Thu, 02 Apr 2020

Pitso copying Mourinho's antics a little too much

News24
20 Feb 2020, 22:12 GMT+10

Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane apologised for the "ugly play" when instructing three of his players to deliberately seek yellow cards in a 2-1 win over Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday night.

In comical scenes, Gaston Sirino, Sibusiso Vilikazi then captain Hlompho Kekana all received bookings for time-wasting when delaying a corner kick in the latter stages of the match.

The trio will now sit out the Nedbank Cup clash against Vaal University of Technology after picking up four yellow cards.

These bizarre incidents were a play taken from the "Mourinho show" playbook when the then-Real Madrid manager instructed Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos to deliberately seek yellow cards in a 4-0 win over Ajax Amsterdam in the Champions League in 2010.

Both players were dismissed for time-wasting after receiving bookings earlier in the clash. The duo subsequently missed Madrid's dead-rubber group clash at home to Auxerre, but were able to return with a clean slate for the knockout stages.

A similar incident then happened in 2013, again involving the same two players - under Mourinho's orders - in a 2012/13 Champions League clash against Galatasaray.

Alonso, Ramos - and Mourinho - all received fines on both occasions with a far from impressed UEFA introducing a new law to curb future similar indiscretions.

Mosimane clearly would prefer to see his three players to miss the weekend's Nedbank Cup clash against Vaal University of Technology rather than any of the remaining 10 Absa Premiership fixtures.

"If you want to keep going with the league, you don't want to have four players on three yellows," Mosimane said.

"It's not gonna help you."

In the Madrid incidents, the motivation for Mourinho was to navigate through the knockout stages of the world's best club competition, with the possibility of being drawn against world-class teams.

So it's understandable one would want your most important players available.

Why Sundowns' case isn't exactly the same is because their next two league fixtures are against Cape Town City (11th) and Stellenbosch FC (ninth) in the league standings.

Another reason is that Sundowns - with their unrivalled riches - can, as Eric Tinkler once said: "put out three teams and still run away with the league".

Mosimane in the past has often employed these Mourinho-like antics mixed with other outlandish comments that take away from his side's achievements.

Mourinho, Ctrl Copy + Paste

Mosimane tries to play mind games in the media like Mourinho, but because Sundowns are such heavy favourites in most games, his statements are never really believable.

He also tries to get under the skin of opposing teams - currently as is the case with Kaizer Chiefs - but he lacks the subtlety to do this effectively and comes off sounding obsessive and deranged.

He even comically had a run-in with a ball boy - just to complete his Mourinho antics checklist!

Sundowns have finished as either champions or runners-up in the last six Absa Premiership campaigns including back-to-back titles in the previous two.

With this unprecedented domestic success, to go along with a CAF Champions League title, it would be wonderful to celebrate a coach who uses his own original methods to further the game locally.

Mosimane should seek to be a beacon for other coaches and not to have be a negative influence.

The football gods too have a wicked sense of humour and this should be a warning.

What happened to Real Madrid in those Champions League campaigns? They failed to win both.

Again in 2019 Ramos got himself deliberately booked against Ajax, only for the Dutch side to pull off an amazing comeback as he sat watching helplessly from the stands.

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