If only Pirates man­aged games bet­ter

The Citizen (KZN) - - Latest News -

What a game the Ned­bank Cup Last 32 match be­tween Or­lando Pirates and Bidvest Wits was! I pre­dicted Wits would win be­fore the game, be­cause Wits do have a solid de­fen­sive set up, that makes it dif­fi­cult to break them down. Big teams like Or­lando Pirates will tend to come and at­tack you, and when you have the speed on the counter of play­ers like Deon Hotto, Ter­rence Dzvuku­manja, and new sign­ing Kgao­gelo Sek­gota, they are dif­fi­cult to con­tain. Wits are also al­ways dan­ger­ous on set plays. In the first half, they kept catch­ing Pirates, apart from the two goals they scored, they had two more open op­por­tu­ni­ties in the first five min­utes for Deon Hotto, and in the sec­ond half Bien­venu Eva Nga also had a headed chance.

But what has come out from this game is that Pirates do now have char­ac­ter in their at­tack­ing game. Josef Zinnbauer is a dif­fer­ent kind of coach than we ex­pect from a for­eign coach. Some­times we put th­ese coaches in a box, and say he is strict, and doesn’t un­der­stand South African flair. I think Zinnbauer is chang­ing the per­cep­tion, we see the way he en­cour­ages play­ers when they make mis­takes, he doesn’t get on their backs. It is dif­fi­cult to al­ways un­der­stand his English in post­match in­ter­views, but you get the gist of it. Pirates were im­pa­tient in the first half, and held onto the ball too much. In the sec­ond half they needed to move the ball from side to side more, he knew what they needed to do, he told them if they did this they would win, there was a dif­fer­ent men­tal­ity.

How­ever, one thing that has al­ways trou­bled Pirates, who­ever is in charge, is that they can­not man­age a game. They are 3-2 up, and a man up in the sec­ond half of ex­tra time, and I still see guys go­ing for­ward and try­ing to get an­other goal. You must chill, take your foot off the ac­cel­er­a­tor. You don’t need to go for­ward like that.

Sun­downs coach Pitso Mosimane al­ways says he can be quiet, it means his team can man­age a re­sult. If Pirates can learn to man­age games bet­ter, I can see them win­ning the league and a cup next sea­son. But what a game that was!

I do think ref­eree Vic­tor Gomes got the first penalty wrong that he gave to Wits, and he also didn’t give Wits a penalty that he should have just be­fore Pirates got their penalty in ex­tra time, so it kind of can­celled it­self out. Hav­ing worked with Ace Ncobo I have started to learn and un­der­stand how ref­er­ees work, and what they should and should not be do­ing. Vic­tor Gomes is not afraid to make de­ci­sions, and sticks by them. If he gets a de­ci­sion wrong he also owns up to it.

His qual­ity is un­ques­tion­able, he just doesn’t have to steal the lime­light. Yes, he got some de­ci­sions wrong, but I am more com­fort­able when Gomes is in charge of a big game.

In the Tsh­wane derby, I think the in­jury to Thapelo Morena took the shine off Sun­downs’ win over Su­per­Sport, be­cause Morena has be­come so in­flu­en­tial at Sun­downs. He be­gan as a left back, but now tends to play fur­ther up the pitch, be­hind the striker. Morena has be­come one of those num­ber 10’s with the speed and adapt­abil­ity to make him one of the first names on the team sheet. Him get­ting in­jured makes it dif­fi­cult for Downs, who have two do­mes­tic tro­phies to play for and a Cham­pi­ons League.

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