Phakaaathi - Ballz 2 the Wall

THE CITIZEN NEWS  |  Podcast , ±25 min episodes every 1 week, 5 days  | 

Phakaaathi (in Zulu phakathi means “inside”) brings you the latest local and international soccer news, player profiles, and discussions about everything and anything football-related.

Phakaaathi editor Jonty Marks hosts a weekly chat with expert columnists and armchair football pros, to give you some insight into the world of football.

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New Year, same old Kaizer Chiefs

Kaizer Chiefs have started 2023 in fairly dismal fashion, losing their opening three DStv Premiership fixtures of the year.
Arthur Zwane has preached a long-term vision for the side and surely deserves the continued backing of Amakhosi management, as Chiefs' problems hardly started with him. The most popular side in the country haven't won a single Premier Soccer League trophy since 2015, and despite an improved performance against Sundowns on Sunday, they still lost to a rampant Masandawana.
Sundowns have now won 12 Premiership games on the spin, a new record and are walking away with the league title.
In this week's Ballz to the Wall Podcast, Phakaaathi editor Jonty Mark and football writers Sibongiseni Gumbi and Tshepo Ntsoelengoe, return after a short break to analyse Chiefs and whether they are making progress under Zwane.
We also look at Sundowns and the example they are setting domestically, questioning whether they should now be translating that to more continental success too.

The Atlas Lions fly the flag for Africa

Morocco sprung the surprise of the last 16 of the Fifa World Cup when they stunned Spain to reach the quarterfinals, leaving Africa as the only continent outside of Europe and South America to have a team in the last eight.

The Atlas Lions have defended brilliantly in this tournament and the question now is whether they can continue to do that on Saturday against a rampant Portugal, fresh off a 6-1 thumping of Switzerland.

In this week's Ballz to the Wall Podact, Phakaaathi editor Jonty Mark is joined by soccer writer Tshepo Ntsoelengoe as they discuss all the last 16 matches, from Morocco's stunning win, to Senegal's collapse against England, to Brazil's mauling of South Korea.

The team also discusses the quarterfinal draw, and give their view on who we will see in the World Cup semifinals.

2022 Fifa World Cup Matchweek 1 wrap - Unedited

It was quite the first round of matches at the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar, with two massive surprises (see Saudi Arabia and Japan), some absolute hammerings (see England and Spain), and a wonder-goal from Brazil (see Richarlison).

In this week's Ballz to the Wall Podcast, Phakaaathi editor Jonty Mark, along with soccer writers Sibongiseni Gumbi and Tshepo Ntsoelengoe, discuss the start to the competition, and also highlight a worrying first week for African teams.

This podcast, one must stress, was recorded before Senegal beat Qatar on Friday, indeed before any of the second round of fixtures kicked off (well done to Carlos Queiroz, Roger De Sa and Iran for taking down Wales).

The podcast also didn't have an editor, so bear with the unabridged sound checks, mumbles and swearing (hopefully there was no swearing!).

Who will win the 2022 Qatar World Cup?

The 2022 Qatar World Cup kicks off on Sunday, a tournament mired in controversy, where organisers will hope the football can distract from the myriad of issues that mean a World Cup really shouldn't be taking place in Qatar at all.

It's hard to pick a favourite for the competition, with no one quite knowing what role the heat in the Middle East will play (the tournament has been moved from June/July to November/December but its still not cold in Qatar), or how a competition being played out in the middle of a regular season will affect players who already play too much ball.

Injuries have already piled up ahead of the competition, and it might just be the powerhouse nation that gets through with the most men standing that lifts the trophy. In this week's Ballz to the Wall podcast, Phakaaathi editor Jonty Mark, along with soccer writers Sibongiseni Gumbi and Tshepo Ntsoelengoe, discuss the controversies around the competition, and give their picks on who they think will win.

We also look back, briefly on last weekend's Carling Black Label Cup, where Mamelodi Sundowns took the title at a stroll.

The Beer Cup - Do Chiefs and Pirates fans know what they want?

Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu will do battle in the Carling Black Label Cup on Saturday, the final action of the domestic season before a break for the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.

The Black Label Cup used to be only for two teams - Chiefs and Pirates - but has now expanded to include four, and in this week's Ballz to the Wall podcast, Phakaaathi's regular team of editor Jonty Mark, along with soccer writers Sibongiseni Gumbi and Tshepo Ntsoelengoe, discuss the competition, which allows fans to vote for who they want to see on the field at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

But did the Chiefs and Pirates fans, along with the Sundowns and AmaZulu supporters, pick the right player? And are there too many regulars in the sides they have picked that they have been complaining about all season?

The Soweto Derby - will Chiefs or Pirates fans leave on a high?

Kaizer Chiefs head into the Soweto derby against Orlando Pirates on Saturday in no sort of form at all.
Arthur Zwane's Amakhosi have been as unreliable as British Prime Ministers this season, and were booted out of the MTN8 last weekend by AmaZulu.
Pirates are in much better form in this moment, though they have had their own trials under Jose Riveiro, especially in front of goal.
The return of Kermit Erasmus to the Buccaneers has brought some much needed attacking spark, and he and Monnapule Saleng have formed quite the partnership.
In the derby, however, form tends to get thrown out of the window. Anything could happen at FNB Stadium, which should be packed to capacity for the most popular game on the South African sporting calendar.
In this week's Ballz to the Wall Podcast, Phakaaathi editor Jonty Mark, along with Phakaaathi writers Sibongiseni Gumbi and Tshepo Ntsolengoe, discuss the derby, including their own experiences of one of the most famous derbies in the world.

The Bimenyimana boogie - Are Kaizer Chiefs dancing their way to the top?

Whisper it quietly, but Kaizer Chiefs' season is on an uptick, with three straight DStv Premiership win propelling Arthur Zwane's Amakhosi up the table.
Caleb Bimenyimana, Chiefs' new Burundian striker, has been at the heart of this revival, bagging six goals so far, including a hat-trick of penalties against Stellenbosch last weekend.
In this week's Ballz to the Wall podcast, Phakaaathi's journalists discuss the impact Bimenyimana has had at Chiefs, and look at whether Chiefs can continue their fine form against Chippa United this weekend.
We also look at Pirates, with very different opinions on their start to the season, which has seen them so profligate in front of goal.
So listen to the latest Ballz to the Wall podcast from Phakaaathi for all your latest football action.

Feeling Kaizer Chiefs-y? Is it time for Amakhosi fans to start to panic?

In the latest Ballz to the Wall Podcast, the team discuss another poor result for Kaizer Chiefs and whether patience with Arthur Zwane is starting to wear thin. Phakaaathi editor Jonty Mark, along with football writers Sibongiseni Gumbi and Tshepo Ntsoelengoe, also discuss another win for Orlando Pirates, with some luck in front of goal thrown in.
And the team give their view on Chippa Mpenegesi's decision to fire ANOTHER coach, with Daine Klate the latest victim of the Chilli Boys axe.

Are we all set up for a Chiefs-Pirates MTN8 final?

Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates were kept apart when the draw for the MTN8 semifinals took place late on Monday, meaning a Soweto derby MTN8 final is a distinct possibility. Then again, Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu will have plenty to say about that, especially the former, who are the defending champions and widely favoured to win the trophy again. In the latest Ballz to the Wall Podcast, Phakaaathi editor Jonty Mark and football writers Sibongiseni Gumbi and Tshepo Ntsoelengoe look back at the weekend's MTN8 quarterfinals and look ahead to what could happen in the last four.

Mhango and Mntambo show Pirates what they are missing

While Orlando Pirates were failing to hit the proverbial cow's behind with a banjo on Sunday against SuperSport United, Gabadinho Mhango and Linda Mntambo were both among the goals in this weekend's DStv Premiership action.
In this week's Ballz to the Wall podcast, Phakaaathi editor Jonty Mark, along with soccer writers Sibongiseni Gumbi and Tshepo Ntsoelengoe, discuss Pirates' perennial woes in front of goal, as well as Kaizer Chiefs' win at Richards Bay, Sundowns' draw with Sekhukhune, and AmaZulu's surge to the top of the table.
Please note that this podcast was recorded before the midweek top flight games.

Sundowns show Kaizer Chiefs who's boss

Mamelodi Sundowns showed exactly why they are chasing a sixth successive DStv Premiership title on Saturday with a 4-0 evisceration of Kaizer Chiefs at Loftus Stadium in Tshwane.
The result gave Chiefs a clear indication of the task at hand if they are to mount any sort of title challenge, as a combination of poor errors and Sundowns brilliance left Arthur Zwane's charges reeling.
Phakaaathi editor Jonty Mark, along with football writers Sibongiseni Gumbi and Tshepo Ntsoelengoe, discuss the fallout from the game at Loftus, as well as the return to Sundowns of Bongani Zungu, and the rest of the weekend's DStv Premiership action.
Phakaaathi website

Does Zwane-ball have lift off at Kaizer Chiefs?

Kaizer Chiefs bounced back from an opening weekend defeat to Royal AM in the DStv Premiership by beating Maritzburg United 3-0 on Tuesday evening, to give Arthur Zwane his first victory as permanent Chiefs head coach. The Phakaaathi team discuss Chiefs' displays so far this season and ask exactly what it says, if anything about their prospects in the current campaign.

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