Who will be the hero of Soweto?

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Lehlohonolo Majoro

It’s ironic that Majoro - a qualified radiographer, who mainly look at patient’s bones via X-ray - has yet to be put under a spotlight for him to shine. The Pirates forward has struggled to fill the boots left by Kermit Erasmus in not only finding the back of the net, but also orchestrating teamplay. Majoro has scored just one goal in the PSL in 14 appearances, and has mostly featured as a substitute.

In the matches where he has come on from the bench he has looked committed, as if driven to prove a point. But when he starts, he looks lethargic.

When he was on the bench at Chiefs, playing second fiddle to Kingston Nkhatha, he sulked and forced a move to the Buccaneers.

The key to getting the best out of him is managing him psychologically because the more confident he is, the better he plays. That’s why Pirates coach Eric Tinkler started with Majoro against Bloemfontein Celtic on Saturday and left out Tendai Ndoro, who had scored a brace in the previous match.

“It would have been a mistake if I left him (Majoro) out and put Tendai in,” Tinkler said. “That would have knocked his confidence. I saw a reaction from him. It’s something that we have discussed.

“He is an emotional person. It’s about him managing it himself. That’s very important. But I’m very happy with his reaction. He is working a lot harder at training. He knows how important it is now that he grabs the opportunity.”

Finally, showing up against his former team would be a great way of grabbing that opportunity, especially for a Pirates side who play with one striker and chances to impress are rare.

When Majoro has played as that one striker he has held the ball well, but didn’t have much support.

Tsepo Masilela

The troubles in the Chiefs defence weren’t primarily because of the departure of Tefu Mashamaite but because their silent leader, Masilela, was missing in action.

The 30-year-old has taken a beating from his knee injury, which makes managing him a delicate balancing act. But it’s not just hooking him up with the right medical department that he needs but also giving him responsibility to lead, which he does with aplomb without the armband.

That’s what Komphela has struggled to do with him, which has seen him look like a shadow of his former self.

Komphela’s struggle in dealing with senior players and those with big personalities is well-documented. That’s why he failed at Platinum Stars, but has always been able to get the best out of youngsters and budding talent throughout his coaching career.

He has looked at the younger players at Amakhosi to lead the side at the back, from goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse, Kgotso Moleko and Lorenzo Gordinho, although injuries haven’t helped him.

But a driven Masilela would offer more than the trio combined, not just through his performances but in making sure that the entire back four is on song. Stuart Baxter managed to achieve that when he started at Chiefs four seasons ago. Baxter also inherited a new-look defence that had an inexperienced Erick Mathoho and a Mashamaite who was still finding himself.

“Tsepo took on the role that I gave him fantastically well,” Baxter said. “When I came, Tower (Mashamaite) wasn’t a fully-fledged international. We were hoping that Morgan Gould would play and give Tower more time to settle in. That didn’t happen. Masha wasn’t a national team player and captain of Chiefs then.

“Those two had to find each other, in terms of taking responsibility, and making things work it was up to Tsepo. He was a fantastic player for me.”

The Star

Original source: Who will be the hero of Soweto?

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