It has been suggested that Orlando Pirates’ midfielder Xola Mlambo was excluded from the starting line-up against AmaZulu due to a dip in form. Former Pirates striker Andries Sebola thinks the decision was good for Bucs' midfield as Mpho Makola was fresh and showed more hunger to perform. Some fans agreed with Sebola, with some believing the midfielder lost his touch due to fatigue.
Mlambo's declining form also meant he was no longer as creative, which really frustrated fans. Soccer Laduma reader Mabutho Yin Wena Ngqulunga dubbed Mlambo as:
"Xola, the undisputed king of back-passes."
- Blogger: Mabutho Yin Wena Ngqulunga
Some fans protected the midfielder from further criticism. Prince Mphahlele quickly pointed out that Mlambo, like anyone else, is human and that he could be facing other distractions. The Soccer Laduma reader maintained he is still a good player in the end:
"A good player who is off form at the moment. Players are humans also, maybe there is something that is bothering him and we don't know."
- Blogger: Prince Mphahlele
Mlambo was a regular feature in the starting line-up for Pirates earlier in the campaign, and Fumanie Ganyanie Ma Ten-Ten believes it's time he got some rest. The Soccer Laduma reader thinks his recent form is proof of the player's fatigue and need for rest:
"Mlambo deserves to be benched for the remaining fixtures of the season because if you've seen his performances in previous matches, it has been on and off. So yeah, the guy deserves some rest."
- Blogger: Fumanie Ganyanie Ma Ten-Ten
The opinion that Mlambo needs rest is a widely-held one. Fans don't seem to be doubting his abilities but they believe he needs breathing space. Soccer Laduma reader Nelinha1 feels so and added that Pirates' midfield needs Mlambo's creativity:
"Some players do need to have some breathing space. Mlambo is a quality player but during his time with [Bidvest] Wits there was not so much pressure to perform to the highest level in each game, hence he would drop in form at some matches and couldn't be noticed. Surely this was a much-needed rest for him to properly prepare for the following games as his creativity is needed."
- Blogger: Nelinha1
Do you think Mlambo needs to be rested for the remainder of the season, or is his creativity much-needed as the title race intensifies? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!