Can Magosi withstand the test of the times?  
 

Since the start of the season, all eyes have been on Mochudi Centre Chiefs as they continue mesmerising their opponents. Some fans say the current side reminds them of the time when they lifted their first-ever league title in 2008. Going into their game against Mogoditshane Fighters this afternoon at SSKB Stadium in Mogoditshane, Magosi have rattled the net 32 times in 10 games.

But this is not the first time Magosi have started the league on a high and ended up succumbing to pressure from other sides. Sunday Standard reporter TSHEPO MOLWANE analyses the current Chiefs’ squad to see if they have what it takes to clinch the league title.

Goalkeeping
This has always been Chiefs’ strongest department in the past five seasons, but this time around it is the complete opposite. The departure of Noah Maposa (Gaborone United) and Barolong Lemmenyane (Notwane) have left Chiefs very weak in this department. The return of young goalkeeper Bobby Mathe to Township Rollers after a loan spell has also not helped the situation. This means only Mompoloki ‘Wrist’ Sephekolo is a recognised goalkeeper having understudied Maposa for sometime.

In some of the games Chiefs have played so far this season, Sephekolo has looked suspect, especially when it comes to dealing with crosses. In the 10 games he has featured in, Sephekolo has conceded an average of one goal per game and this should greatly worry the technical team.
Chiefs have brought in an unknown goalkeeper in Mpho Ramodimo and already there are fears that if something happens to Sephekolo, the pacesetters would be in trouble.

Without doubt, Chiefs will have to look for another goalkeeper with experience during the transfer window in January. Already there is talk that unsettled Notwane goalkeeper Botlhe Moralo might be heading to the Kgatleng giants. If he signs, he will bring in the necessary stability Magosi need if they are to emerge champions.
Rating: 5/10

Defence
This is one department where Magosi boast plenty of experience, considering that they have Tshepo Motlhabankwe and Mpoeleng Mpoeleng. They have turned youngster Thabiso Khunwane into a top-class defender whose ability to read the game has put him above his peers. The departure of Itayi Gwandu to Zimbabwe left many Chiefs’ supporters concerned but the side acted swiftly by bringing in his compatriot Arnold Chaka. The well-built Zimbabwean defender has brought the stability Chiefs needed. He was really missed in the opening games of the season when he was still sorting out his papers.

Chiefs’ only problem is the left-back position, which has never been stable since the days of the late William Kehitilwe. Recently, when Mpoeleng played on the left of the defence against Gaborone United, he was exposed. Zambian James Kachinga, who has played in the position over the last four years, seems to have reached his sell-by date. Chiefs are reported to be looking elsewhere for a replacement having missed on ECCO City Greens’ Ontse Ntesa during the August transfer window.
Rating: 7/10

Midfield
Four of Chiefs’ midfielders are part of the national team where they have contributed immensely to the Zebras’ qualification for the 2012 African Cup of Nations. This goes to show that they are balanced in this department with loads of experience. They are ably supported by highly-underrated defensive midfielder Elijah Montsho. It is the ability to get stuck-in which makes Montsho one of the best. The talent of Elvis Meleka from Zimbabwean giants Gunners has not gone unnoticed. He has been the talk of town since joining Chiefs and has already scored twice.

This season, Chiefs’ midfielders have come to the party scoring vital goals for the Kgatleng giants. Their leading goalscorer, Joel Mogorosi, has been on fire since the start of the season. Without doubt, Magosi have no problems in this department.
Rating: 8.5/10

Forwards
Chiefs have only two outright strikers in Kekaetswe Moloi and Moemedi Moatlhaping but it is the ability of their free-scoring midfielders which have made the job easier for them. There is no doubt that the duo are quality strikers but at times they get easily frustrated when things are not going their way.

With Moatlhaping expected to leave the country this week to join South African First Division side Bay United, it means the onus will be more on Moloi to lead the onslaught. He has already been on the score-sheet a couple of times but there are still some areas of his game that need to be improved. Chiefs have surprisingly brought in Ringo Rankgomo to the fold but he is still to prove his class in the star-studded outfit.
Rating: 6

By : Tshepo Molwane - 2011-10-31 08:41:55