OPINION | Iron Duke must intervene immediately in unfolding chaos at Orlando Pirates

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Orlando Pirates (Gallo Images)
Orlando Pirates (Gallo Images)

The Iron Duke needs to do everything possible to intervene in the unfolding crisis at Orlando Pirates. To say the team is at breaking point is putting it mildly, writes Kamva Somdyala. 


All evidence suggests that Orlando Pirates will continue regressing for the foreseeable future.

One barely recognises The Sea Robbers nowadays, let alone recognising a particular playing style.

It is a sad state of affairs that will continue in its shape if not immediately looked into. To say the team is at breaking point is putting it mildly.

For starters, they are without a recognised head coach, which beggars belief. This part of the plot was occasioned by Josef Zinnbauer’s hasty exit. 

Club boss Irvin Khoza surely cannot sit idly by as things fall apart. Matters are as bad off the field as they are on it with players bringing the club’s good name into disrepute with a string of arrests and insubordination reports.

They also have this diabolical habit of denying certain coaches and administrators entry to Orlando Stadium - cue Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos and TS Galaxy chairman Tim Sukazi.

They sell overpriced merchandise, and their players enjoy their swag more than their playing responsibilities (you just have to watch the players strut their stuff during pitch inspections to get a real sense of how fashionable they want to be). 

Promising footballer Thembinkosi Lorch does not seem interested in football and allows his relationship with recent cause celebre Natasha Tahane (recently in the news for a funding scandal unbeknown to us hitherto her confession on a controversial podcast) to take centre stage (granted he’s been unlucky with injury, but he’s just not the same anymore). 

Veteran defender Thulani Hlatswayo’s move had the potential to lock clubs out of Pirates’ 18-area, instead, it’s become abundantly clear that the move isn’t meeting anyone’s expectations. 

The difficulty is that a club like Pirates should not be failing to attract a world class coach to steer the team into a winning direction - something certainly needed right now.

It is startling to imagine that they are looking like a mid-table team that continues to put the talents of Linda Mtambo, Deon Hotto, Wayde Jooste, Fortune Makaringe, Tshegofatso Mabasa and Vincent Pule to waste. 

Another problem for Pirates is that everyone around them continues to win, or meet their own standards. The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for Pirates.

The goals are hard to come by, the defence is leaky and the body language screams laxity. 

Writing for this website, my colleague Tashreeq Vardien’s holding title for his Orlando Pirates year in review to be published soon, is "A team with great potential, but on a path of inconsistency". I couldn't agree more.

The Iron Duke needs to do everything possible to intervene in the unfolding crisis. The loss to rivals Mamelodi Sundowns (a 4-1 hiding) was not something that should surprise many, if one has been paying attention to matters happening Kwezimnyama Ngenkani.

Failing which, Pirates will have to keep talking about success in past tense, like another football club in England that recently hired a German tactician to fix matters.

Simply put, it will be another long, painful season because silverware does not seem likely.

But hey, at least we have nice football merchandise for so-called "date night".


Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

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