S'Busiso Mseleku

Pitso must take it easy

2016-07-22 12:14
Sport24 columnist S’Busiso Mseleku (File)

I’m a confessed admirer of the transformed and somewhat more mature Mamelodi Sundowns coach, Pitso Mosimane.

He has evolved from a man who told us that he was one of the best coaches on the continent, when Bafana Bafana had failed to make the cut as one of the 16 teams at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and not acknowledging other coaches when his club lost, to almost a gentlemen who praises other coaches, his players and the technical staff before saying anything about himself.

This is a huge improvement from a guy who once told us “I will take this one for myself” after his charges beat Platinum Stars about two seasons ago.

However, in the past season, in which he turned his side into a well-oiled machine that destroyed almost everything in its path, we saw a new Mosimane.

One reader actually asked since if I'd become a Mosimane, given my harsh criticism of him during his tenure as Bafana Bafana mentor.

I really admired the changed Mosimane as well as his newfound manner.

Why, I have even suffered a tinge of guilt when going through past columns and realised how many times I sang Mosimane and Sundowns’ praises during the past season.

Headlines such as: MOSIMANE FLIES HIGH, LEAVES KOMPHELA AND TINKLER HANGING BY A THREAD to 'CATCH US IF YOU CAN' – SUNDOWNS as well as SUNDOWNS GIVE LESSONS TO SA’s GIANTS and HAIL TO THE KINGS MAMELODI SUNDOWNS ... NOW FOR AFRICA, tell a story of a glorious season.

Currently, the Brazilians are on a course for a rare semi-final in the CAF Champions League after beating Egyptian giants, Zamalek, 2-1 away.

This was no mean feat given that Egyptian and most North African clubs rarely lose at home, if at all.

However, I was a bit disturbed by Jingles’ comments on touching down at OR Tambo International Airport from the land of the Pharaohs, when he said it’s a myth that Egyptian - and by extension North African clubs - are invincible.

Mosimane needs to tread carefully, as his on-form midfielder Tiytani Mabunda cautioned, “We haven’t achieved anything as yet.”

That is spot-on!

While Sundowns have made great strides, they are still far from the finishing line. They still have the same Zamalek to overcome on Wednesday, to make it to the semi-finals.

Even then, it would not be mission accomplished as there will still be a semi-final and a final to overcome.

Lest we forget we still have Orlando Pirates as the lone ranger to have won the Champions League title, way back in 1995, while Kaizer Chiefs chipped in with a Confederation Cup.

Egyptian sides Zamalek and Al Ahly have 13 Champions League titles between them with the latter having annexed it eight times and the former five.

So a word of caution to Pitso: Avoid getting ahead of yourself as you are doing well so far.

A bit of advice from David Gresham: “Keep Your Feet on the Ground and Reach for The Stars!”

S'Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning over 30 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

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2016-07-21 08:07

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