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My Message: Orlando Pirates boss Irvin Khoza must take action

Dear Dr. Irvin Khoza,

I really hope you are well because in all honesty, none of us (fans/supporters - past and present) have felt any less appreciated than has been the case in the 2016/2017 ABSA PSL season. It has been so painful watching Orlando Pirates FC, a case almost similar to having sand thrown in the eye.

I have personally dwindled between disappointment and embarrassment at the way the team has been weak in the last season, even going as far as flirting with relegation and pretty much being dominated in every match played. Matches won were real edge-of-the-seat affairs and not because of entertainment but rather the worry we had of losing yet another match without putting up a fight.

None of the players showed any maturity, not even the longest serving players showed the aptitude expected of them, especially as players of the great brand that is OPFC.

For a few seasons now we have celebrated "showboating", a beautiful kit and the CSI programs with very little in the form of success on the field shown. It is really embarrassing for a team as big as OPFC to find itself so far off the packing order.

On your side, I am really disappointed by your lack of planning and preparation. It definitely didn't take you by surprise that we had a milestone to celebrate this season but how can you plan as the season starts with expectation of success. You are an experienced businessman, very much familiar with requirements for success and good management.

You got rid of experienced players like Moeneeb, Klate and Myeni on the back of losing the leadership quality of Lucky and Sangweni, leaving the team very thin in terms of leadership and experience and nobody has shown the same quality since their departure. And all the teams that have won the league ever since the last time we did have proven that experience is vital and having good leadership (especially in a team like OPFC where there's many inexperienced youngsters some of which come from the lower leagues) benefits the team.

You have brought in a technical team that has really failed us in the goalkeeping and defensive departments and they have allowed "seasoned campaigners" to continue making the club look like there is no training and no discussions after matches. I can name a few players who continued to make the same mistakes over the whole season without showing the least improvement. One of those players even stands the chance of losing out on redeeming the brand after a brilliant start that faded due to his inability to read the game and basically just improve on how he started. His is an embarrassing case really because it shows just how he regressed, pathetic!

You need to relook the criteria for bringing in foreign players. I do not understand how we can continue bringing players who are so average. The last time we had a quality foreign player was when we had Dinha. Chansa came close in his second stint but he was not even a regular. Where are the likes of Nsunda though!

It is still beyond me how you have not had Benny come in even as a consultant to advise the strikers. With all due respect, none of the people currently on the bench know or understand the philosophy of the club. None came from the ranks. It is such a desperate situation that all of them come from our rivals where even one of them went to the media to lash out at you and I'm yet to read an apology from him. That was damaging to the brand. In the blogging platforms we are still referred to as "Insurance Papers FC".

In conclusion, I say the team is in crises, please take action and as a supporter of the team I plead with you not to have any player awards this season. That would really be rewarding mediocrity. The squad needs to be trimmed down and the technical team has got to be reshuffled. The whole load of players should watch how Rakhale played the match against Arrows and that should be how they exert themselves in every match, Rakhale himself included. I wish I could have a one-on-one with Mpho. His laziness has really reached a new high and I remember Ertugral mentioning that he spoke to him about it and really for a "senior" player he is not offering much at his age and we let go of Klate for much less.

Please receive this as a plea from a concerned citizen and supporter of the club. I hate seeing just how low the team has dropped in terms of quality. Some hooligans have already attacked opposition supporters and I can assure you that this illness, if not treated, may lead to the players being attacked at some point.

I respect you greatly and believe that you respect us as the supporters and as such that you respect our opinions and will consider my plea.

Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Staff writter

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