Zinnbauer has failed, he must go – Joseph Makhanya

JZ win rate is best by Bucs coach in years

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer.
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Orlando Pirates’ CAF Confederation Cup elimination has re-triggered a debate about the future of mentor Josef Zinnbauer.

Pirates bowed out of the Confed Cup in an embarrassing manner as they were humiliated 4-0 by Moroccan side Raja Casablanca in the second leg of the tournament’s quarterfinals at Stade Mohamed V Stadium on Sunday. The first leg at home had ended 1-all, meaning Bucs lost 1-5 on aggregate.

Zinnbauer may have ended Pirates’ six-year trophy drought by delivering the MTN8 title last December but many are not convinced that the German is the right man to lead the Sea Robbers from next season going forward. In March, many called for the club to fire the coach, but those talks died down after stringing together a few wins. 

Erstwhile Bucs winger Joseph Makhanya is one of the people who strongly believe it’s time for his former club to relieve Zinnbauer of his duties. “Dukuduku”, as Makhanya is known in football circles, feels the 51-year-old's failure to get the best out of his players is his main undoing.

“Based on the results and achievements, I would say we need a new man. Now we’re looking at what Zinnbauer achieved the whole season, at the moment we’re number four on the log and that means next season there’ll be no continental football for the club,’’ Makhanya told Sowetan.

“For me the coach has failed, given the amount of signings the club made at the start of the season. We should be competing with Sundowns but now the coach can’t get the better of the players he have, that’s his main problem. Our full-backs are all over the pitch and the wingers are played as strikers…it shows he can’t get the better of his material.’’

However another former Pirates player, Lebogang Mothibantwa, begged to differ: “No, it was his first full season [having joined the Soweto giants in December 2019] and he won the MTN8, so he deserves a chance for another season,’’ Mothibantwa said yesterday.

“The guy [Zinnbauer] has done a decent job under the circumstances…remember, last year his son [Fabio] was involved in a car accident and he was in a coma for a while, but that never really affected the man when it comes to his job at Pirates.’’

In March, the Bucs trainer amassed 30 wins from his 50 game in charge of Pirates, with just six defeats and 14 stalemates. Zinnbauer’s 60% win record is the best by any Bucs coach in their first 50 outings in the recent era.

Pirates face AmaZulu in a league match at Orlando Stadium on Thursday (5pm).

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