Former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates midfielder, Jabu Mahlangu, has hit out at the lacklustre performances of recent Soweto Derbies ahead of this weekend’s Carling Black Label Cup.
Mahlangu was a firm fan-favourite during his time at Chiefs, scoring 27 goals in 99 appearances and endearing himself to the Amakhosi faithful. He was affectionately known as ‘Shuffle’ for his ability to turn defences and crowd pleasing ability.
Speaking to Soccer Laduma ahead of the upcoming Soweto Derby on Saturday, he offered his analysis on why he thinks the derbies have become dull affairs.
“Eish, this thing of the spark being gone from the derby – it’s been going on for the past four or five years now. We’re seeing a lot of draws and 0-0s. I think the derby is more of a business and the teams have changed their mentality.”
“It’s no longer about the passion and entertaining the fans. Remember the fans pay their money every week. I know some guys who don’t even eat lunch in the week before they can go to the stadium. I feel it’s the coaches – I’m not blaming them – it’s everyone’s responsibility actually… the players, coaches and chairmen of the teams,” the 35-year-old said.
A capacity crowd of around 90 000+ is expected to fill the FNB Stadium for this Saturday’s curtain-raiser to the PSL season.
The teams will line up as follows:
Chiefs XI: Pieterse, Moleko, Gaxa, Xulu, Masilela, Tshabalala (c), Letsholonyane, Maluleka, Lebese, Zulu, Parker
Pirates XI: Mhlongo, Jele, Gumede, Sangweni, Phungwayo, Myeni, Sarr, Manyisa (c), Rakhale, Erasmus, Majoro