In the first half of the Premier Soccer League season, the combination of Mandla Masango, George Maluleka and George Lebese thrilled fans with great combination play and they were at the forefront of our unbeaten run right up until the mid-season break.
Due to injury, players coming back from injury as well as suspensions, the attacking three were broken up somewhat for large parts of the second half of the season
Numbers don’t lie and when looking at the statistics, the numbers show that we had done much better with MaLeMa than without them.
When the team sheets had been announced, MaLeMa made the starting line-up on only eight occasions this season, with 19 other line-ups excluding the trio. It’s important to know that we won all of those eight games in which they started together - and lost twice when excluded.
Reflecting on the games started without MaLeMa, the squad managed to win eleven games and drew six. Compared to the 100% win record with MaLeMa, without the three we only won 58% of our matches in the league.
One of the main reasons why the combination was broken up was because of Bernard Parker and Siphiwe Tshabalala returning from injury, with the former taking up the number 10 role just behind the main the striker.
This did not stop the likes of Masango and Lebese from producing the magic though, as they continued to be authentic threats on the wings for us. Masango was relegated to the bench frequently towards the end of the season because of Siphiwe Tshabalala finding an extra canister of gas and was in inspiring form in the title run-in.
Having said that, do you want to see more of the MaLeMa combination next season?