After showing plenty of promise last term, The Buccaneers have endured a turbulent start to their Absa Premiership campaign and are already knocked out of the MTN8 competition.
In the league, coach Milutin Sredojevic’s side have managed just one win in their opening four fixtures, with their most recent result a 1-0 defeat to Bloemfontein Celtic.
While their five fixtures may have come at a rapid pace within the first 15 days of the season, Sredojevic has already utilised the services of 24 different players.
With the arrival of 10 new signings in the off-season, it was expected that Pirates could look to rotate things amidst their crammed schedule due to their return to the CAF Champions League later this year, but their early rotation might well be the cause of their slow start.
Not once has the Serbian tactician and his technical team named an unchanged line-up this season, with the least number of changes coming in their 1-0 defeat to Bidvest Wits last week as Musa Nyatama was the sole replacement for Linda Mntambo.
However, their visit to Celtic on Sunday then brought on a massive five changes to the line-up – their most this season after previously making four against SuperSport United.
Some of these changes may well have been injury or suspension induced, but the possible ruinous effects of mass rotation are well known within a football context, especially early on in a season.
Only Happy Jele, Innocent Maela, Vincent Pule and Xola Mlambo have started all of Bucs’ games this season, perhaps explaining why, according to ‘Micho’, the team “have still not found and set ourselves in competitive form and in the right scoring boots”.
Last season, Pirates had utilised just 16 players in their opening five fixtures, from which they managed three wins and two draws.
Pirates' list 24 players used so far:
Wayne Sandilands, Siyabonga Mpontshane, Innocent Maela, Mthokozise Dube, Happy Jele, Gladwin Shitolo, Diamond Thopola, Thabo Matlaba, Marshall Munetsi, Abbubakar Mobara, Musa Nyatama, Phetso Maphanga, Ben Motshwari, Linda Mntambo, Xola Mlambo, Thembinkosi Lorch, Paseka Mako, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Vincent Pule, Augustine Mahlonoko, Justin Shonga, Augustine Mulenga, Meshack Maphangule, Thamsana Gabuza.