Absa Premiership

Pitso still right for Sundowns?

2015-04-10 11:36
Pitso Mosimane (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Pitso Mosimane has heard it all before. The criticism of his management style is nothing new, not after high-profile stops at SuperSport United and Bafana Bafana prior to arriving at Sundowns.

Invariably, when they've come, the critical evaluations of Mosimane have had a narrow focus: he becomes too chummy with his players, he allows stars to run the dressing room and he doesn't rule with an iron fist. However, his touchline antics would prove otherwise.

Indeed, when results aren't favourable, his regularly-cited qualities are often flipped around and characterised as weaknesses - his diplomacy becomes a soft touch, his jovial demeanour a weak hand.

If Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe is considering his coaching options, it wouldn't be at all surprising. Motsepe is an impulsive administrator, a construction magnate who, despite his business savvy, has repeatedly shown his limitations in a purely footballing sense.

Motsepe craves dominance financially. He also craves dominance on the pitch. But it seems he still hasn't grasped the fact one doesn't guarantee the other. If he did, Mosimane's job wouldn't be in question.

Impulsiveness? That's it right there.

But, of course, losses aren't tolerated at Sundowns, not by those in charge nor those who watch - no matter what they say publicly.

When Mosimane arrived at Sundowns, he was essentially charged with three tasks: to bring harmony to a fractured squad, to integrate the club's marquee signings and to deliver something previous predecessors couldn't: the PSL title.

He did that, but more important than just the fact that he did, is how.

Upon arrival, Mosimane was handed a squad that had played largely in a 4-2-3-1 formation. With a minimum of fuss, the tactician tweaked his lineup, created a dynamic 4-3-3 and helped propel Surprise Moriri to his best season.

At any other club, the same recipe would have been trusted for the following campaign. But not under Motsepe. To satisfy a thirst for notoriety and financial dominance, Mosimane has had to craft an outfit very much akin to a thoroughbred: in optimal condition.

It's devastating, but the balance is extremely fine. It's like a Formula 1 car, not a rugged all-rounder. If injuries and fatigue hit - and they have - the margin for error is minuscule.

Incorporating four No.10's into the same line is not an easy task for any manager, but for the most part he's done it successfully, but he's not to blame when the president's fine, cash-driven balance is disturbed by loss of form, injuries, suspensions, fatigue and the like.

And you know what? Given time, Mosimane will most likely find the answer again. His record suggests he will - a record that makes him perfect for Sundowns.

A major factor has been his ability to draw the most out of players when others couldn't and a knack for managing a group of stars and egos that have proved troublesome for lesser coaches.

Truth be told, Sundowns didn't really look like a team that could grind out results under Johan Neeskens. Something had to give. This team have their share of world beaters who possess experience in abundance, the bench ranks amongst the best in the PSL.

Mosimane is the right man for the job, whether or not Motsepe sees it that way.

Read more on:    mamelodi sundowns  |  psl  |  pitso mosimane  |  soccer


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