“We like to make it difficult, my middle name is Mlungisi [meaning; the one who fixes], so I think sometimes the players try and test how much I can fix certain things, so it’s a test to see how difficult they can make things for me, but we keep going and we try to fix,”
This is what Rhulani Mokwena told Supersport after his team’s draw with Mariztburg United last night. Every time I listen to Mokwena’s post-game interviews I’m always left asking myself “What the heck is this guy saying?” One thing I’m never confused about, though, is the pattern of each of them. They go like this 1. The interviewer asks a question 2. He takes a moment to think about it (with a defeated expression on his face) 3. He goes on a soliloquy that either had nothing to do with the game or doesn’t make sense.
Last night the Buccaneers drew for their fifth time to go along with their four losses in their 12 games under Rhulani Mokwena. There always seems to be something wrong with his teams. If they are not conceding goals by they are failing to score.
“There is a lot of progress and positives and that’s where we want to focus on‚” Mokwena said.
“For us‚ we don’t feel the pressure‚ we don’t feel the crisis because we have proven that we can win games.“
A dozen games is a big enough sample size to have an idea of what the future may hold for Orlando Pirates with Mokwena as their head coach. We don’t know who Mokwena’s best 11 is, neither does he. We do not know what his best formation is, neither does he. We don’t even know which Orlando Pirates is going to show up from game to game, trust me, neither does Mokwena.
Orlando Pirates have moved from a club that, for the past two seasons, was competing against Sundowns for the league to a side in the middle of the pack. They are now in 7th position 9 points behind leaders Kaizer Chiefs. Orlando Pirates made a heavy investment of players over the preseason. They thought this year, after finishing runners up twice in the previous two years, would be their year.
Milutin Sredojević screwed them over by leaving them stranded after three games at the beginning of the season. His departure, no matter how early it was, might have ruined their entire season. Mokwena isn’t ready to lead one of the biggest clubs in South Africa as of yet. Orlando Pirates Chairman Irvin Khoza needs to make a change. Pirates supporters acknowledged Mokwena needs time but their patience is running thin. How long should they wait for Mokwena to turn the tide? Do they wait till the middle of the season, when they are even further behind Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns? Or at the end of the season where they will be scratching and clawing to at least make into the top 8?