Mark Gleeson

Pitso's shot at redemption

2012-12-05 14:30
Sport24 columnist Mark Gleeson (File)

Becks: Goodbye LA

2012-12-04 14:57

Watch David Beckham say goodbye to his LA Galaxy fans.

Given Pitso Mosimane’s tarnished image, his new job at Mamelodi Sundowns comes with the promise of platform of redemption.

His Bafana tenure will forever be blighted by the tragicomical failure to qualify for the last Africa Nations Cup finals but the bitter lessons presumably will ensure better preparation in future.

‘What doesn’t break you, makes you stronger,’ is how the motivational poster goes.

After a hiatus of several months, Mosimane is presumably refreshed; indeed, chomping at the bit to get back into the game.

And crisis-ridden Sundowns is just the place to rebuild his reputation.

The potential of club is enormous, the depth of its pocket limitless and they cannot really sink much lower than where they are now.

If he is able to drag them back up and bring out the best of the star-studded squad, then very quickly his name could be back up in lights.

Sundowns seem such a bizarre outfit. A club full of tremendous playing resources and incredibly gifted players but seemingly without much soul.

It does not strike you as a passionate place, the emphasis almost as much on the bling outside of the field as is the zing on the pitch.

Given how much money billionaire owner Patrice Motsepe has pumped into the club over years they should, by rights, be the dominant force in the domestic game.

But while cash certainly enhances the quest for success, it is how you use that money that is ultimately key. Look over the signings that Sundowns have made over the last three seasons and you will see a far-too-high failure rate. Particularly with their foreign players where the club have sent scouts out across Africa and for all their investment got nothing in return. Frankly, they have purchased flops.

Mosimane might be the first coach at Sundowns in a long while to be allowed to buy his own players and that is fundamentally what any successful side requires.

Trophy winning coaches are those who also have a deep understanding of the players’ market and what there is available to strengthen their line-up.

But at Sundowns it is a shadowy back room department that identifies and chases the signature of players and that is, perhaps, why the current squad is so disparate and out of kilter.

If Sundowns are to allow their new coach time to build and to construct in his own way, they might find they have finally have an appointment in place to take them back to winning ways.

It is noticeable that successful clubs in recent times have all thrived because of a strong figure who leads in almost all departments - Gavin Hunt at SuperSport United, Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, Jose Mourinho at Chelsea are given license to take all the key decisions.

A strong personality at the helm of the team and at the helm the club is maybe what Sundowns have been desperately crying out for in recent times.

Mark Gleeson is a respected television commentator and Editorial Director of Mzanzi Football.

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.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  mark gleeson  |  soccer


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