Orlando Pirates team

Orlando Pirates team vs Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld in February 2024. Image: BackpagePix

What Orlando Pirates need next season – Teko

Orlando Pirates were the team expected to chase and catch Mamelodi Sundowns. Teko Modise has said why they failed.

Orlando Pirates team

Orlando Pirates team vs Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld in February 2024. Image: BackpagePix

Orlando Pirates legend Teko Modise has become a proven expert on the local game as an analyst. So, what’s his overall assessment of the Sea Robbers?

TEKO MODISE RATES ORLANDO PIRATES

Jose Riveiro’s side has impressed by lifting two MTN8 titles and the Nedbank Cup. Should Orlando Pirates win the upcoming Nedbank semifinal and subsequent final, the list of accolades could become four trophies. According to Modise, the team’s league inconsistent results leave them below the level of Mamelodi Sundowns.

“It’s a difficult one because everyone wants Mamelodi Sundowns to be challenged by Orlando Pirates,” said Modise via FARPost.

“But looking at the gap now, Orlando Pirates should be playing for [CAF] Champions League position, not the league per se.

“But what troubles Pirates is the consistency because they play so well in cup competitions. I think they have the know-how as to how to win cup competitions.

“However, the consistency in the league becomes a problem. You look at the record they have this season on away games, it’s not convincing, it’s not a team you should be winning a league with that type of record.

“So, next season, if they can try and balance that, be as dominant as they are at home and away. I think that would chance for them to win the league,” the former Orlando Pirates attacker concluded.

JOSE RIVEIRO CONFIRMS CONQUERED OBSTACLE

Orlando Pirates left Golden Arrows and AmaZulu wounded with 7-1 and 4-2 defeats. Coach Jose Riveiro has revealed that his team has overcome a certain obstacle.

Speaking to the media after the Nedbank Cup win over Usuthu in Durban last weekend, the Spaniard said Orlando Pirates previously struggled to score in the first half of games – and Cup games make it easier to respond to the challenge.

“I would like to find the same map in our league games. I think again, these games are different because it’s today or never basically. It’s not even a Cup tournament where you play two legs, so if we don’t have a good day today, we’re out,” the Sea Robbers coach said via SABC Sport.

“There’s no room for I don’t like to use the word relax but my English is very limited, so I cannot find another one but that’s the thing that in the Cup usually you start the games with this rhythm succeeding or not, capitalising or not and in the league sometimes it’s not like that.

“I think we as a group in the recent games finally found a way to get rid of one of the obstacles we faced in the last season and the beginning of this season which is scoring in the first half. In the recent games, we are scoring early in the game and that’s making the games much more open,” the Orlando Pirates tactician added.

Staying with Riveiro, the Orlando Pirates coach recently suggested that he has given up on the league race. The Spaniard simply described the runaway leaders, Sundowns, as a point-machine.

“I think we have only lost one game in 2024 if I’m not wrong,” said Orlando Pirates coach Riveiro via FARPost.

“We played a fantastic game in Pretoria [against Mamelodi Sundowns], we managed to get the [Soweto] derby. I think we lost against Sekhukhune United, and we were not at our best during the first 30 minutes.

“But I think what happened last week is a clear example [that we’re consistent]. We [Orlando Pirates] didn’t get the result we wanted against Moroka Swallows but it was not a 1-1 performance, not even close. I think we played much better against Swallows compared to Arrows. How can you explain that? After a 1-1 and 7-1. The focus for you or people who’re watching is always results.

“We’re not far from [consistency], we are there, we are replicating performances then results are results. We can still talk about consistency until the end of our lives, but it’s not the only thing to talk about.

“And when we see above us on top, we’re [Orlando Pirates] competing against points-machine, one team that didn’t lose one game in the last 40 or more games. Is that what you call not being consistent? We got 54 points, and usually you win the title in South Africa with 60, right? Probably you know better.

“But again, we’re competing against the point machine; they don’t lose. I don’t know where we’re going to finish this season. I’m not sure if we’re going to pass that number.

“We’re trying. It’s very difficult to get close, but we’re getting there,” the Orlando Pirates mentor concluded.