‘They said he couldn’t make it at Pirates’ – Mosimane salutes Mokwena for shutting his critics as he slams co-coach model in PSL

The former Mamelodi Sundowns coach is delighted that his protégé is getting the credit he deserves

Pitso Mosimane has revealed how he faced resistance when he brought Rhulani Mokwena back to Mamelodi Sundowns.

Mokwena returned to Sundowns in 2020 to work as one of Mosimane's assistants and would later succeed his boss when he left the Brazilians four years ago.

Now, Jingles has shed light on how some people at the club were not convinced by Mokwena following his unpeaceful spells as interim coach at both Orlando Pirates and Chippa United.

“You can never tell me that everyone wanted Rhulani at Sundowns. The first time… the second time [bringing him back] was worse! They said ‘Ah, he couldn’t make it at Pirates, ah he couldn’t make it at Chippa!’” Mosimane told iDiski Times.

‘They said; ‘you don’t need this guy’ and I said ‘no, I need him’

“They said; ‘you don’t need this guy’ and I said ‘no, I need him! He has things that I don’t know, he has things I don’t like to do’. Do you think Ancelotti knows everything? Why are his staff talking to him all the time? Do you think Pep knows everything? No… you need a team and [Rhulani] was the right guy for me to come and help and now they know why I wanted him!

“So for me, I’m a winner when it comes to that. Unlike you bringing in a guy, who doesn’t know what to do, he’s under contract with the club and useless. No, you have a winner my friend, he won the league, you know?”

Rhulani Mokwena

Mokwena and Manqoba Mngqithi served as Mosimane’s assistants before both of them were promoted to work as co-coaches when Jingles left to take over Egyptian giants Al Ahly.

While they succeeded in maintaining Sundowns’ status as the undisputed kings in the PSL, Mokwena would later be promoted to head coach during the 2022-23 season and has shown great tactical acumen since.

‘Where have you ever heard there’s a joint what-what in football?’

Mosimane is delighted that his protégé is finally getting the credit he deserves while hitting out at South African clubs for embracing the co-coach model.

“I’m so happy he’s the head coach now, not this joint what-what. I don’t like that thing of joint things. Someone must be responsible, where have you ever heard there’s a joint what-what in football? Only here. What is that? Where are we seeing that? Do you have a joint teacher in mathematics?” he posed.

Mokwena has been termed as South Africa’s own Pep Guardiola due to his possession-based style of football which has an emphasis on building from the back, just like Manchester Ciry, with Sundowns turning into one of the most attractive teams to watch in Africa.

He has led the club to two PSL titles since his promotion while the Brazilians also claimed the inaugural Africa Football League under his guidance. 

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Joel Oliver

Joel Oliver is a seasoned multimedia sports journalist with a rich background in covering diverse football stories and events in South Africa and beyond.

His extensive coverage spans subjects touching on the PSL, with a focus on the Big Three (Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs & Mamelodi Sundowns), Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana.