THE BREAKDOWN: Ntshangase The Man To Replace Manyisa?
Pirates' Potential Replacement For Manyisa
Oupa Manyisa has left Orlando Pirates to join Mamelodi Sundowns, vacating the role that he has made his own over the years. However, with Phumlani Ntshangase continually being linked with a move to Parktown, could he be the man to take over the reins from “Ace”?
Manyisa completed his move to the Brazilians last week after almost a decade at the club and, in the interim, links between the Buccaneers and Bidvest Wits’ midfielder, Phumlani Ntshangase, have resurfaced, as revealed in Soccer Laduma issue number 1035. Considering that Manyisa has been a stalwart in the midfield for several years, Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic has to face the difficult task of finding his replacement. The big question is, can Ntshangase be that man?
Establishing whether Manyisa can be replaced by Ntshangase rests on the tactical approach the Sredojevic employs as the Buccaneers new coach. Manyisa was used primarily as a deep-lying playmaker in the 2016/17 season, while Ntshangase is a pure defensive midfielder. However, a change in formation could be implemented, with Kjell Jonevret’s two midfielders (Manyisa and Issa Sarr) being exchanged for a three-man midfield, with two defensive midfielders and an attacking midfielder or otherwise. The coach has the opportunity to take a fresh approach to Pirates’ game, which would provide rationale for bringing Ntshangase into the team. Therefore, one can compare Manyisa’s and Ntshangase’s outstanding attributes.
The former Pirates skipper made more passes per 90 minutes, with greater accuracy and a higher number of them being made in the final third. He created more chances and had a higher number of shot assists and also took more shots. It therefore goes without saying that he was superior to Ntshangase in attack. However, it was Pirates’ defensive frailties that cost them in terms of results last season and that’s where Ntshangase comes in…
The Bidvest Wits midfielder’s incredible defensive numbers included an outstanding 11.42 clearances per 90 minutes, 2.31 tackles and 3.64 duels won. That’s just the surface in terms of where he is far superior to Manyisa. He was also far more effective when he did get into the box, shooting with greater accuracy, and taking more within the box. He also made more crosses and completed more dribbles.
Therefore, it is clear that Ntshangase is far better suited to a holding midfield role than the outgoing Manyisa and, when it comes to the holes that need to be filled in the middle of the park, Ntshangase could be the solution. Pirates’ defensive action ratio was poor last season and they conceded the most shots in the league, while also conceding the highest number of opposition passes. In other words, opponents could make more passes against Pirates than any other team before a tackle or interception or clearance to broke up play. Ntshangase would help hugely with this.
Do you think Ntshangase can be a better player than Manyisa in Pirates’ midfield?