Pirates are in a rebuilding phase – Mkhalele

Helman Mkhalele (Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix)

Helman Mkhalele (Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix)

Orlando Pirates legend Helman Mkhalele does not believe Bucs will pose a serious threat to the league championship this season unless they start gelling as a team.

Mkhalele believes the Buccaneers are in a rebuilding phase, adding there are a huge amount of new players in the team.

“The technical team has a huge task to make sure the players can gel,” Mkhalele tells Phakaaathi.

“The league will be starting this and from what I saw in the Maize Cup, this is not a team that is together yet, that is showing signs of how it is going to fare next season.

“Starting with the back four, you can tell that these are the players who will form the core of the defence next season, with Justice Chabalala and Edwin Gyimah and a new rightback in Thembela Sikhakhane, but you can tell they are not ready yet.

“You need to start the season with a back four that is settled. Going forward, we saw them struggling to create chances against Platinum Stars and for me that is a bit of a worry.

“Even though the season has not kicked off yet, we should be seeing some indication of what Pirates will look like going forward. Pirates have a lot of work to do, which is why I say they are in a rebuilding phase right now.

“My biggest concern is that the season hasn’t started yet, but I see Pirates nowhere near in terms of putting out a team that will go out there and do well.”

Mkhalele also expressed his concern that Bucs do not really seem to have a player who can play as a No 10.

“Oupa Manyisa is playing more of a defensive role instead of going forward and supplying telling passes to the strikers.

“I think the Pirates team I saw against Stars could struggle in that department.

“Tendai Ndoro struggled to get supply, it was not there. Manyisa and Issa Sarr are playing defensively, so you need someone to sit in and play as a No 10. You can tell Mpho Makola hasn’t been up to full fitness and that is also a concern – something Pirates need to work on.

“Gift Motupa is also there as an option and he is a fantastic player but you would also like to have someone a bit quicker and more mobile in that role.

“The season hasn’t started but I would love to see players dominating in the No 10 role.”

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