JOHANNESBURG - Orlando Pirates legend Jerry Sikhosana has questioned the credibility of the club’s finishing specialist Stephane Adam - the first ever to be appointed to the role by any club in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) era.
Adam was appointed to strengthen Pirates’ firepower in their pursuit of honours this season. However, the Frenchman’s efforts has so far proven to be futile considering Pirates have only scored three goals in five matches.
“We expected a lot from the team, especially after how they finished last season and also if you look at their signings. Unfortunately it has been disappointing start to be honest,’’ said Sikhosana, who was speaking at the Soweto Gold Beer tournament on Saturday.
“I think we need to get somebody more professional in terms of strikers’ coaching because I’ve seen more defenders going into striking positions. While the likes of (Thamsanqa) Gabuza, (Justin) Shonga and (Augustine) Mulenga miss one-one-ones and penalties. For me, it’s still a big question, is he the right guy to coach the strikers?"
The bluntness of Bucs’ attacking department has resulted in them suffering back-to-back defeats in the Absa Premiership. In the MTN8 they were knocked out largely thanks to Mulenga being too casual with his spot-kick take against Supersport United in extra-time of the quarterfinal.
“We’ve got quality strikers, but those strikers are firing blanks," Sikhona lamented "It leaves question marks as to why the strikers are not converting when Pirates have brought in the first-ever finishing coach in the PSL? We’ve been crying about it for a while as former strikers, but now that we have one, it’s so disappointing."
After earning himself the nickname ‘Legs of Thunder’, for being a prolific scorer during his heydays with the Sea Robbers, Sikhosana admitted that he’d love to 'give back' to the new generation.
“I don’t want to be the striking specialist per se, but given the opportunity to be part of the team, I’d relish that," he said. "I won’t say I’ll change things, but I think talking to the boys from someone who has done it would make a huge difference. The plus is that, I’d be someone who knows what it means to wear that black and white jersey. The club is an institution, so it needs someone with guts and courage to get the job done."
Sikhosana, a member of the 1995 Caf Champions Cup winning class, argues that it took advice and guidance from local-based players and coaches for him to succeed during his playing days.
He referred to the fact that the country's second premier continental title was achieved by a club coached by a local - Pitso Mosimane of Mamelodi Sundowns. Lest it be forgotten, he added, the country's sole Africa Cup of Nations title was delivered by a South African coach - Clive Barker.
“For me we had the best teams have been those when we had the local coaches at the helm, especially at Bafana Bafana because those guys understood our culture," he insisted. "But, look at how we’ve fared when European coaches came in to coach Bafana. We want to play football at the highest level, but we can’t be a western culture, we need to stay true to ourselves."
Pirates face Black Leopards in Polokwane tomorrow.