'Outspoken' Pitso a journalist’s dream
DURBAN – It is the Monday after the glorious weekend for Mamelodi Sundowns and Pitso Mosimane is in his element in the presence of a group of journalists eager to find out what the latest success means to local football’s most colourful coach.
There is never a lack of quotes and soundbites whenever Mosimane meets the media. To those who may be unfamiliar with his style, he often sounds like he is speaking in riddles but there is always a jabbing remark cleverly sandwiched between his responses. And that’s what makes him a great news source. Journos love him to bits because it is rare that you walk away from him without a story angle.
At an Umhlanga, Durban, hotel where Sundowns were based for their Telkom Knockout final against Maritzburg United on Saturday, Jingles spoke at length trying to explain just why he is the ‘loudmouth’ many perceive him to be. The 2-1 victory, of course, had given him more armoury to say more. Who wouldn’t?
“I am a different character. I’m in a different space. I have an opinion on this game (of football) and you know why? Because I’ve played this game (competitively) from the age of 18 and I’m now 55. I’ve been in this game for long,” he says.
As though aware of the youthfulness of those he is addressing, Mosimane then proverbially takes out his CV.
“I’ve played football for Bafana, I’ve played football in Europe, I’ve seen a lot and I read a lot. I know about the world of football. I have extensive knowledge of the game and I have an opinion based on that. I say things based on opinion and it doesn’t mean I’m right but I’ll always have a say.”
He believes it is better to voice one’s views than to remain silent.
“But if you say nothing, do nothing, you’ll never be criticized. Do nothing and you’ll be nothing. Then you are safe from criticism. I’m doing something and I will always say something.”
That he is generally criticised as being arrogant does not bother him.
“I’m a coach at the right level. I will be criticized. Why not? It doesn’t mean everything I say is right. It is wrong sometimes but it is okay. So, what? Does everyone say everything right? It is life. People will always have something to say about you whether you are doing nothing or something.”
He subscribes to the publicly held notion that football is a game of opinion.
“We are in this game to have our say and I’ll say it the way it is. Don’t take it personal. The problem is that people take it personal with me. I’m just talking. Why do you take me seriously? It is an opinion. It doesn’t mean I’m right.
I might be wrong and I’m happy to be wrong but you must show me when I’m wrong. But I always like to talk on facts. The problem is the third force team in the country (Sundowns). This team is making too much noise,” he added.
Mosimane seems to believe that Sundowns’ rise to prominence is not accepted by some because they have disturbed the traditional status quo of the local game where both Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates dominated.
Since the advent of the Premier Soccer League in 1996, Sundowns have been the most successful side in the championship with nine league titles in its trophy cabinet - four of those with Mosimane in charge.
Some will argue that such a return has earned him the right to speak his mind.@Minenhlecr7