The business-as-usual manner, in which Nyasa Big Bullets have transferred their last season’s momentum to this campaign—brushing aside any opposition with telling ease—should worry the rest of the teams that are dreaming of silverware.
Bullets lead the TNM Super League table with 16 points from six games and it is believed that once the People’s Team ascend to the summit, it is difficult toppling them.
And the problem for the other teams is that Bullets Coach, Rodgers Yasin, does not even think that his charges have peaked yet.
“People might be saying that Bullets is the team of the moment but we are far from there. There are many areas we need to work on before I can openly say ‘this is the team we were building’.
“We have to work on scoring. We don’t need to rely on a few players to score. Every player has to score and defend,” The Daily Times quoted the usually measured Yasin on Thursday.
The Bullets’ coach might either be trying to be humble or he is playing some mind-games, but it is difficult fault-finding his red army’s performance, so far.
Bullets have dropped just two points in the league and, alongside Tigers, are the only unbeaten team in the league. Bullets have also scored the highest number of goals, nine, and conceded the least, two.
Last season, the team had, at this stage, netted seven goals and conceded three.
John Lanjesi has looked commanding at the back whereas Bright Munthali, Chiukepo Msowoya and Patrick Phiri have been firing on all cylinders upfront.
No other team in the league has, so far, achieved that near perfection on all fronts, signalling that Bullets are out to sweep everything that comes their way.
Of course, there is a long way to go in the league but after six league games, Bullets have 16 points, compared to nine points they registered last season at the same stage.
How do the statistics compare with those of the league’s defending champions, Be Forward Wanderers?
In the opening six league games of last season, Wanderers, who eventually won the title, had claimed five wins and drawn once to amass 16 points.
At this phase last season, Wanderers had scored seven goals and conceded none.
Such a breathtaking run pales in comparison to their form this season as Wanderers have, so far, won twice, lost once and drawn twice to collect eight points.
The Nomads’ problem, as Coach Yasin Osman noted after their away 2-0 loss to Tigers at Mulanje Park Stadium, is finishing and defending. Wanderers have scored a paltry three goals and also conceded three while placed fifth on the league table.
“We should realise that we can also lose. The fact that we are the champions does not make us unbeatable. Even champions lose but we seem to be carrying the glory of being champions.
“But to defend the league, we should play harder than we did last season. And this game [against Tigers] should be a wakeup call for us,” Osman was quoted saying.
Wanderers’ failure to put away the chances is not strange as, last season, they also won their opening three league games by 1-0 margins.
It was the arrival of Esau Kanyenda, who eventually became the Nomads’ top league scorer with eight goals, which improved the finishing.
This season, Osman has hardly been featuring Kanyenda sparingly while tinkering among Peter Wadabwa, Zicco Mkanda and Khumbo Ng’ambi.
The season is still in its infancy, anything can happen, but it is yet to be seen as to which team can challenge Bullets, pound for pound.
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