Following their loss to Mamelodi Sundowns at the weekend, Orlando Pirates have been questioned for their defensive tactics after they opted to replace a defender with a midfielder as Josef Zinnbauer tried without success to get the three points for the Buccaneers.
Having started with the back four of Wayde Jooste, Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Thulani Hlatshwayo and Innocent Maela, Zinnbauer opted for midfielder Siphesihle Ndlovu to slot in at right-back when he replaced Jooste at half time, and only for Thabiso Monyane to come in towards the end of the game when he replaced Ben Motshwari.
With Bucs preparing to take on Swallows in their next match, former Pirates striker James Mothibi has cautioned against playing with three players at the back.
“I watched the game and before the game I predicted that Pirates would win. I based my predictions on the performances and results of their previous games. But their performance against Sundowns resulted in them losing and the moment you lose one game you can easily lose focus. I just hope that they are strong in their minds for them to go and fight again in the next game. Sundowns was too strong tactically. They held on to the ball and they capitalised on breaking attacks because they knew that Pirates was going to play with three at the back, so they planned. If situations like that happen you just have to change to the 4-3-3 formation,” he said.
“Sundowns allowed Pirates to regroup and caught them on counter-attacks. Sundowns were good in their build-ups. Taking nothing away from Pirates, to play with three at the back you must have players who are very good tactically, they must be quick, they must have very good technique and must have good passing abilities. I think Pirates lost it there and the marking was not good,” Mothibi added.
Check out Pirates’ strong squad for the 2020/21 season: