Jingles talks about the standard of coaching in Africa, skin colour and his plans for Mamelodi Sundowns.
Whether you like it or not, Pitso Mosimane is not about to change his personality and character.
“I am not one to be apologetic. I always speak my mind, even if people don’t like it. Anyway, I am not in a popularity contest.”
He says his outspokenness cost him a place in the 1996 Bafana Bafana squad.
“I was [kicked] out because I was talking [a lot], my friend. When Steve [Komphela] was stripped of the armband, I asked why, and that was the last time I saw [myself at] Bafana. Today, some legends are celebrated, but they sold us out. They never spoke when Steve was stripped of his captaincy.”
CAF Champions League
Mosimane is crossing fingers for the CAF Champions League group stages draw. He is not scared of any side, but hopes to avoid playing on artificial turf or where there are no direct flights.
“Give me any side, but not where I will have more than one flight [to get there] or where we play on an artificial pitch. But if it is a pitch like the one at Dolisie [in the Democratic Republic of Congo], I will rather go for an artificial pitch,” said Mosimane.
Mosimane has readjusted his expectations and concedes that it will be impossible to achieve last season’s tally of 71 points.
“We have to be realistic. I look at the numbers and I say we cannot get there. We are already three points behind where we wanted to be. It is still doable, but it will be difficult.”
He said when the Brazilians reached 71 points last season, they did not have the Fifa Club World Cup to contend with.
“We went out early in the Nedbank Cup and our focus was only the league and the Champions League, and I had the CBD [Leandro Castro, Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly]. We did not have injuries that we are having now.”
Mosimane said he was not approached to head Bafana Bafana. But even if he was, he would have declined.
“I wanted to make it clear from the onset; to kill off all the speculation that I was not interested in the job. I have been there and there are lots of challenges. The problem with our country is that we are emotional.”
He said his dream was to help the country qualify for the World Cup, but it was not to be.
“[So instead], my Nations Cup is the Champions League and my World Cup is the Fifa Club World Cup.”
His burning ambition is to lead Sundowns to 10 league titles.
“I do not want to leave until I get there, hence I am going for the eighth title now. I am happy at Sundowns.
“When you are appreciated you must stay, and that is why I want to stay as long as I can. I am liked here and given a chance to sign whoever I want. I cannot go to another club where I cannot sign players, but results are still expected from me.”
Challenge to local coaches
Mosimane challenges local coaches to aim higher.
“Do we, as local coaches, plan, behave and work to make sure foreign coaches do not take our jobs? I doubt it. We can use our skin colour as an excuse, but the onus is on us. The white coaches play chess and make you think, but local coaches play generic football. When I see a European coach, I ask myself if I am as good as this guy.”
Mosimane also urges the new CAF leadership to improve the education of coaches.
“We need to read [from] the same textbook as Arsène Wenger, not from the standard grade [textbooks] we are getting. You look at CAF programmes and feel ashamed because even the SA Football Association is ahead of them.”
He said new CAF president Ahmad Ahmad should challenge Fifa president Gianni Infantino to invest in African development.
“We should go to the same [coaching] course with the [José] Mourinhos of this world. If you are a doctor, you can work anywhere in the world – the same should apply in football.”