In football, goalkeepers are there to protect the goal and lead from the back. They are the ones who are given the sole power to do everything they can to avoid the ball crossing the line, and, as a result, only one shot-stopper is predominantly used throughout a season. However, that has not been the case among the Big Three.
This season has seen each coach from Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns caught between a rock and a hard place. They have alternated between goalkeepers, and some are still unsure over who should be the first choice.
Let’s take a look at each club respectively.
Kaizer Chiefs – Itumeleng Khune & Brilliant Khuzwayo
As the season started, many were expecting Khune to rule the roost and command the goals. However, injury forced him to stay sidelined for months, opening up space for Khuzwayo to step in.
The 24-year-old deputised empathically in the absence of Khune, and his impressive displays saw him throw a spanner in Stuart Baxter’s plan for when Itu returned from injury.
Baxter has since alternated between the two ‘keepers, and has also featured Reyaad Pieterse in goal this campaign too.
Orlando Pirates – Senzo Meyiwa, Brighton Mhlongo & Siyabonga Mpontshane
Now if it weren’t for Senzo Meyiwa’s tragic death, the Buccaneers would most likely not fit into this category, as Meyiwa was in the form of his life. However, his death saw Mhlongo given game time ahead of Philani Zikalala.
Since the turn of the New Year, Eric Tinkler has opted to try out Mpontshane’s skills in goal by giving him game time against AmaZulu in a league match back in February.
Conversely, Tinkler does seem to be the coach that has made his mind up, as Mhlongo continues to command the number one spot.
Mamelodi Sundowns – Kennedy Mweene, Wayne Sandilands & Denis Onyango
It seems strange that Pitso Mosimane would drop someone so accomplished like Mweene after he played a crucial role in leading the Brazilians to a title triumph last season. However, the coach juggled between three shot-stoppers this season.
Sandilands, who has long been linked with an exit from Chloorkop since the arrival of the Zambian stopper, was handed two starts at the beginning of the 2014/15 campaign. However, things didn’t work out for him and he was dropped for Mweene again.
The 2012 AFCON winner went on to reinstate himself as first choice under Pitso again, but Dennis Onyango’s rise in form has seen the Ugandan take to the sticks in recent games.
So far, it looks like Pitso and Baxter, to a certain extent, are unsure of who to feature in goal for the remainder of the season.
The Big Three have certainly seen quite the rotation game happen in goal, and that does not provide much stability for any team looking for success.
What are your thoughts on the matter?