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By Peter Mothiba


Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena must just go!

He hasn’t won anything at Sundowns except the Premiership League title which is an obvious title to be won by any Sundowns coach given an array of expensive star players that the team has, as compared to other local teams who can’t buy such players.

The only title that Mokwena can lay claim to is the inaugural, Patrice Motsepe-created 2023 African Football League trophy which many participating teams didn’t actually take seriously.

Mokwena is renowned to be a scholar of football and also of knowing the ages, performance and history of many professional players in South Africa and also on the African continent.

But being a scholar, as many academically inclined folks would attest, doesn’t mean one is foolproof and has no shortcomings.

Methinks Mokweana has bitten off more than he can chew when he boldly ascended to be the team’s head coach.

He reminds me of an ancient Greece mythology wherein an over- ambitious boy known as Icarus flew too high and too close to the sun and got burnt, this as his wings were not real but made of wax.

Somebody once told me that the problem with coaches who have never played professional football themselves, like Mokwena, is that they always want to impose on their players impossible strategies that cannot work out in the field of play.

For instance, of late Mokwena has instructed his players to use long, diagonal crosses instead of the usual ground-level square passes that Sundowns are renowned for.

It boggles my mind that Mokwena can’t realise that the damn diagonal crosses don’t work for Sundowns and are easily dealt with by their opponents.

Another factor is that Mokwena has disassembled ” The Magnificent 8″ that was the creme de la creme of national team coach Hugo Broos in the recent African Cup of Nations tournament in Ivory Coast.

The Magnificent 8 ” no longer enjoy game time as a contingent at Sundowns since returning from the Afcon tournament as they are fielded in drips and draps.

Maybe Mokwena wants to show national team coach Hugo Broos that he has more better players at his disposal than “the Magnificent 8” which he Broos dearly relied upon at the Afcon tournament.

Mokwena’s chopping and changing of the starting line-up at Sundowns is also another factor that is sickening, to say the least.

Why fix it if it is not broken Mr Mokwena? And why not fix it when it is broken?

I am saying this because striker Peter Shalulile is out of sorts and literally falls to the ground whenever he is in possession of the ball, but Mokwena continues to field him.

Shalulile is a palooka, he can’t even push the ball forward and all that he can do is to score goals with what in football is known as a grandmother’s tap-in.

Every year Mokwena uses almost new players in an attempt to win the CAF Champions League as he doesn’t realise that winning the said trophy needs players who have played in the tournament before as they know what it takes to compete in those games.

Be that as it may, team owner Patrice Motsepe won’t fire Mokwena any time soon because he is a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) beneficiary.

And this will not be the first time that a blundering coach will be allowed to carry on with their duties at Sundowns.

Miguel Gamondi and Neil Tovey won the league title in 2006 as joint coaches of the team but were unceremoniously fired by Motsepe for failing to win the CAF champions trophy.

Mokwena has already failed to win the self-same CAF champions trophy twice, but Motsepe won’t fire him due to the BEE factor.

Motsepe also refused to fire the fumbling Pitso Mosimane during his maiden years at Sundowns.

The late self-made billionaire Zola Mahobe , who was the team’s owner in the mid 1980’s and early 1990’s, also refused to sack the under-performing coach Stanley “Screamer” Tshabalala, insisting that he will learn on the job.

But in as much as I am calling for the removal of Mokwena as Sundowns’ coach, I pity him because he won’t succeed in coaching any other team in this country, this as he will not have the luxury of buying all the big-name players that he wants at his future club.

But for the sake of Sundowns, Mokwena must go and prove himself somewhere else.

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