Former Orlando Pirates full-back says he failed because he couldn’t attack

Former Orlando Pirates number three Lizo Mjempu has revealed that the club expected way too much than he could deliver.


The Buccaneers have always been a clearly attacking team with flying full-backs, but Mjempu’s story somehow still feels like a surprise.

After an exciting move from Ajax Cape Town to Orlando Pirates, Mjempu ended up becoming a bench player before eventually moving on.

So what was the reason for the failure?

According to Mjempu, foreign coaching at Ajax molded him into an ultra-defensive full-back, this condition later stood in the way of his success at Orlando Pirates.

“The influence of foreign coaches who come to coach in the PSL has affected our football big time and it’s difficult for us to return to our culture and identity.

“These coaches expect all our players to mark and win the ball although that doesn’t happen at international football where you don’t see guys like Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar marking,” said Mjempu via Soccer Laduma.

“I mean, you can’t expect a player like Mark Mayambela to be running around the field and trying to win the ball from opponents because that is not what he is skilled at.

“As a full-back, I, as Lizo Mjempu should be able to cover for him and do the marking whenever he loses possession when we try to attack as a team. That used to my role throughout my career, and I used to cover for (Khama) Billiat, (Thulani) Serero and a lot of the other guys I played with at Ajax Cape Town.

“That’s why I struggled at Pirates because they wanted me to join the team in attack and I am not an attacking kind of a player.

“But I do understand that football has evolved, but we are getting confused at times because full-backs are required to attack more just like attackers although the way I understand it a full-back’s priority should be on defending,” he concluded.



In other news, Orlando Pirates midfielder Linda Mntambo is expected to stay at the club despite his struggling to command a starting place.

Pirates fans who love Mntambo should enjoy this report. It is believed that the club is motivated to keep Mntambo in Soweto.

After just 10 appearances this season, and with his contract expiring in June, it is easy to imagine Mntambo moving to a new address next season

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