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COMMENT: Can Sredojevic be blamed for Orlando Pirates' Caf Champions League exit?

7:06 PM GMT 26/08/2019
Milutin Sredojevic, Orlando Pirates
Bucs are five games without a win in all competitions, but is the now-departed Micho to blame for the club's decline?

Milutin Sredojevic is no longer at Orlando Pirates and the club certainly seem to be missing the Serbian mentor.

No one expected the coach to depart Bucs when he did and perhaps the club’s struggles since his departure indicates they are still recovering from the shock.

However, while many will be quick to point fingers at Micho, is he really to blame especially after the club’s most recent exit from the Caf Champions league?

Pirates failed to overturn the deficit against Green Eagles and bowed out of the competition in the preliminary round, putting pressure on Micho’s interim successor Rulani Mokwena.

The Soweto giants dominated but lacked the killer edge - something which has become apparent in recent times.

Micho, though, cannot be blamed for this.

While his exit did come as a setback on the eve of an MTN8 game against Highlands Park, which also ended in elimination, the coach himself did not have Pirates clicking on all cylinders this season prior to his departure.

Their only win under Micho was on the opening day of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) season against Bloemfontein Celtic, and his last game before his departure was a 3-0 defeat to SuperSport United, which proved the wholesale changes made at the club have affected the solidity and chemistry within the team.

This was always a worry when Pirates roped in so many new players, and if Micho is to take the blame for anything, it is for the club’s recruitment policies.

The club signed quality players, but it was apparent most weren't what they needed.

Pirates clearly needed a centre-back, and while they were linked with Thulani Hlatshwayo, a move never materialised.

Nonetheless, after two seasons at the club, Micho still laid a strong foundation, which Mokwena and assistant Fadlu Davids should have been able to utilise right away.

But it doesn’t seem that it was solid enough or as stable as everyone imagined. Micho might be a tactically astute mentor but what sets him apart is his relationship with players.

He was a coach who knew how to get the best out of his troops and his departure looks to have unsettled the team.

Also, considering he has now taken up the top job at Egyptian side Zamalek, it could have affected some players who might have felt a bit disheartened by his untimely departure. 

Nevertheless, Micho has left and it really does not make sense for the club to point fingers. Rather they need to look at the positives and get the side back on track.

The club cannot afford to go back to the pre-Micho era and Mokwena is more than capable to move the club in a positive direction, he just needs time.