Opinion

Pitso gets his groove back

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Pitso's Bafana days: Negative body language?

Pitso's Bafana days: Negative body language?

Pitso Mosimane appears far more comfortable as a PSL coach than when shouldering the responsibilities of the national team, according to Football411's Anthony McLennan, who saw Sundowns drawing with Chippa United on Wednesday.

The 1-1 stale-mate means that Mosimane has taken eight points from four games and seen the team rise from the foot of the table to a much healthier 10th place.

The Brazilians completely dominated at Athlone, with Chippa coach Farouk Abrahams admitting his side had ridden their luck to earn the point.

On the field, Sundowns appear a team transformed. Gone are the nerves, the careless mistakes, the soft goals conceded, the school-boy misses.

We're not yet quite seeing the piano-and-shoeshine football of the 1990's, when the likes of Charles Motloi, Roger Feutmba, Zane Moosa, Ernest Mtawali and Daniel Madau lit up our football grounds.

But the current team certainly has enough individual quality to see the club restored to its glory days; all they need is the right captain to steer the ship.

So far, the signs are that Mosimane could be the man to navigate the Brazilians back to the summit.

He's aware that with Sundowns, a certain swagger is needed, that arrogance is an asset and not a liability.

"The team shows dominance. The team shows it's Sundowns. The team shows a little bit of arrogance and that's what we need," said Mosimane earlier this week.

"We are improving game by game. This is my fourth game and there is a lot of improvement. In the general play, the passing. I'm happy that we are scoring at least one goal per game. It gives us hope. This team is improving, but let's give it time."

Arrogance is never in short supply with Mosimane, but while in charge of the national team it led to his downfall, it's a different case at Sundowns, where money buys the best players.

Being a former player himself, and a South African, will also help Pitso at the Tshwane side.

He will allow a certain degree of freedom to the players to express themselves, something that has been lacking under the club's European coaches. Already one can see that the Sundowns players are enjoying their football again.

He also has relationships with several of the Sundowns players from his previous stint at SuperSport United. Katlego Mphela and Elias Pelembe for example - two key players.

And despite his reputation for arrogance and sullenness, the media at Athlone on Wednesday got to see another side of the man - he looked relaxed, his answers were well measured and he even showed a touch of politeness.

It was a far cry from Mosimane's dying days as the Bafana Bafana coach - he appears far more at ease in the domestic environment.

If Pitso can resurrect Sundowns, it will be the whole country, and the Bafana Bafana side that will benefit from having some of the country's top players back to their best.

Posted: 21/12/12 10:42

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