Tuesday, January 18, 2022

BeMobile Premiership: Five key talking points from the weekend’s action

Two consecutive wins for GU’s two coaches

When Gaborone United (GU) went into their encounter with Police XI, many were asking who, between Allen Gumbo and Dragjilo Stanojlovic will be on the bench. This question was not misplaced, to say the least. When Gumbo was not on the bench against Miscellaneous, ‘Drago,’ as Stanojlovic, who is the GU Technical Director is affectionately known, sat on the bench and delivered as GU won their game. On Saturday, the duo of Gumbo and ‘Drago’ emerged from the tunnel together, with the latter now registered in the team sheet as ‘Coach’ while Gumbo was registered as ‘Head Coach.’ While Drago spent most of the time scribbling the game notes and occasionally consulting with Gumbo, it was the latter who barked orders from the touchline.

When the game finished, the two had won GU its second consecutive game, giving credence to the Setswana adage, “Setshwarwa ke ntsa pedi ga se thata,” loosely translated, “Two heads (brains) are better than one.” What was obvious is that the two seemed happy to work together and this translated into points. Whether this would last is everybody’s guess, but if they can continue working together, GU may have found their winning combination. 

Rollers still yet to lose a game

With Police XI finally succumbing to a loss, Township Rollers remains the only team yet to lose a game this season. After beating Gilport Lions by a solitary goal at Lobatse on Saturday night, the Mark Harrison coached side has now moved to the summit of the league log. Having started the season with two successive wins, Popa then registered two successive draws before winning their next three successive games to lay a claim to the bePremiership title. All eyes will now be on Popa to see if the team can maintain their unbeaten run in the next five fixtures. Rollers will face FC Satmos, Gaborone United, Extension Gunners, Miscellaneous and Mochudi Centre Chiefs in that successive order in its upcoming games. 

Chiefs title challenge back on track

The league defending champions have had a mixed start to their title defense. Having demolished both BR Highlanders and Motlakase 5 ÔÇô 0 and 3 ÔÇô 0 respectively, the Kgatleng outfit went into a slump, losing 1 ÔÇô 2 to Sankoyo Bush Bucks. They however then went on to play a scoreless draw with Gilport Lions, beat FC Satmos by a solitary goal drew one all with GU and eventually beat Extension Gunners by a solitary goal. Now placed third on the league log, Magosi, who are just three points off log leaders Township Rollers will now be hoping for consistency as they get their title defence back on track.  

Gunners need to get their mojo back

After a whirlwind start to their bePremiership season, the wheels seem to have come off the wagon of the likeable Peleng side. After four consecutive wins in their first four league games, which saw them dispatch challenges from Sankoyo, Gilport Lions, FC Satmos, and GU, Keitumetse Paul’s side have hit a snag when they came unstuck in their visit to Orapa United at Itekeng Stadium. The team then drew their game against Miscellaneous before succumbing to Centre Chiefs this past weekend. While still playing attractive football, the Peleng outfit now needs to find their ‘goal scoring mojo’ back if they are to entertain any thoughts of a title challenge. But in Paul, Gunners has a mentor thirsty to prove himself and the way back to redemption may not be so hard.

Who will relegate?

It may be a little too early in the season to talk about relegation, but the fight for survival may bring some surprises. Against all expectations, league newcomers Miscellaneous and Green Lovers have started well and look keen on surviving. Both Serowe based outfits are now sat seventh and ninth on the log standings. The same however cannot be said of Sankoyo, FC Satmos, Gilport Lions and Motlakase Dynamos who are sat 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th and last on the log respectively, but then, signs are it is too early to conclude. At this point last year, FC Satmos were perched on the 8th position while Notwane were 13th, Letlapeng 14th and ECCO were last on the log. By the end of the season, both FC Satmos and Notwane were facing each other to see who will accompany Letlapeng and ECCO to the dusty leagues.   


Read this week's paper