Orlando Pirates midfielder Thabo Rakhale unfazed by showboating criticism
Posted: 25 April 2016 Time: 14:11
Orlando Pirates midfielder Thabo Rakhale says criticism for his tricks has done nothing to discourage him but admits his game has grown in his second season at The Bucs.
Rakhale drew English media attention last month for the skills that he put on as Pirates got past Kaizer Chiefs in the first round of the Nedbank Cup.
His talent has divided opinion with some celebrating it as entertainment while others have labelled it worthless in the absence of an end product.
“It did nothing to my game. It didn’t change it (game) that much,” Rakhale says of the criticism.
“Even last year in the same month in March it was the Johnny Walker thing and this year it is something else. After that game I have played most of my games well and even now I am still doing it and doing well. It is not about that they criticise it or what. I believe the people that criticised that thing didn’t watch the game because that thing only happened after 90 minutes. What was I doing from the first minute until the 90th minute?
“The dribbling thing or showboating as some people call it is something that I can only do when we are winning and the game is heading towards the end. Rather than that I am playing more direct football, positive football, I am playing for the team, I am not playing for myself,” says Rakhale.
The exciting midfielder notes that his defensive output has increased at Pirates.
“Honestly, it is not like I didn’t know how to do all those things (tricks), it is just that for us the South African dribbling players, they label us as lazy players but then since I arrived here the coach has been working with me on my endurance. Working up and down along with marking and all of that and it has come out positively on my side so much that I can now mark and attack at the same time,” he says.