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Feb 16, 2017 07:36 AM
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“Pirates’ Right Back Situation & How To Fix It” – Reader’s Voice

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Orlando Pirates have played Thabo Matlaba at right back for the past two matches, leaving a player more naturally suited to the position, Thembela Sikhakhane, on the bench for both outings. However, he came on in the second half last on Wednesday night for the injured Marc Van Heerden and Matlaba moved to the left. Then Sikhakhane showed why the coach had left him on the bench.

His tackles were easily skipped over, he was getting bullied in challenges and his final ball was wasteful. The only thing productive about his play was the blistering pace he possesses.

His situation is a tough one for any coach to manage, as he was so fantastic in the colours of Golden Arrows last season and one feels he’s still adjusting to his surroundings. Perhaps it’s only a matter of time until he gets back to that level. His main competition for the position, Ntsikelelo Nyauza, is no better, as he’s proven for years that he’s not of the required level at Pirates.

However, a team like the Bucs can afford the best players and there are two right backs, who seem destined to rot on the bench even with their star qualities - Mamelodi Sundowns’ Siyanda Zwane and Asavela Mbekile, who have been replaced by Thapelo Morena and Anele Ngcongca. The two were pivotal as Downs won the Champions League last year and would add value at the Parktown based side.

Pirates cannot get replacements between now and the end of the season but they can start drawing up their shortlist.

*This article was written by a Soccer Laduma reader and reflects their opinion, not that of Soccer Laduma.



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MATOME DUNGA BOLOKA Joined: 19 Feb 2017
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MATOME DUNGA BOLOKA Feb 20, 2017 08:21 AM
Thabo Festival Transformer Matlaba He is not that bad all pirates need to do is let him play left back an sekhakhane play right back then we will see where we have problem between those players.
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Magebhula Sokzin Joined: 17 May 2016
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Magebhula Sokzin Feb 20, 2017 08:18 AM
Jele played that position. So why can't they put him back there and why did they buy Okwoasu for center defence?
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THE NK Joined: 28 Dec 2016
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THE NK Feb 19, 2017 09:09 PM
Pirates has a problem of the whole defence and Matlaba is no more a defensder; but a middle fielder now.
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Richmphiwa_Dr_Dreamer Joined: 10 May 2016
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Richmphiwa_Dr_Dreamer Feb 19, 2017 07:17 PM
Out of all the defence we have I rate this Sikhakhane & Chabalala highly, the only stunning block is a leader whom I believe we need at the center back as a captain and the other thing that let us down is the chopping and changing of players which made it impossible for players to jel.
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Mkhulus Joined: 19 Feb 2017
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Mkhulus Feb 19, 2017 05:33 PM
The only problem at Bucs is the management . Who sells and buy the players without the coach. If only we can let the coach do is thing . Then konke kuzolunga
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jerseynumber8 Joined: 23 Jul 2015
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jerseynumber8 Feb 19, 2017 03:54 PM
Matlaba, is naturally right-footed and is more a wingback rather than a fullback. OP, must play a 352 formation, with Matlaba and Van Heerden employed at right and left wingback, respectively.
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Vongani vs dunudunu/rats Joined: 17 Feb 2017
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Vongani vs dunudunu/rats Feb 19, 2017 12:23 PM
sex before games is killing this team
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Mpho'niya Joined: 12 Nov 2010
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Mpho'niya Feb 19, 2017 09:56 AM
@DumisaniZungu I agree with u Dumisani, Sarr is not goal orientated player,,, his passes are more if backward than offensive, he has and will never distribute a through pass, never in the box, not shooting from long range...
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mapi Joined: 15 Feb 2010
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mapi Feb 19, 2017 09:12 AM
Ur argument is baseless, Skhakhane and Chabalala were two of our best defenders during the first half of the season n he is way better than those two cows u mentioned and he is still young, we don't have any problem @ right back, central defence, goalkeeping department n favouritism is what has caused this downward spiral @ Bucs
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magawula247 Joined: 06 Feb 2016
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magawula247 Feb 18, 2017 06:28 PM
Both these players are not better than skhakhane at that right back. Remember skhakhane ubekhuhla ibench for sometime so introducing him later in the game was not helping either. He is not a bad player.
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chris kris Joined: 15 Feb 2017
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chris kris Feb 18, 2017 04:34 PM
Isn't Mobara the man 4 that position??
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black-bakaniya Joined: 01 Nov 2016
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black-bakaniya Feb 18, 2017 04:15 PM
What did the coach except from this guy? Njenje is no longer good with this team its only his heart that is coaching. I was going to play like that if I was this guy because njenje showed no faith in this young talented boy
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STIGA18 Joined: 26 Sep 2015
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STIGA18 Feb 18, 2017 03:26 PM
Struggling yes, Players 4rm sunflower a bid NO.
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LeCowhlohlo Joined: 07 Oct 2016
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LeCowhlohlo Feb 18, 2017 01:55 PM
Our left back is also not covered since the departure of Ruben Cloete.
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LeCowhlohlo Joined: 07 Oct 2016
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LeCowhlohlo Feb 18, 2017 01:42 PM
Sikhakhane should have started ahead of Matlaba.
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khalilou Joined: 11 Sep 2014
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khalilou Feb 18, 2017 10:22 AM
How wl Sikhakhane improve as a player wherels his nt trusted at all
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salathiso Joined: 15 Feb 2010
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salathiso Feb 18, 2017 09:55 AM
Mobara is the player to play that position, no one else
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DumisaniZungu Joined: 31 Dec 2016
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DumisaniZungu Feb 18, 2017 09:50 AM
Issa Sar is a problem in mild.i don't hv problem with issa sar but i don't lyk the way he play
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old dog Joined: 24 Feb 2016
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old dog Feb 18, 2017 08:08 AM
@GeeMagic I don't agree with you on opting for mbekile coz he's not even a natural defender n as for zwane I don't think he can compete with sikhakhane n nyauza since he's failing to compete with midfielders(morena n mbekile) in his own natural role(right back). We don't wanna sign players who'll just add numbers but we need quality players to add value. Our main problem is with the central defence. We need to learn to keep the same players so they can understand each other, chopping n changing players after conceding a goal or two is our downfall. Let the boys learn to understand each other's strength n weaknesses eventually they'll come right
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Zubstar Joined: 19 Oct 2016
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Zubstar Feb 18, 2017 07:15 AM
Skhakhane our best,only a matter of time

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