Like Arteta and Pep? Mokwena sheds light on relationship with Mosimane - 'It’s very far from being spicy'

Pitso Mosimane and Rhulani Mokwena.Backpagepix.
  • Mokwena served under Mosimane at Downs
  • After Mosimane left, Mokwena took over
  • Mokwena explains relationship with Al Ahli tactician

WHAT HAPPENED: Sundowns coach Mokwena has likened his relationship with celebrated South African coach Mosimane to that of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Manchester City's Pep Guardiola.

Mokwena has been delivering good results for Masandawana after taking over as head coach, even after the exit of Mosimane.

The 36-year-old regards his mentor highly and insists his success should be attributed to the current Al Ahli coach.

WHAT HE SAID: "I can only speak in glowing terms [of him], I know South Africa would love for it to be a spicy relationship," Mokwena said as quoted by iDiski Times.

"But people don’t know, I consider coach Pitso, not just a mentor but a father figure, for sure, because he played with my father, they shared the pitch.

"He is a very close family friend, he is a Sundowns man. He has done so much for this football club and is regarded for sure and rightfully so as an icon who will go down in the history books of this club.

"I was listening to Arteta speak about Pep. I could go on and on and run out of superlatives because he has taught me a lot and for that, I’ll be extremely grateful for the support and education he’s embedded in my career.

"I don't think I would be where I am today without the role that he’s played. He knows that, though. People have to be given their flowers while they still can and I don’t shy away from telling him.

"I know people would love for it [our relationship] to be spicy, but it’s far from that, it’s very far from that."

BIGGER PICTURE: Mokwena served as Mosimane's assistant at Sundowns between 2014 and 2017.

He then joined Orlando Pirates in the same capacity until 2020 before briefly serving as the Sea Robbers' interim coach.

Mokwena was also briefly at Chippa United as a coach on an interim basis before making a return to Masandawana in 2020. Initially, he was co-coach with Manqoba Mngqithi before taking full responsibility this season.

On Saturday, Mokwena led the Brazilians to their 14th successive PSL win, which is a record in South African top-flight football.
Meanwhile, Arteta was one of Pep Guardiola's assistants at City, before he took over the job at Arsenal two seasons ago, with the Gunners currently leading the Premier League table.

IN TWO PICTURES:

Rhulani Mokwena, Mamelodi Sundowns, January 2023BackpagepixPitso Mosimane.Backpagepix.

WHAT NEXT: Mokwena will now have a massive test on 4 February when they face the in-form Orlando Pirates side, who have won their last three games.

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