Mosimane leaves Komphela, Tinkler hanging by a thread

Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)
Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)

Former Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane has proved to be a master tactician.

In a space of a week, his Mamelodi Sundowns side have completed what the club's supporters have called "operation clean Soweto" by beating Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

The first Soweto giant to fall was Amakhosi who were walloped 3-1 in the Telkom Knockout Cup final on Reconciliation Day.

This was Chiefs' second loss in a cup final in a space of three months, putting coach Steve Komphela in a tight corner. You see, winning - particularly in cup competitions - is everything at Naturena.

Next, it was the Tinkler-led Buccaneers who were shot down 2-0 in their Absa Premiership match on Sunday, for Masandawana to go top on the log, albeit on goal difference over Bidvest Wits.

This was just the cherry on top for Mosimane's side that has now gone unbeaten for a long period.

They play an attractive brand of football but more importantly, they are clinical, a rare commodity in South African football.

The fact that they scored five goals in the two matches is indeed something to crow about and no second guesses on which one of the three clubs' set of supporters will have a real Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Even before Wednesday's Telkom Cup victory, Mosimane already had a Nedbank Cup trophy and a league title to boast of at Sundowns.

But more interesting will be the way forward.

The beginning of the year will throw new challenges at Komphela and Tinkler as they try to hang onto their lucrative, but tough jobs.

For Komphela, the biggest challenge will be to try to defend the league title that Amakhosi won last season.

He has already failed to retain the MTN8 the club won under the tutelage of Stuart Baxter.

Tinkler on the other hand, has not laid his hands on any silverware since taking over as the Sea Robbers' mentor.

The last trophy the club won was the Nedbank Cup under the guidance of the former Bafana Bafana midfielder's predecessor, Vladimir Vermezovic.

Despite guiding Pirates to the final of the CAF Confederation Cup, Tinkler still has to make his own mark by winning something.

And as the saying goes, people always remember a winner, but forget the runner-up.

Or to put it harshly, just as legendary Liverpool  manager Bill Shankly "when you are first, you are first. When you are second, you are nothing."

So at some stage, Tinkler will have to come first or he will soon be history at Pirates.

We have already seen a number of coaches, including the grandfather of them all, Clive Barker, lose their jobs this season.

Only a fool would bet against more parting ways with their respective clubs before the season plays itself out.

Coaching is a minefield as they don't only have to deal with the players, but demanding bosses as well as a myriad of hard-to-please fans.

But just as the saying goes: Life goes on.

So here it is that we wish all those who love the game of the pigskin a Merry Christmas!

To those whose clubs did not end 2015 very well, we say in township lingo: HARDY!

S’Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

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