Pirates coach Zinnbauer says he has not come to Africa 'to play German or Swiss football'

13 January 2020 - 15:41
By Marc Strydom
Josef Zinnbauer has signed a contract to be at the helm of Orlando Pirates for three years.
Image: orlandopiratesfc.com Josef Zinnbauer has signed a contract to be at the helm of Orlando Pirates for three years.

Josef Zinnbauer has not come to Africa “to play German or Swiss football”‚ Orlando Pirates’ new coach said‚ attempting to explain his playing philosophy at a Buccaneers press conference on Monday ahead of their big Absa Premiership matchup against Mamelodi Sundowns.

Sixth-placed Pirates host second-placed defending champions Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night (kickoff 7.30pm).

Zinnbauer has had appearances before the media since his appointment on December 10.

He spoke in post-match press conferences to his three games‚ as the coach has had a bright start with a 3-1 home win against Black Leopards‚ 1-1 away draw against Bloemfontein Celtic and 4-1 win away against Polokwane City.

However‚ he was not officially presented‚ and strangely questions on his background have not been allowed by the club‚ until a Pirates media day at their Rand Stadium training ground on Monday.

Zinnbauer (49)‚ who coached Hamburger SV in the Bundesliga for six months and St Gallen in Switzerland for two seasons as his top-flight experience‚ was asked to explain his playing philosophy.

“We have a philosophy‚ but you need the team for the philosophy‚” Zinnbauer said‚ asked if there are similarities between him and the other “new wave” of German coaches who have been part of the country’s restructuring since a slump in the late 1990s‚ such as Joachim Loew and Juergen Klopp.

“We play now my philosophy‚ but we don’t have the players for this. That’s the first thing.

“We improve together. A little for me‚ a little for the team‚ and then we find the best system for the team.

“The important thing for me is that in the next weeks or months we have to be flexible. We cannot play one system.

"But that’s a process. It’s step by step that we improve the players.

“And it’s another country. We cannot say that I come now to Africa and we play German or Swiss football.

“You play African style. We don’t change the culture. We bring the new input in‚ we take the old input‚ and then you have a good mix maybe.

“But we need time and then we’ll find maybe the best solution for us.”

The coach’s English is still fairly broken‚ and he seems to struggle to understand questions completely‚ and to answer them to the best of his satisfaction.