Golden Arrows will be another tough nut to crack for struggling Wits

12 September 2017 - 17:18 By Marc Strydom
Goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs of Wits during the Bidvest Wits media open day at Sturrock Park on September 05, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs of Wits during the Bidvest Wits media open day at Sturrock Park on September 05, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Moeneeb Josephs’s emotional expression of dismay at the hunger displayed by his Bidvest Wits team-mates in their poor start to the 2017-18 season gives hint that all is not well at the league champions.

Staggeringly‚ Wits are yet to win a game in five in regulation time in this campaign as they suffer a hangover from their league and cup double last season.

The Clever Boys surely need a win against Lamontville Golden Arrows at Bidvest Stadium on Wednesday night (kickoff: 7.30pm)‚ just to remind themselves that they can.

A tearful Josephs gave one of the more candid post-match TV interviews seen in SA football when he refused to blame missed chances for Wits’ 2-1 second-leg (making it 3-1 on aggregate) MTN8 semifinal defeat against Cape Town City at Bidvest Stadium on Sunday.

“It’s difficult to accept. It’s not about not taking our opportunities‚” he said.

“It’s how we go about our games. That lack of desire‚ that passion‚ that hunger to win games‚ hunger to do anything to get a result.

“We as Bidvest players‚ it seems as if we’ve won enough – won the league last year‚ and that’s enough. Most of us are first-time winners of the league so that hunger and passion is gone.

“You can see it. Cape Town City deserved to go through. If you look at it on paper‚ they cannot match what we have. But they have the hunger and desire.

“Missing opportunities – yes‚ you can have that. But it’s how you get into the box‚ that desire to get on the end of things‚ that counts.

“And we didn’t do that. We’re not willing to run harder‚ work harder. And at the end of the day Cape Town City did all of that.

“We don’t deserve to be in the final. Although we’ve been playing OK football. But OK is not good enough anymore.

“If you’ve won the league last year‚ you want to keep improving. And you do that by wanting to work harder‚ wanting to achieve more.

“But it’s not here with us. We lack that. And that’s been our issue so far.”

Despite Josephs’s obvious disappointment‚ Wits for a third defeat against City this season also would have felt‚ on balance of chances‚ they could have got more from the second leg.

They hit the post in both halves‚ had a penalty appeal turned down and some convincing shots at goal. They must wonder what they have to do to beat City.

Arrows may be no easier.

Wits could only manage 2-2 after extra time – having to fight back from 2-0 down‚ in their season-opening MTN8 quarterfinal that was eventually won on penalties against Clinton Larsen’s plucky KwaZulu-Natal team.

Wits will be looking for a win.

But they will also be looking for something more convincing than that too.

Some assuredness and confidence from their central defence.

A better shape. And that hunger to kill the game when they have the chances to do it that Josephs identified.

- TimesLIVE