Mandatory Challenjah: Give Modise a break

2010-09-23 06:49

Of all the 44 players – plus the 12 substitutes – who could have participated in the two matches that were scheduled for last night, one Teko Modise must have sighed the loudest in relief.

The PSL’s decision to postpone the two league fixtures between Orlando Pirates and Mpumalanga Black Aces as well as Moroka Swallows and Kaizer Chiefs could be the panacea Modise needed in light of the heavy burden currently on his shoulders.

Modise has in the past few games been the victim of the Bucs Boo Brigade – with his every pass, move or shot shamefully punctuated by nasty shouts and gestures from his own supporters.

As a return to Soccer City loomed against Aces, Modise must have shuddered in anticipation of the kind of reception he was likely to receive from the haunting Ghosts.

But in what was the soccer gods’ divine intervention, the game was postponed.

Following glimpses of returning to his best form in an away game to Bidvest Wits on the weekend, where he was unlucky to hit the woodwork from a free-kick, Modise has been spared the possibility of having his confidence shattered by the fickle Bucs supporters ahead of the derby on Sunday.

For a clash as big as the MTN 8 semifinal against Kaizer Chiefs – which could make or break Modise – the two-time PSL Footballer of the Year needs not only his football skills to be at his best.

He also needs weapons that will see him winning the psychological warfare – including undented confidence.

With the bad elements in the Bucs support base having been weeded out by the postponement of the Aces game, Modise can now hopefully focus on being at his best if he is given the nod by coach Rudi Krol on Sunday.

The postponement does not only spare Modise the likely brunt of his own fans. It also gives him a much-needed break after he featured in almost all of Pirates’ and Bafana Bafana’s games last season.

This season has been no different, though in some matches he has been made to hear either the first or the final whistle from the bench.

Given the effects of fatigue and burn-out, a break could be what Modise needs. If the seven-day hiatus does not work, Pirates should consider giving Modise special leave.

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