Josef Zinnbauer: Who is the new Orlando Pirates head coach?


Orlando Pirates have officially replaced Milutin Sredojevic with German tactician Josef Zinnbauer, but who is the former Bundesliga coach and what will he bring to the Absa Premiership?

After the sudden resignation of 'Micho' in August on the eve of their MTN8 quarter-final against Highlands Park, Rhulani Mokwena took charge of the Pirates hotseat on an interim basis.

However, after five defeats, five draws and four wins, the club's hierarchy opted to rope in Zinnbauer as the 21st  permanent coach in the club's history.

OFFICIAL: Pirates appoint German coach

The 49-year-old, who belongs to the same agency as Germany captain Manuel Neuer, embarks on his first journey outside Europe after spells at Hamburger SV, where he lasted 24 games, and Swiss top-flight side St Gallen, where he spent a season-and-a-half.

While neither of his stints brought silverware or any sense of consistency with results, he displayed incredible tactical flexibility, often juggling between a 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2 diamond and various formations with three ball-playing centre-backs.

His high-pressing style of play, which has become synonymous to German football in the modern era, in particular, drew plaudits in his brief Bundesliga career, but the open attacking systems often left his teams vulnerable on the counter.

READ: Zinnbauer: Let's make Bucs great again

This was evident when Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich thrashed his Hamburg side, who then narrowly avoided relegation via the play-offs after his sacking.

However, he did earn a win and a draw from the two other encounters against the former FC Barcelona tactician during the 2014/15 season as Bayern romped towards the title.

While his senior management role in the Bundesliga left a lot to be desired, his tactical philosophy, similar to that of the 'rock and roll football' of former Huddersfield boss David Wagner and Norwich's Daniel Farke, should bring about optimism for the Buccaneers squad and fans alike.

Given the Hamburg squad he inherited was on the decline at the time of his promotion from the reserve team, his tenure shouldn't be judged harshly. But with the Sea Robbers struggling upon his arrival, it could be a cause for concern.

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With little time to get to grips with South African football and his new playing squad, the Soweto giants are in for a rollercoaster ride going into 2020, with his first task, should he acquire his work permit in time, the unpredictable Black Leopards at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.