Former Orlando Pirates striker Pollen Ndlanya has called on the club’s coach, Vladimir Vermezovic, to play Lehlohonolo Majoro upfront because he feels there is too much pressure on the shoulders of the Buccaneers’ burly striker Kermit Erasmus.
Erasmus has been played as a lone striker and has come under heavy criticism for squandering goal scoring opportunities, particularly in the game against Moroka Swallows at the weekend in Orlando. The Buccaneers were duly punished for their wasteful ways in front of goal, losing 2-1 to the Dube Birds on the opening weekend of the league campaign.
Ndlanya, a man who used to make scoring look easy, would like to see Vermezovic changing his tactics a little for Pirates’ league match against Bloemfontein Celtic at Free State Stadium today (7.30pm).
After their defeat at home to the Dube Birds, Pirates need to bounce back and Ndlanya feels the best way to get maximum points in the Free State is to play with two strikers, instead of the one forward Vermezovic usually favours.
“Majoro has to be given a chance to play and prove himself. He is the only striker I admire in the PSL right now. Pirates are playing with one striker and that is not working for them because the one striker they are playing with is short. You could see that they needed another striker on the pitch when they played against Swallows.
“Majoro came on, but he should have been brought on earlier. So I think they should have Majoro starting upfront with Erasmus. They can sacrifice one midfielder because if you do not convert the chances you create, then you will get punished. If Pirates continue like this, then they will be in big trouble.”
He added: “If you get five chances as a striker, you should at least convert two of those chances. Sometimes these players want to kill the goalkeeper when all you need to do is pass the ball into the net. They need to be clinical. I think the technical team at Pirates would have addressed this matter and hopefully we will see improvements when they play again.”
Erasmus’ teammate Lennox Bacela has backed the former SuperSport United striker to shake off the weekend’s lacklustre display against the Dube Birds and bang in the goals for the Buccaneers.
“I don’t think the criticism on him is fair. It’s such an unfortunate situation because people will always forget what you did the previous week. He is a quality player and I know he will bounce back. He does not look like he is affected by what’s happening.
“He is getting good support at the club and he will overcome everything,” said the former Celtic striker, who has been left out of the team playing against Phunya Sele Sele today.
Erasmus is likely to start again today. He may not be a clinical finisher, but his passing and movement in and around the box make him a very tricky forward to face.
Mpumalanga Black Aces, meanwhile, have an opportunity to avenge the heavy 4-0 defeat they suffered a couple of weeks ago to Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN8. The clubs meet today in Nelspruit, and unlike the last game, Aces coach Clive Barker has his foreigners – Collins Mbesuma and Edwin Gyimah – available for the clash after they received their work permits.
With Gyimah in defence, Aces are not likely to concede another four. - The Star