What Will Steven Pienaar and Teko Modise Add to Their Respective Teams?

Our football writer analyses the signings of Teko Modise and Steven Pienaar by Cape Town City and Bidvest Wits respectively.


Former Bafana Bafana star, Steven Pienaar and out of favour Teko Modise are approaching the twilight of their careers and they’ve joined Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City respectively. The big question is: are they only going to treat these teams as retirement homes?

Steven Pienaar
Bidvest Wits are the current PSL and MTN8 Champions. Pienaar just left Sunderland FC, who were relegated from the English Premier League, however, we can’t ignore the fact that the EPL is a far more competitive league than the PSL.

He brings with himself a great deal of experience, having played for Ajax Cape Town, Ajax Amsterdam, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland in three different leagues. The 35-year old midfielder has also captained Bafana Bafana and has featured prominently in big tournaments, including the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

He’s a highly-gifted attacking midfielder with great technical attributes as well as the ability to unlock even the sternest opposition defences. The competition for places in the team is going to be very high with players like newly-signed Daylon Claasen, midfielder of the season nominee Thabang Monare, Ben Motshwari, Granwald Scott, Vincent Pule and Wangu Gome challenging him for a starting berth.

I think if coach Gavin Hunt wants to get the best out of the creativity that he has in midfield, he should play a 4-3-3 formation where Xola Mlambo or Phumlani Ntshangase can play as a central defensive midfielder with Monare and Pienaar completing the midfield triangle in advanced roles.

With players like Claasen, who plied his trade in Germany and Motshwari, who finished the season strongly, the coach will have a healthy headache when it comes to selecting the starting eleven.

The only downside to his game is the fact that he is injury prone and very much on the wrong side of 30. Yes, he can’t play over 30 games per season but he will add value on and off the field. Pienaar is a good reader of the game and his guidance is going to come in handy throughout the season.

I think he is a great acquisition for the Clever Boys and will add the much-needed experience to help Wits sustain the success they’re currently enjoying.


Teko Modise
The two-time PSL Footballer of the Year has achieved massive success with Mamelodi Sundowns. A CAF Champions League winner, two league titles, a Nedbank Cup and Telkom Knockout in his medal cabinet, however, he has featured only sporadically for the Brazilians in recent seasons.

“The Navigator” is a crowd favourite, which makes him one of the best marketing tools in the country. He attracts a lot of sponsors, ranging from car dealerships and clothing brands to telecommunications and restaurants. Remember how signing David Beckham helped Real Madrid generate revenue? That’s exactly what Modise will do for Cape Town City.

Over and above, his legs can still carry him. He was able to come on as a second-half substitute in Sundowns’ big games and stabilise play. That’s the type of player the Citizens needed to help the likes of  Footballer of the Year, Lebogang Manyama, newly-signed Bafana Bafana youngster Ayanda Patosi, Roland Putsche, Thato Mokeke and Aubrey Ngoma in midfield.

What's good about this signing is that the new Cape Town City coach, Benni McCarthy, played with Modise in the national team so he understands his capabilities. When analysing football for SuperSport TV, Benni has made it clear that his preferred formation is 4-2-3-1. Modise can play as a box-to-box midfielder next to the midfield anchor to link up play.

Attacks can be channelled through him from deep positions. His creativeness also enables him to play as a number 10 between the two wingers in a more advanced role - just behind the striker. If the team wants to open up the pitch and play 4-4-2 he will be the midfield-cum-striker, playing at the top of the midfield diamond, behind the two strikers.

All in all, this is more of a commercial than a football decision but the team will manage to kill two birds with one stone.

Written by Benedict Ngwenya for @Hollywoodbets.net

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