TEN game, one win, six defeats and three draws.
These are numbers of a team which lost the league title on the last day last season. This was a whole new season and it needed a team that would have the mental ability not to ravel on the past but what was happening, especially when they lost players who played pivotal roles in their team’s success.
Out of a possible 30 points Ajax Cape Town could only manage six. Surely this must be a cause for concern for any coach.
Don’t worry Maarten, I too have been in denial - “there is no crisis here” I’ve been telling myself.
After checking out the stats I’ll first admit, we are in trouble. The club is in danger of missing out in a competition they did so well in.
With only two games to play, a home game at the Cape Town Stadium against Golden Arrows on Saturday and an away trip to Black Leopards on the final weekend of the league’s calendar, the Urban Warriors have to both games if they are to play in the MTN 8 next season.
Ajax still has a mathematical chance to make the top eight. They are two points behind Amazulu who occupy the eighth spot on the log.
How it went down:
After of five unbeaten games between December and January the Urban Warriors to a good position in the Premier Soccer League log - at one point they were title contenders.
Mid-February the Urban Warriors were fourth on the log only a few points behind then leaders Mamelodi Sundowns who had 34.
Four months later - they have been hit by a after a slump - the team finds itself at the bottom half of the table with 37 points.
Wednesday night’s loss to rejuvenated Kaizer Chiefs was a major blow to the Urban Warriors dreams of a top eight finish. Goals from returning midfield-maestro Reneilwe Letsholonyane and striker Bernard Parker down the Mother City side.
In their last 11 games, they has lost seven and won only one, the last a 2 - 1 win against relegation-threatened Jomo Cosmos early April. This season Ajax has been a guilty of surrendering earlier leads and eventually drawing or losing games.
- April 4, Ajax gave up a 2 nil lead to draw against Moroka Swallows
- April 21 after 1 goal up through a Khama Billiat strike, Supersport went on to win the game 2 - 1 after two late strikes.
- After going 2 goals up in a Nedbank Cup game against Amazulu, the KZN side came from behind drawing the game 3 all. Ajax eventually lost 5 - 3 on penalties.
Before the loss to Amazulu, the cape army had gone on a 6 game undefeated streak, which included a spirited last 10 minute comeback against Platinum Stars On February 15.
Do they deserve to be in the top eight?
They have played some good football but that doesn’t automatically translate to good results, at least that’s not what the table is showing.
The poor performance in front of goals which has seen them scoring only 37 goals to the 45 they have conceded.
Secondly they were “runners up” last season, so they desrve to at least still be considered one of the ”big guns”
But as much as I love my team, the football fan in me wishes they don’t qualify for Wafa Wafa. Maybe this will teach them to take each opponent seriously. Perhaps it will bring rejuvenated Urban Warriors to the battle ground. Roger Palmgren’s charges deserve to be in the top eight, they have done well to lift themselves up from the nightmare that is the bottom half to where they are right now.
What the team needs:
The coach has good ideas and has not lost what Foppe de Haan tried to build. The principle of carpet football is still there
- A new left back, or at least someone to cover for Aidan Jenniker
- Terror is not scoring goals but he’s a good striker - get him a partner who will actually score -George Okpabio isuseless period
- Perhaps it’s time we raided Supersport for a certain Mabhudi Khenyeza
Assemble the army of Warriors and prepare for a new battle another season.
Still Urban Warrior