Orlando Pirates: What’s changed?
Posted: 21 August 2017 Time: 12:00
It might still be too early to tell how well Orlando Pirates will do under new coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic, but the 1-0 victory over Chippa United has given supporters reason to believe that this season will be much better than last term’s disastrous campaign.
KickOff.com looks at what has changed as the new broom sweeps clean in the Buccaneers ship.
After a season of having the same players who were not delivering, Micho put out a fresh starting line-up which showed a lot of promise, with the likes of Gladwin Shitolo, Innocent Maela and new signings Musa Nyatama and Thami Sangweni. If they play together for longer, they can become a strong team.
When Pirates played last season, they were all over the place and you could hardly see a structure. On Saturday they looked more organised. Micho did stress the importance of keeping clean sheets, so you can expect to see them defending a lot better.
Micho named Matlaba as his captain after Abbubaker Mobara was tipped for the position. It’s a big call from the former Uganda coach and it means the versatile player will have to improve on last season’s performances to make sure he leads by example. He started his role quite well on Saturday.
Ntsikelelo Nyauza and Shitolo
This was a surprise central defensive partnership, but it finished the game with a clean sheet. Nyauza, who has played as a right-back, did well alongside Shitolo and Sredojevic would not want to chop and change his central defensive pairing for some time.
A lot of Pirates supporters have been calling for Qalinge to get a chance and Micho might give him more time to prove his worth. He’s no doubt got the talent, having shown it at his former club Mpumalanga Black Aces.
Happy Jele and Ayanda Gcaba
Jele is a player who seemed to own a place in the starting line-up even when he was not doing well, while Gcaba was not always the most reliable figure at the back. The arrival of Micho means they will have to fight to get into the team.
For the first time in a while, Pirates supporters can relax knowing that they have a reliable goalkeeper between the sticks. Sandilands put on a good showing and commanded his area well. It’s what Pirates were missing last season.
The left-back had a dream debut, winning the man-of-the-match award after assisting the only goal of the game which was headed home by Thamsanqa Gabuza. He showed glimpses of brilliance and gives Pirates good width on the left side of play.