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
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.