What Pirates need to fix…

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It’s still early days, but Orlando Pirates are already far off the pace in the Absa Premiership.

With 10 matches played, the Buccaneers are 12 points behind rivals and log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, who they meet tomorrow at FNB Stadium (15:30).

Pirates, to their credit, challenged for the League in the past two seasons, but fell short to Mamelodi Sundowns.

This season, however, they are finding the going tough.

Naturally, there are a lot of things that they need to fix in their game to stage a comeback and become one of the contenders for the title. Here are some of it…

SLOW STARTERS

In terms of their statistics looking at specifically their 10 League games, it’s clear that Pirates are slow off the mark.

This is a breakdown of when they score their goals in the 90 minutes…

0-15: 8.13%

15-30: 8.3%

30-45: 0%

45-60: 50%

60-75: 8.3%

75-90: 25%

*Pirates are more dangerous from the start of the second half to the hour mark and then switch off, before coming back in the last 15 minutes. This means they only play well in patches, which isn’t good enough.

To sum it, from all Pirates’ 10 League games, there’s none that they were winning at halftime. In fact, it’s only Pirates and Chippa United that have not been leading heading into the break.

Bucs coach Mokwena’s middle name is Mlungisi (the one who fixes). Is ‘Mr Fix It’ up to the task?

LEAKING GOALS

Bucs have conceded 13 goals, two more than bottom placed, Chippa United. Pirates, Golden Arrows and Polokwane City have let in 13 and only one team has conceded more – Cape Town City (18).

The log leaders Chiefs have conceded only 5. Chiefs have a goal difference of +11 and Pirates are on -1. It’s in Pirates’ interest to work on their defence.

TOO MANY DRAWS

Last season, Pirates drew a whopping 12 games, which was arguably one of their downfalls in the League race. This season, they are on 4 draws from 10 matches. They cannot afford to continue drawing and dropping points.

POOR AWAY FORM

They’ve lost three of their five League games away to SuperSport United (0-3), Bidvest Wits (3-4) and Stellenbosch (0-1). They won one and drew one. On the ‘away table’, Pirates are in 13th spot and on the ‘home table’, they are sixth.

STOP THE CHOPPING & CHANGING…

Happy Jele (9 League starts), Innocent Maela (9), Fortune Makaringe (8) and Wayne Sandilands (7) are the players with the most starts. In total, Pirates have already used 29 players in League games only. Bucs coach Rulani Mokwena has to figure out who are the players capable of doing the job for the club and stick with them, rather than chop and change to please everyone.

By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa

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