When will Pitso get the respect he deserves?

Pitso Mosimane would not have anticipated it all to get this big. Granted he always had the dream to be among the continent’s top coaches.

But to be revered even by his biggest adversaries?

After all, north Africans are renowned for their passion to make life difficult for the opposition.

Yet such has been the impact Jingles has made on African football that he is celebrated by even those whose clubs he often beats.

The scenes that played out in Morocco last weekend when Mamelodi Sundowns took on Wydad Casablanca in a CAF Champions League group tie are unlikely to repeat themselves locally.

But then again, as Steve Komphela said to his dear friend Pitso in a response tweet to a video of the Brazilians coach’s name being chanted by Wydad fans, "a prophet is not without honour except in his own hometown".

Except for the Sundowns fans – and even then not all of them – Mosimane is generally vilified by the South African soccer public.

He has been termed arrogant, full of himself, a cry baby and a sore loser on numerous occasions.

That he is arguably the most successful black local coach – if not purely the most successful South African coach – in the Premier Soccer League era is seemingly lost on those who love to pick on his outspokenness and use it against him.

Yet, love him or hate him, there can be no denying that Mosimane is a man who has dreamt big and went about working hard at making his dreams a reality.

A number of years ago when Mosimane started out as coach of SuperSport United, he told me in an interview about how he aspires to one day be a top coach in Africa.

Back then he spoke of a desire to be at the helm of an African national team – even if it is Swaziland or Lesotho he said.

It is common knowledge that he has coached our country’s senior national team Bafana Bafana having deputised for Brazilian World Cup winner Carlos Alberto Parreira and his compatriot Joel Natalino Santana.

His time at the helm of Bafana was not great and many will remember him for failing to lead us to Africa Cup of Nations qualification. It is that stumble which seems to have made many dislike him.

Yet as coach of Sundowns, there can be no denying that the ma has proven his genius. Typically, his detractors conveniently point to the fact that he is in charge of a well-resourced team where he is fully in charge.

That though actually speaks to petty jealousy in that many a renowned international coaches held the position before him but got nowhere near what Jingles has achieved.

The truth of the matter is that very few coaches locally – and on the continent even – put in as much effort to their work as Pitso does and the success he has had is just reward for all that.

The fact that they chanted his name the way they did out in Morocco was no coincidence.

It is a pity that instead of celebrating him here at home, we generally try to put him down.

But then again such is the immature nature of many local football fans that anything that is not of the club they support can never be good.

The truth though is that Pitso Mosimane has earned himself the status of a legendary coach on the continent .


IOL Sport

B19LKSM449 - When will Pitso get the respect he deserves?

Leave a Reply