With the reality of Orlando Pirates missing out on a Top 8 finish for the first time in their recent history, former striker Andries Sebola is one of those who believe that inexperience was the Bucs’ biggest downfall.
Sebola, popularly known as ‘Local is Lekker’, was a free scoring super substitute during his time at Pirates but is worried by what is now happening at the club.
_quote “Pirates are in a predicament now because of many youngsters that are playing this season are inexperienced,” he says.
“Coach Owen da Gama’s downfall after arriving at the club was that he threw in too many youngsters all at once which diluted the experience factor in the team.
“Da Gama should have gone with more experienced players in order to achieve the results that the Pirates’ fans always want. It is not so conducive to take chances and go with youth at Pirates because the fans always demand results and are not patient enough to see a team being built around youngsters.
“Realistically, it was always going to be difficult for Pirates to challenge for anything with so many rookies in the squad,” says Sebola.
Sebola believes the best solution for Pirates will be to bring back Benedict Vilakazi from Aalborg in Denmark.
“Pirates have no option but to bring back someone like Tso since he is not playing there. At the moment there is not enough quality in the core positions and that is why the spine of the team is forever being changed.
“They need to bring in someone to intimidate opposition defenders since the current strikers lack composure in the box.
“It is suicidal to depend on a youngster like Excellent Walaza for regular goals throughout the season.
“I don’t see Pirates winning their remaining two games and that definitely means they will finish in the bottom half. It is sad to see that they have plunged into such a position because they deserve to be closer to the top than the bottom. I just hope that they have learnt from their mistakes.”
Pirates supporters were left with tears rolling down their faces and eyes red on Saturday after they fell 1-0 to Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto Derby.
Bucs number 1 supporter Mzion Mofokeng, however, has urged the Ghost not to despair and to continue to give the team support until the last game of the season.
Mofokeng also urged Bucs’ management to look at the issue of an assistant coach as a matter of urgency.
“We desperately need an assistant coach. A big team like Pirates cannot work without an assistant coach and Owen [Da Gama] needs to get one soon.”
Mofokeng also echoed Sebola when he added, “The team also needs to look for an experienced striker who is quick and can bang in those chances created by the team.
“I cannot see any striker in South Africa that can complement Walaza upfront and Pirates will need to go into Africa to get such a quality striker.
“We also need an experienced defender to can command and give orders at the back. We cannot afford to continue being a laughing stock.”