There is a long list of foreign flops at Pirates and fans have been delighted with Owen da Gama recently because of his focus on local players. Fans point to PSL clubs’ over-reliance on foreigners as the reason for South Africa’s lack of strike-power at national level.
Strikers often arrive in a blaze of glory, only to run out of steam very quickly, if they start with any steam at all. And the foreign strikers are quickly criticised and condemned, both by the fans and by the coaches.
But could it be that the stikers are not at fault? DRC striker Blaise Lelo-Mbele, who was hot propertly when he arrived at Pirates, had one good season before fizzling out. Now he is scoring regularly for Tunisian club CS Sfaxien – as Mamelodi Sundowns know only too well.
Nwankwo Kanu says: “A happy player delivers.” Could it be that local players are sabotaging their foreign teammates? Some foreigners have claimed that this is happening.
Or is Pirates lack of support and supply for strikers to blame? Dennis Lota’s 23 goals for Pirates in 1999/00 is still their all-time record. Now at AmaZulu, Lota says: “The players around me made my job easier.”
Kick Off takes a long look at Pirates’ foreign strikers and analyses each of them while opening up the big debate.
To hear what the likes of Lelo Mbele, Davies Mwape and others think, get the latest edition of Kick Off (issue number 316) to read the full story.