Persistent injury issues among Bucs’ forwards, including last season’s top scorer Gabadinho Mhango, likely explain the squad’s inconsistency.
One issue that has plagued the Orlando Pirates this season – the lack of fit forwards – is one that continues to prove problematic for the Soweto giants.
With a 1-0 win over Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday night, thanks to a goal from Deon Hotto just minutes before half-time, Pirates managed to end a two-game streak in which they failed managed to score.
With Gabadinho Mhango back on the injury list – the Malawian was building up his fitness after missing the first three months of the season, along with Tshegofatso Mabasa and Zakhele Lepasa missing through injury, coach Josef Zinnbauer started with Thembinkosi Lorch. and Vincent Pule against Maritzburg.
Lorch and Pule generally operate as wingers, although they also tend to be allowed to drift across the front line at will, and are certainly adept at attacking or number 10 positions.
However, what is remarkable about their selection is that Terrence Dzvukamanja and Jean-Marc Makusu Mundele were left on the bench and did not feature at all.
Dzvukamanja is a lot like Lorch and Pule – not an uncontrolled striker but rather an attacking midfielder who can be effective wide or central.
The former Bidvest Wits man was given plenty of playing time by coach Josef Zinnbauer but didn’t quite seize the opportunity and so it was perhaps telling that he stayed on the bench on Saturday.
Mundele, meanwhile, barely played for the Pirates, although he arrived at the club with high expectations having previously played in Belgium for Standard Liege as well as other stays in Hungary, Algeria and in Egypt.
The DR Congo sniper arrived at the club in early November last year but played a total of 20 minutes.
Zinnbauer explained the situation last week, telling the media:
“Mundele hasn’t been here for long. He needs information in terms of tactics and conditioning. Before coming here he was away for a while. We have to handle these situations well. “
It still seems odd, however, that the experienced Mundele took so long to settle in and one would have thought that with the current list of injuries, it might have been the perfect time for the player on loan from AS Vita from seize his opportunity.
Especially considering he only signed a one-season loan.