Former Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane has proved
to be a master tactician.
In a space of a week, his Mamelodi Sundowns side have
completed what the club's supporters have called "operation clean
Soweto" by beating Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.
The first Soweto giant to fall was Amakhosi who were
walloped 3-1 in the Telkom Knockout Cup final on Reconciliation Day.
This was Chiefs' second loss in a cup final in a space
of three months, putting coach Steve Komphela in a tight corner. You see, winning -
particularly in cup competitions - is everything at Naturena.
Next, it was the Tinkler-led Buccaneers who were shot
down 2-0 in their Absa Premiership match on Sunday, for Masandawana to go top on
the log, albeit on goal difference over Bidvest Wits.
This was just
the cherry on top for Mosimane's side that has now gone unbeaten for a long
They play an attractive brand of football but more
importantly, they are clinical, a rare commodity in South African football.
The fact that they scored five goals in the two
matches is indeed something to crow about and no second guesses on which one
of the three clubs' set of supporters will have a real Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year!
Even before Wednesday's Telkom Cup victory, Mosimane
already had a Nedbank Cup trophy and a league title to boast of at Sundowns.
But more interesting will be the way forward.
The beginning of the year will throw new challenges at
Komphela and Tinkler as they try to hang onto their lucrative, but tough jobs.
For Komphela, the biggest challenge will be to try to
defend the league title that Amakhosi won last season.
He has already failed to retain the MTN8 the club won
under the tutelage of Stuart Baxter.
Tinkler on the other hand, has not laid his hands on
any silverware since taking over as the
Sea Robbers' mentor.
The last trophy the club won was the Nedbank Cup under
the guidance of the former Bafana Bafana midfielder's predecessor, Vladimir
Despite guiding Pirates to the final of the CAF
Confederation Cup, Tinkler still has to make his own mark by winning something.
And as the saying goes, people always remember a
winner, but forget the runner-up.
Or to put it harshly, just as legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly "when you are
first, you are first. When you are second, you are nothing."
So at some stage, Tinkler will have to come first or
he will soon be history at Pirates.
We have already seen a number of coaches, including
the grandfather of them all, Clive Barker, lose their jobs this season.
Only a fool would bet against more parting ways with
their respective clubs before the season plays itself out.
Coaching is a minefield as they don't only have to
deal with the players, but demanding bosses as well as a myriad of
But just as the saying goes: Life goes on.
So here it is that we wish all those who love the game
of the pigskin a Merry Christmas!
To those whose clubs did not end 2015 very well, we
say in township lingo: HARDY!
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 well over 20 years. He is
currently City Press Sports Editor.
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.