Mark Gleeson

Teko's ego on trial

2011-01-31 11:02
Sport24 columnist Mark Gleeson (File)
Mark Gleeson
Teko Modise will likely get a run in midweek or at the weekend in the colours of his new club, a chance to put back on track what is left of a fast-crumbling career.

The pin-up boy of South African football has had a heady fall, as dramatic as the collection of checked clothing he wore last weekend when his departure from Orlando Pirates was announced.

It is almost unique for a player to have a farewell press conference but such is the consternation around Modise that his move from the Buccaneers to ‘Brazilians’ was neatly choreographed for the press and public.

Pirates sit perched at the top of the standings in the week that he leaves which renders any real concern about his move irrelevant, as far as they are concerned. He has not been a factor for Pirates this season Coach Ruud Krol patently has no affection for the way he plays and so has used him sparingly.

I watched Modise’s last game for Pirates and helped select him as man of the match but it was patently clear he has reached such a stage of fame and fortune that it is all about him and him only.

Modise played first to gallery and for the restoration of his reputation and then for the team. There were too many times when any early ball or slip pass would have been to the team’s advantage but Modise felt it necessary for an extra touch, a feint or a body swerve, just to remind all present of his ability. Of course the vast majority reveled in it but you could sense the frustration of the coach and teammates.

At Sundowns now, he will be tempted to be even more populist in his play, trying to prove Pirates wrong for the way he was left on the bench.

But the last thing Sundowns need now is another ego.

Modise peaked with a brilliant performance for South Africa in a friendly against Cameroon in Rustenburg in late 2008. The national side goes back there again next week but likely Modise will be out after commanding a long-standing place in the team.

He went into the 2009 Confederations Cup carrying a burden of expectation and buckled under the pressure and has not been the same player since. He tries too hard now to re-assert his star quality rather than prove he is a clever cog in a multi-faceted machine.

Ultimately no player is bigger than the game as history has proved to us time and time again. That is why there can be no happy ending to the current strike that Katlego Mphela is on in order to force a move away from Sundowns.

He was happy to take Patrice Motsepe’s money now claims he is being denied opportunity. Players have to learn it is a team game. Once it becomes all about you, the game is inclined to bite back.

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

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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