It has taken three managers in one season to see Orlando Pirates finish outside the top 8 in the Premier league season since 1987.
Despite having so called difficult seasons, they always managed to pull through into the top 8 but not in the 2016/2017 Absa Premiership season, which they started positively winning the first three games with an average of two goals per game.
At the start of the 2016/17 pls season, Orlando Pirates announced Mushin Etugral as the head coach. He is an experienced coach who is familiar with South African style of football. He even once coached Pirates rivals Kaizer Chiefs.
After two games of the new season Orlando Pirates won one and drew one out of two games they played and they were regarded as title contenders.
Just 4 months into the new seasons, wheels started to come off in the Orlando camp as they received a heavy defeat against the Tshwane outfit, Supersport united. It was a home game for amatsatsantsa and the game was played in Mbombela. It left Etugral shuttered and went to resign on national television on his post match interview after the game. “Non of us ,we don’t deserve to wear the Orlando Pirates jersey” said Etugral after announcing his decision depart with the team.
The team brought in a care taker coach in Augusto Palacious is as it’s always been the case in the past. Palacious was not thrown into the deep end as he is very familiar with the position but that didn’t improve much as the team as drowning deep into the relegation zone with results not coming.
Orlando Pirates welcomed their captain Oupa Manyisa back into the starting line up hoping that he was help them to bring glory days in Orlando. The combinations in the middle of the park weren’t solid as they are supposed to.
They started changing Goal keepers to improve their situation but still the dark cloud was still looming on top of their heads.
Orlando Pirates used all their 3 goal keepers the whole session. It was goal keepers your errors that saw them lose touch with the front runners.
Tendai Ndoro scoring boots were dried up after the January break and couldn’t pick up his form that saw him leading the goal scoring chats.
In February 2017, Pirates suffered another shocking 6-0 loss at the hands of Mamelodi Sundowns in the capital city. The fans invaded the pitch as it was too much for them to witness their team being slaughter at the hands of the rivals.
After the loss, Pirates announced their new coach Kelly Jonevret from Sweden hoping he would come with new tactics that would change the teams fortune. He took the club to the Netbank cup final but the team weren’t sharp enough to get one over the Tshwane Team as they were beaten 4-1.
The season 2016/17 For Pirates was the worst season they ever had in a while. Everything did not go for them the way they hoped it will.
The team finished in 13th position just a single spot away from the relegation zone. They have lost out in the top 8 spot and they will not participate in the “Wafa Wafa” MTN 8 tournament for the upcoming season.. which is unlike ‘The Bucaneers’ the team which won tripple not so so long ago.
It is such a shock but it happens in football especially the South African Premier Soccer League ‘Absa Premiership’ the place were we witnessed giants falling in the recent times.. Remember the fall of Moroka Swallows, Jomo Cosmos and Santos…