mhari who was injured in FC Platinum’s 0-1 loss to Herentals on match day 13. Magalane’s performances in the title win earned him a place among the country’s best 11 players together with Gift Bello and soccer star Walter Musona.

Ironically, the leakages at the back this season saw Mhari returning against Herentals, but FC Platinum lost again.

While Mapeza has failed to reach his target of 13 points in the first 5 games, he has last season’s slow start to draw inspiration from.

His team went on to collect 41 points in the second half of the season, having only managed 34 in the first half.

It remains to be seen whether his team has the character to repeat the feat that won them the title when even themselves least expected it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *