Some analysts argue that for a team to win a league title, it must have the muscle to overcome the ‘big teams’.
Silver Strikers have achieved this feat following their dramatic comeback victory over TNM Super League leaders Be Forward Wanderers on Saturday.
The Bankers boast of having completed a successful campaign against top four teams—Wanderers, Nyasa Big Bullets, Civil Sporting Club and Blue Eagles.
To put the icing on it all, the Bankers remain unbeaten in 20 league matches and once in cup games after they lost to Red Lions in Carlsberg Cup quarter-finals.
The Bankers are deservedly in high spirits, but if this gets into their heads, they may be in for a shock by December 23 when the league is scheduled to conclude.
The Bankers cannot afford to relax as they have far bigger problems to solve before the fanfare starts.
Statistics show that the bankers have been relying on hitman Mathews Sibale, who tops the scorers list with 12 goals.
Blessed with good height and position, Sibale has been to Silver rescue uncountable times.
However, eventualities such as injuries or suspensions, as is the case right now with Sibale, exposes the team’s Achilles heels, according to football analyst Charles Nyirenda.
“But it is not that other strikers Green Harawa, Victor Limbani and Mike Tette are at fault. How can they score if midfielders are not coming to the party?” he said.
He was referring to overrated Thuso Paipi and Duncan Nyoni who despite enjoying game time are yet to provide assists for the Bankers’ goals.
Yet, Young Chimodzi and his backroom staff prefer these two poster boys at the expense of Blessings Tembo, who is capable of not only scoring, but also creating assists.
With the Bankers midfield not up to scratch, the capital city giants have survived on goals created by defenders Mike Roberts and Mark Fodya, the men behind towering striker Sibale’s 12 goals.
In contrast, Wanderers strikers and midfielders have been scoring at will.
Most of the Nomads’ moves that result in goals originate from the midfield where Kamwendo pulls the strings to get Jaffalie Chande, Yamikani Chester, Isaac Kaliyati and Felix Zulu to join the fray.
Suffice to say these midfielders are not goal-shy.
With veteran Esau Kanyenda and Peter Wadabwa also in top form, Silver have a big job to keep up in pace with the leaders.
No wonder in the last seven matches, Wanderers have managed 16 points out of possible 24.
In contrast, Silver despite beating the top four teams and boasting an unbeaten record, have managed 11 points from the same number of matches.
Silver general secretary Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda said the Bankers technical panel is aware of the team’s shortfalls.
“This is not a new thing. Actually, it has been discussed at some forum. It is something that the technical panel indeed must address. We cannot keep on relying on one person to score,” he said.