Mokwena-Mosimane is like Pep-Arteta in more ways than one

Arteta Mosimane MokwenaGetty Images/Backpage Pix

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rhulani Mokwena has lifted the lid on his relationship with Pitso Mosimane, one of his predecessors at the club, and moved to dismiss suggestions of a rift between the two men on Sunday.

The South African media has attempted to paint a picture that the duo have had a testing relationship, but once and for all, Mokwena moved to set the record straight.

“I can only speak in glowing terms [about coach Pitso],” Mokwena said, as per Times Live. “I know South Africa would like for it to be a spicy relationship but people don’t know that I consider coach Pitso not just a mentor but a father figure because he played with my father [Orlando Pirates legend Julius Sono].

“He is a very close family friend and he is a Sundowns man. He has done so much for this football club and is regarded as an icon and will go into the books of this club.”

Mokwena also drew a parallel between his relationship with Mosimane and the bond shared by Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola and Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

Guardiola arteta Arsenal Manchester cityGettyImage

The latter worked under the former as his Number Two at the Etihad Stadium, before branching out on his own in London and—as things stand—overseeing a successful campaign for the Gunners.

“The contribution he has made [in my career],” Mokwena continued, “I heard Arteta speak about Pep, and I could go on and on and run out of superlatives because he has taught me a lot.

“For that I would always be extremely grateful, for the support and the education he has embedded into my career,” he added. “I don’t think I would be where I am today without the role that he has played, for sure.

“People have to be given their flowers while they still can receive them. He knows that because I don’t shy away from telling him.

“As I said, a lot of people would love it to be spicy but it’s far from that.”

There’s no denying the parallels between Mokwena and Mosimane and Pep and Arteta as far as one being a mentor for the other.

As Arteta learned the ropes at City under Guardiola—one of the great thinkers of the game—so Mokwena got a first-hand example of Mosmane’s talents and specific coaching strategy. It’s clearly serving him well.

However, what Mokwena is proving—as Arteta is as well—is that, like his mentor, he’s a born winner as well.

Sundowns have currently amassed 52 points with only 10 match days to go, and currently enjoy a lead of over 20 points at the top of the table.

Their victory over Sekhukhune United on Saturday was their record 14th straight win in the top flight, and they’re proving to be an absolute dominant force in the top tier.

Indeed, their relentless winning run is harkening back to Mosimane’s finest Sundowns team…if not surpassing them.

This is not dissimilar to what is happening in the Premier League where Arteta’s Arsenal have enjoyed a remarkable campaign so far and are looking well on course to pip Guardiola’s City to the title and end their wait for a Premier League crown.

Both Arteta and Mokwena learned from the best; in terms of strategy and specifics, but also—critically—in terms of how to win football matches. Will both end up with league winner’s medals at the season’s end?

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