Following Wayne Sandilands’ horrific howler against Highlands Park, Orlando Pirates manager Micho Sredojevic dropped the goalkeeper for the club’s subsequent game against Chippa United. However, was this an astute decision by the Buccaneers’ management team?
By dropping Sandilands after one match and one mistake this season, surely Sandilands’ morale drastically decreases and even more, pressure is put on him. More pressure is also undoubtedly placed on the shoulders of the other Pirates’ goalkeepers because they know that they will most likely be dropped after one mistake.
In contrast, one of the reasons Mamelodi Sundowns have been so successful on a consistent basis is the fact that manager Pitso Mosimane has consistently stood by and selected goalkeeper Denis Onyango. This has resulted in Onyango winning two Absa Premiership titles whilst he consistently donned the gloves for Masandawana.
On the other hand, maybe the Orlando Pirates’ goalkeeping coaches are to blame for the club’s continuous goalkeeping mistakes in recent seasons. Former Pirates’ goalkeeper Felipe Ovono was also prone to mistakes in the mere eight games he played for the Buccaneers. Yet, the Buccaneers signed Ovono one the back of his outstanding performances in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, where he helped his country, Equatorial Guinea, finish in third-place.
Therefore, the individual goalkeepers at Pirates would surely perform better if they receive a fairer amount of loyalty from the coach and the club’s goalkeeping coaches adopt a fresh approach.
By Saul Kamionsky