Following their 4-1 defeat to Supersport United in the final of the Nedbank Cup at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Orlando Pirates have now lost in six consecutive finals. It is an unwanted 'bad omen' that dates back to 2013.
The "happy people" have had nothing to be joyous about, since 2013, and the team seems to have suffered from a butterfly effect, which was triggered by outgoing coach Roger De Sar.
A chain of events contributing to the meteoric fall of the Bucs has been triggered by the club's mismanagement, their lack of vision for the future and a case of players not coming to the fore. We look at the six signs Orlando Pirates were bound to lose their 6th final in a row, a case of the butterfly effect.
1. Cold feet
Their first defeat in 2013 in the MTN 8 was the moment that triggered it all. Since then, Orlando Pirates players have not had the psychological mantle needed to win a final. With the coach always taking the stick, the players have been hiding behind coaches and not playing for the team, the fans and for themselves. Here are their track record and psychological effect it may have had on them.
2013 MTN8: Lost vs Platinum Stars (Lost to penalties)
2013 TKO: Lost vs Platinum Stars, again (Final Score: 2-1)
2013 CAF Champions League: Lost vs Al Ahly, Egypt (1-3 Aggregate score)
2015 CAF Confederations: Lost vs Etoile du Sahel, Tunisia (1-2 Aggregate score)
2015 Nedbank Cup: Lost vs Supersport United (Final Score: 3-2)
2017 Nedbank Cup: Lost vs Supersport United (Final Score: 4-1)
2. Same mistakes
Orlando Pirates have lost six finals against the same team at least twice, well almost. They have lost two finals against Platinum Stars, two finals against Supersport United and two finals against northern hemisphere opponents (Al Ahly & Etoile du Sahel). You would think that they would have learned from their thrashing in the league and their 2015 loss to Supersport,but Pirates continue to make the same mistakes.
3. The man at the helm
Kjell Jonvert was hired to take the club forward. However, with no prior experience in South Africa, his chemistry between the club and players and his defensive frailties has cost him dearly. He has not transitioned Orlando Pirates to the team he has envisioned. He has also come at the time where Orlando Pirates are in their worst slump in recent years. His future, unfortunately, looks under threat following their 4-1 loss on Saturday.
Senzo Meywa left a huge void at the club, a void yet to be filled, a void too big for the current crop of goalkeepers to fill. Orlando Pirates goalkeeper has been nothing short of mediocre, after their number 1 and Bafana Bafana passed, the team has been conceding far too much between the sticks. Perhaps Senzo Meyiwa is irreplaceable, but the keepers at Orlando Pirates have not helped the cause.
5. Future visions
Whatever happened to the likes of Masalesa, Qalinge, Motupa, Masuku and all the emerging talents that looked to take Orlando Pirates forward. A breath of fresh is needed in Pirates, they need to look at their development departments, bring back their loaned out players and phase out the aging players to ensure a bright future.
6. The players
A player puts on a jersey not only for himself, but for the fans, the club and what the club stands for. Perhaps fatigue has been a problem, but footballers are professionals and the identity and wining mantra at Pirates has gone. The off season will give the players time to eveluate themselves and come back even stronger next season.