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COMMENT: How Orlando Pirates failed to get the best out of Gabuza

8:44 PM WAT 01/09/2019
Thamsanqa Gabuza of SuperSport United v Orlando Pirates August 2019
Goal explains how the Buccaneers failed to get the best out of the rejuvenated marksman

SuperSport United striker Thamsanqa Gabuza's move to the Tshwane giants has breathed new life into his career.

The 32-year-old player has been one of the most outstanding players at this early stage of the 2019/20 season especially in the MTN8, having netted three goals in two matches.

Matsatsantsa snapped up Gabuza from Orlando Pirates where he had fallen out of favour and he is now looking to make up for lost time.  

 

Tembo's Faith In Gabuza

In Kaitano Tembo, Gabuza has found a coach, who believes in his abilities as a striker and he is playing without feeling pressure.

Playing for a big club like Pirates comes with pressure and players often need the support of the technical team or coach to ease the weight of expectation.

Bucs fans got frustrated with Gabuza’s profligacy in front of goal and the club's technical team which was led by Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic at the time and he did not give the player the necessary support.

Instead, Gabuza was dropped out of the matchday squad on many occasions and he was ignored until he was sold to Matsatsantsa.

Eric Tinkler was one coach who showed faith in Gabuza at Pirates and he played an important role in helping the team reach the 2015 Caf Confederation Cup final and he even scooped the tournament's Golden Boot award.

Suited to SuperSport's Style Of Play

Matsatsantsa's system and style of play suits the former Lamontville Golden Arrows marksman more than when he was at Pirates, who are a ball-playing team.

Gabuza has been used as a targetman because of his height and strength, and he is able to win high balls and create chances for his teammates, while also getting into scoring positions.

Two of his three goals at the three-time PSL champions came from crosses which are constantly played in the box for the strikers as SuperSport are known for their wing play.

At Bucs, the lanky centre-forward was required to hold up play and play short passes in order to penetrate the opposition's defence and score which he struggled to do.

Budding Partnership

Gabuza has formed a deadly partnership with Bradley Grobler with the two frontmen having netted seven goals between them this season.

The two players complement each other as they boast a different set of skills with Gabuza being good in the air, while Grobler feeds off any knocked down balls and tends to finish with aplomb. 

Gabuza enjoyed playing with Kermit Erasmus at Pirates under Tinkler as the two strikers brought out the best in each other and they caused nightmares for defenders on a weekly basis.

However, the Newcastle-born player struggled to replicate the same form after Tinkler's departure as he was often used as a lone striker and he failed to deliver in front of goal.