Tuesday, 3 May 2016

CHAMPIONS! Hail Pitso, six months after the Sundowns fans wanted him out

RUNNING THE RISK: Faty Papy in hospital last December
We could talk about the racism of Matthew Theunissen today. Just been listening to the fool on the radio. But where will that get us?

Let's talk about Wits University's professional football team instead. A club long divorced from the Clever Boys it once represented, a club with a tiny following, punching above its weight.

On Saturday, they might have had two penalties against Chippa United in a 1-1 draw which essentially ended their championship dreams.

And as coach Gavin Hunt said afterwards they had chances “from one yard, my daughter could have stuck one away” as he neatly side-stepped the issue of his top scorer James Keene remaining benched throughout the 90 minutes.

Or perhaps we could talk about their 25-year-old Burundian Faty Papy collapsing again during Saturday’s game. When the same thing happened on December 8 last year, he was rushed to hospital and emerged saying: “I’m fine, the doctors have told me not to speak to the media.”

But nobody will talk, even the chatty Gavin Hunt won’t pick up the phone. And let’s be honest, nobody cares about Wits, who play at a ground with a capacity of 5000 and one of the biggest budgets in South African football thanks to Bidvest.

The point is, Wits' failure to put the pressure on Mamelodi Sundowns has been a major let down this season, as the Soweto giants have failed to make anything approaching a title challenge.

Pitso Mosimane’s men could even break the record 69-point haul Kaizer Chiefs mustered last season. If they win their last three games - one of them against Wits on May 11 - they will set a new mark of 71 points.

Even a defeat against Hunt’s men - who need to be Aces tonight - is unlikely to dent Sundowns title challenge, which should be all wrapped up if they beat lowly AmaTuks tomorrow night.

That would take Masandawana and their billionaire owner Patrice Motsepe to SEVEN titles since the PSL was formed in 1996 - not bad given the club were repossessed by Standard Bank from Zola Mahobe in 1988.

That makes Sundowns by some distance the dominant force of the PSL over the past 20 years, a fact not lost on KaboYellow supporters.

What is lost is this: in September last year, Sundowns fans were trying to remove Mosimane from his position as head coach after defeats against Mpumalanga Black Aces and Golden Arrows.

REMEMBER WHEN: Pitso Mosimane gets a police escort
And before that, in April 2013, angry fans forced him to rely on a police escort to emerge safely from Sundowns’ game against Bloemfontein Celtic at Pilditch Stadium.

But since he took over from the Dutchman Johan Neeskens in December 2012 and finished 10th, Mosimane in his three full seasons has finished FIRST, SECOND and this season FIRST.

And even as he achieved the sensational run, Pitso has drastically cut Sundowns infamous spending, sorted out the behind-the-scenes problems and created a cohesive unit at Chloorkop.

So when Pitso makes us laugh with his “eating grass” post-match interviews, when he sheds tears after defeat, stop and think a moment. He’s the best local coach around, Bafana Bafana should never have sacked him, he works hard and created a new CBD in Tshwane.

But then tomorrow night all that might be forgotten. The job will be done. Pitso will be King. Until they lose a couple of games and the vultures begin to hover.




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