Kermit Erasmus admits he’s had to adapt to a new role in Jose Riveiro’s fluid system at Orlando Pirates.
Erasmus returned for his second stint at Pirates in a surprise deadline day signing last season and went on to win the MTN8 and Nedbank Cup.
They went on to retain the Wafa Wafa Cup this season but have fallen out of the CAF Champions League and Carling Knockout while also struggling to keep up with the pace of league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns – who the Buccnaeers were expected to challenge.
However, there’s still optimism surrounding the squad packed with talent in every position, while Erasmus is playing a key senior role in a deep lying forward or ten position behind the main striker of late.
“Having the ability to be aware of your surroundings in congested places, knowing how to position yourself, not getting attracted to the ball is what football is about these days, football is played with how you see spaces,” Erasmus explained.
“It’s how you see angles [too] and not just about running and crossing, shooting, long balls, football is played to manipulate spaces, trying to get advantages from your opposition or win the back of your position without being offside, being in better positions to score.
“So in the system we playing as Orlando Pirates that is what’s required of us as players and during training, even since pre-season, I know what it’s like to play as a striker, the movement is a bit different than just coming towards the ball.”
He continued: “When I play in between the lines as a 10, it’s just about being patient and trying to circulate the ball as quickly as possible for players like me, Lorch, Saleng, Lepasa to get into good spaces, have the advantage to threaten the last line of defence with a pass or drive and that’s what my position has come to in the team.
“But even as a striker, it doesn’t refrain me from trying to go high or making forward runs, it’s just having a good understanding of your striking partner and moving off each other’s space you create.”
Erasmus looks set to play a central role for Pirates this Saturday whent they take on Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto Derby at FNB Stadium.