Only one coach has made a better start than Zinnbauer at Pirates in the PSL era: Who is he?

31 March 2020 - 16:48 By Nick Said
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer during the Absa Premiership match against Mamelodi Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night. Bucs won the match 1-0.
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer during the Absa Premiership match against Mamelodi Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night. Bucs won the match 1-0.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Josef Zinnbauer's flying start at the helm of Orlando Pirates may have given the impression of being record-breaking‚ but the truth is that almost two decades ago another new Buccaneers boss was even more prolific in collecting points in his opening 10 games in charge.

German coach Zinnbauer has taken 23 points from a possible 30 at the start of his tenure with the Soweto giants‚ his copybook spoiled in the last two fixtures as Pirates were beaten by Kaizer Chiefs and then held to a 0-0 draw by Lamontville Golden Arrows before the season was put on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Only one coach has made a better start at Mayfair in the Premier Soccer League era‚ the Zimbabwean Roy Baretto‚ who led Pirates to the 2002/03 league title before being sacked early in the next campaign.

Barreto won his first six games in charge after replacing Jean-Yves Kerjean at the start of the season‚ and eventually took 25 from his first 10 games.

Pirates finished six points clear of Pitso Mosimane’s SuperSport United at the end of the campaign‚ but Barreto was axed seven matches into the following season when The Buccaneers managed just two wins.

Roger de Sa also claimed 23 points from his first 10 games in charge after having been a surprise selection to replace Augusto Palacios at the start of the 2012/13 season. He had seven victories in that run‚ the same number as Zinnbauer.

Other coaches have come close to matching their tally since the start of the Premier Soccer League in the 1996/97 season.

Ronald Mkhandawire managed 22 points in his first 10 games when he took over in February 2000‚ which includes big wins over Free State Stars (6-0) and Mother City (6-1) in consecutive matches.

Serbian coach Kosta Papic also took 22 points at the start of the 2004/05 season‚ with a 6-0 success over Ajax Cape Town and a 2-1 victory over Kaizer Chiefs in that run.

And Gordan Igesund’s title-winning season in 2000/01 saw him manage 21 points in his first 10 games‚ with his only loss coming in a surprise 2-1 home reversal at the hands of Tembisa Classic.

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