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Bartlett: Sarr crucial for Pirates

Posted: 24 August 2015 Time: 15:35

Former Bafana Bafana striker Shaun Bartlett believes Issa Sarr performs a vital function for Orlando Pirates.

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The Senegal international is tasked with policing the Bucs midfield, to allow greater freedom to ball-players such as Oupa Manyisa, Thabo Rakhale and Sifiso Myeni. 

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Bartlett tells KickOff.com: "I think most teams and obviously now Pirates as well, have started to have strong defensive midfielders because not only does Sarr break down the opponents' attack but he also covers another central defender.

"And teams around the world have started to make prime signings around that position. You talk about Chelsea with [Claude] Makalele and all these guys and that is a very important position.

"Every position is important but I think for me it is even more important, because when you attack it is one guy that needs to give you the cover."

Bartlett suspects Sarr is getting good advice from Pirates coach Eric Tinkler. Tinkler operated in the same role for Bafana during the country's Africa Cup of Nations triumph in 1996.

"Obviously the success we had as a national team, Eric was playing that position and made it his own. So it sort of gives the attacking players the privilege of going forward and not having to worry about defence, because they know they have someone behind them to cover.

"Even Issa Sarr is also very, very important when it comes to attacking the set-plays," he adds of the former Platinum Stars enforcer.

Pirates, who reached the Confederation Cup semi-finals on the weekend, next face Bloemfontein Celtic in the League at Free State Stadium on Wednesday.

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Article by: Robin-Duke Madlala

Tags:  Eric Tinkler

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