orlando pirates mbatha

Irvin Khoza. Image: TSA

Three HUGE changes to the Orlando Pirates coaching staff

Can the Buccaneers break their league title drought?

orlando pirates mbatha

Irvin Khoza. Image: TSA

Orlando Pirates are reshuffling things at all levels. Besides, a strong title challenge next term is on the cards.

Massive coaching changes at Orlando Pirates

New performance analyst poached from Stellenbosch, two coaches leave

Sergio Almenara and Miguel Bellver left the club for personal reasons with assistant coach Almenara confirming his departure after the Nedbank Cup win over Sundowns. The Buccaneers hinted at wholesale changes after the 2023-2024 season and now we’re seeing that come to fruition. Performance analyst Devin O’Brien arrives from Stellenbosch. The Winelands side narrowly lost out to Pirates for second place and CAF Champions League qualification slot. Stellies won their first-ever piece of silverware by claiming the Carling Knockout crown.

“The Club – with the consultation of the head coach – will look to use this offseason break to find a suitable replacement/s as well as bolster the backroom staff in the technical, analysis, medical and conditioning departments,” they stated via iDiskiTimes.

Stellenbosch Kaizer Chiefs MTN8
Stellies are punching above their weight in the PSL. Image: @stellenboschfc / X

Is this the ideal Orlando Pirates formation and starting XI?

Sipho Chaine; Kegan Johannes, Olisa Ndah, Tapelo Xoki; Thabiso Monyane, Thalente Mbatha, Grant Margeman, Deon Hotto; Relebohile Mofokeng; Patrick Maswanganyi, Evidence Makgopa.

Three at the back?

3-4-1-2 would allow Jose Riveiro to deploy three of his outstanding central defenders as the Buccaneers are stacked in that position. Having the likes of Thabiso Sesane and Tapelo Xoki on the bench is a luxury that would be afforded to him, should the club pull off a deal for SuperSport’s Kegan Johannes. This formation would get the prodigiously talented Relebohile Mofokeng into the side as a number 10, behind two central strikers with wildly different skill sets. A dream move for Grant Margeman would give the Bucs central midfield duo a dynamic and youthful look and there’s also the option of using Kabelo Dlamini, experienced hardman Makhehlene Makhaula off the bench.

Orlando Pirates defender Olisa Ndah speaks about injury ordeal. Image Source: (@OrlandoPirates/Twitter)
Orlando Pirates defender Olisa Ndah speaks about injury ordeal. Image Source: (@OrlandoPirates/Twitter)

Tough decision time on Mabasa?

Newly-crowned PSL Players’ Player of the Year Patrick Maswanganyi would be the perfect foil for Evidence Makgopa’s selfless channel-running. If Pirates decide to cash in on Tshegofatso Mabasa, a man who attracts foreign interest, now might be the most opportune moment.

Orlando Pirates
Orlando Pirates fans are expectant on Soweto Derby Day. Image: BackpagePix

Will Pirates push Sundowns for the title next season? Is the gap still too big to bridge? Meanwhile, leave us a comment in the section below with your thoughts.