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Benni McCarthy in, Rhulani Mokwena out? Orlando Pirates need a new coach to rescue the season

09:42 GMT+3 10/11/2019
Rhulani Mokwena, coach of Orlando Pirates, October 2019
The former Cape Town City mentor is available following his departure from the Mother City club and it may not be a bad idea for Bucs to sign him

The idea of Benni McCarthy coaching Orlando Pirates appears to make sense now more than ever. 

This follows after Pirates suffered another defeat to arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday, their second in as many weeks after crashing out of the Telkom Knockout Cup last weekend. 

Rhulani Mokwena has done his best in building his own legacy at Pirates but things continue to fall apart, not necessarily because it's his fault but the expectations on his shoulders are just too high and the results are there for everyone to see. 

A section of Pirates fans may be satisfied with how the team plays - the performance and the structure of the team - but the majority of them are not too pleased with drawing and losing matches. 

After 11 league games, the Sea Robbers find themselves in ninth position with only 13 points  - they have won three, drawn four and lost four - which isn't a good record at all by their standards. 

The pressure of not winning trophies is what makes fans call for the sacking of Mokwena, but perhaps it is not necessary to fire him but find someone who will continue to hold his hand until he is ready to lead Pirates on his own.

Several factors have contributed to Pirates' woes this season and the main one is Mokwena's chopping and changing of his starting line-ups for different games. 

While it may be a good idea for a coach to do that, it doesn't always work and Mokwena is often left looking incompetent whenever the team doesn't get the desired results.

For instance, Mokwena has already used 28 players in all the matches he has been in charge of this season - which gives the impression that he's still not sure of his starting XI. 

In Mokwena, Pirates players see a brother more than a head coach they should play and win matches for - and that alone could be his biggest downfall going forward. 

The likes of Tshegofatso Mabasa, Gabadinho Mhango and Xola Mlambo were not regulars when the season started but they are back in the fold. Perhaps, because the team was failing to win matches - but this means one thing that Mokwena has dismantled the foundation laid by Micho Sredojevic over the past two seasons. 

From the outside, it doesn't look like Mokwena shouts at his players whenever they make costly errors which is one of the differences between him and McCarthy - something the former Cape Town City coach would do if he comes to Pirates. 

At times, players need someone they can respect more than just admire to produce the goods, but that hasn't been the case with Pirates players. 

Looking back at when Sredojevic was around, there were times when a player would score a goal and go straight to the touchline and celebrate with Mokwena instead of the coach or the entire technical team, and that gave the impression that he was the big boss and some fans from the distance felt certain players undermined the Serbian coach and gave too much respect to his assistant.

In Saturday's press conference, Mokwena spoke of his team's lack of decision-making in the final third instead of mistakes as they fail to get over the line and score goals.

His counter-part, Ernst Middendorp, raised an opinion soon afterward, saying winning matches need players to execute a certain skill but Mokwena came back and shot that coaching opinion down. 

This could mean Mokwena was too emotional to accept another loss to Chiefs, but taking advice from experienced coaches such as Middendorp and many others would go a long way in this long coaching career he has ahead of himself if he wants to succeed. 

McCarthy may have been sacked for a series of poor results at Cape Town City, but he is wiser and has done it before - and therefore Pirates could use his expertise in an effort to rescue what has been a poor season for the club.

Benni is firm and knows what it means to be a Buccaneer - not to insinuate that Mokwena doesn't, but a new coach with new ideas could be what the players need right now. 

Tactically, Pirates have just been very poor in the majority of the games they played this season - they did extremely well in both games against Chiefs and would consider themselves unlucky, and perhaps their fans would want to play equally strong sides as Amakhosi for the players to give their all. 

However, the reality is that there other 14 teams in the league, and Pirates still need to play well and beat them for their fans to believe in them.