What makes a great striker? The goals or the team he plays for? His conduct maybe? Or is it the recognition that he gets from the fans and the media? Mario Ballotelli, one of the best strikers of this generation does the job for his nation and club but makes the headlines for all the wrong reason. However come match day, he still puts in a 100 per cent effort and gets the job done.
In South Africa, if one dared to ask the question, ‘Who is the best striker in the domestic league?’ names such as Bernard Parker and Kermit Erasmus will pop up. Now here is that question again, “What makes a good striker?” Is it the goals or the team he plays for? In this case, the latter prevails.
With all due respect to these two players, I don’t think they have done enough to be in the top five best strikers to ever play in the Absa Premiership. That is, of course , if scoring goals makes a better striker than the team he plays for. Mabhuti Khenyeza, one of the most controversial players in the top flight, is notorious for fall outs with coaches, going AWOL, spitting at officials and missing training sessions. No bones about it, Khenyeza is guilty as charged. But what is that one thing that Khenyeza is not guilty of ? Is it not scoring goals? Always giving 100 per cent on the field? Dying for his teammates and leading Mpumalanga Black Aces to one of their best season’s yet?
Despite all the time that the former Kaizer Chiefs and Ajax Cape Town hitman has spent on the sidelines or fighting with whoever it might be, he has grown and is one of the strikers that are always making the headlines, for both the good and the bad reasons. Khenyeza is one of the two players still active in the league who have scored more than hundred goals in their PSL careers and that, on its own, should earn him enough respect locally.