In Saturday’s 3-0 Soweto Derby victory for Orlando Pirates, Vincent Pule scored a fine goal. However, the winger has been underperforming on the goalscoring front for a long time, netting just three times last season. Will this prove to be the kickstart he needed or another false dawn?
Pule’s amazing start to life at Bucs
When the wide man arrived at Orlando Pirates, having initially said to have signed a pre-contract with Kaizer Chiefs, he made a very exciting start to life at the Mayfair-based club. His form between August and October 2018 was superb, as he scored five goals during that time, including the winner in his first Soweto Derby.
Scoring troubles start
However, after that promising start, Pule’s form on the goalscoring front took a real dip. In his next 24 matches, he only scored two goals. He ended off his first season by netting two goals in his final three league matches to give him an impressive return of nine goals in his first season but his inconsistency was a concern.
Last season's underdelivery
At the beginning of last season, big things were expected from the winger. However, in 29 games, he scored just three times. Pirates only scored in 20 of their 30 matches in the league as they relied on Gabadinho Mhango to score their goals.
Why the dip?
The most likely reason for Pule’s scoring taking such a nosedive is that he began to play deeper and often takes shots from very long distances which are scored very rarely. His shot selection – trying low expected goals value efforts – is a big reason why his goals have dried up.
Getting into great areas
In the Soweto Derby this past weekend, Pule scored the second goal after a lovely touch and finish inside the box from Thembinkosi Lorch’s pass. He also made some excellent other runs into scoring positions behind the Kaizer Chiefs backline and nearly set up a couple of goals from those areas. That represents an improvement in the positions he takes up and more goals should follow in coming weeks if he keeps that up.
Is Pule’s inconsistency likely to continue or will he start scoring goals? Let us know by commenting below!
View images of Pirates' thrashing of Chiefs below: