Pitso Mosimane may not be in the class of Steve Komphela in terms of the gift of the gap but once he opens his mouth, soundbite seekers are subjected to the same glee as is the case with his philosophical counterpart.
Since his second coming to the PSL in 2012, Mosimane, who left PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns for Egyptian giants Al Ahly this week, has been a delight and a nuisance as he dissected games and gave his opinion on domestic football matters.
Opposition coaches, players, goalkeepers, referees and officials have been on the receiving end of Mosimane’s tongue-lash. Mosimane would blast everyone publicly but spare his players. He would defend his players even when they were in the wrong. However, mishaps by his opponents will receive the harshest criticism ever.
Former Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp, Baroka goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze, referees Victor Gomes and Abongile Tom, PSL prosecutor Nande Backer, and a host of others can attest to the sting carried by Mosimane’s tongue.
He has also differed and disagreed with journalists during his intriguing post-match press conferences. Mosimane has also showered opposition players and coaches with praise. His admiration for Kermit Erasmus and Ndumiso Mabena have been open secrets.
With his words, Mosimane has impressed and irked many. FARPost went down memory lane to fetch some of Mosimane’s unforgettable words.
“I will never allow him to say anything because I have got more. I can drop them every day. He speaks, I will drop them. I have got a lot against him” – Mosimane on Middendorp in October 2019.
“May is a bit far” – Mosimane when discussing his team’s prospects of winning the league title when it appeared Kaizer Chiefs were running away with it.
“Who chooses Man of the Match? What did Khama do?” – Mosimane to TV personality Robert Marawa questioning the awarding of the accolade to the Zimbabwean star, whom he felt did not deserve it.
“We fought for the league with them before and they gave way. And then came Wits, and then they gave way. Pirates for the last two years, they gave way but the common denominator is us fighting for the league for the last six years. Second twice and four times we won it.” – Mosimane on fighting for the league with Kaizer Chiefs.
“It was a nice parked bus; you can’t move the bus, but I understand Boebie [Solomons, new City coach] needs the points, and they needed them more than us; that’s why their central defender was Man of the Match.” – Mosimane after a 1-0 loss to Polokwane City in October 2013.
“Victor Gomes always wants to be Man of the Match. He wants to be the centre of attention. He likes the big games. Check him, he always has his collar up. Even on his car [licence plates], it’s written ‘Mr Ref’” – Mosimane slamming referee Gomes in February 2018.
“Very difficult game for Tom, the referee. Referee of the year last year. To be at that level we need consistency. You need to show what you have but I could see the way the match started that it needed a Victor Hlungwani or a Victor Gomes. He (Tom) still has a long way to go. He is not gonna be my referee of the year,” – Mosimane criticizes Abongile Tom after a goalless draw with Wits in January 2020.
“In South Africa‚ these guys are protected‚ they don’t say sorry‚ they are not accountable. We are accountable for the results. What has ever happened? Nothing has happened. It’s a lost cause‚ you just keep quiet and move on. The worst thing is that they gang up against you. They can gang up against you. They’ll say ‘ah‚ that one’s complaining’. I know that mentality.” – Mosimane after 1-1 draw against Bidvest Wits in October 2018
“I want them to go to Wayne Arendse, I want Dean to go to Arendse and put a hand on his face. I want Clayton to go to Arendse or Denis. Heavyweight to heavyweight. If you’re a big boy, go to Denis. You know how big is the hand of Denis.” – Mosimane defends Gaston Sirino after he manhandled Clayton Daniels and Dean Furman during the Tshwane Derby in September 2019.
“You can’t trace or track him. He is in different space‚ always finds himself in different areas on the field and he helped us to control the midfield. Never mind the goal he scored‚ he is skating and they can’t find him. He reminds me of Iniesta.” – Mosimane on Themba Zwane after Sundowns’ famous 5-0 victory over Al Ahly in April 2019.
“Mabena runs the show there. He is the star of the show. He does whatever he wants. Sometimes he even walks without defending but he scores for them” – Mosimane on Bloemfontein Celtic captain Ndumiso Mabena in February 2020.
“I don’t like losing. Some suggest I should be modest but that’s not in my character. I say what I say and if it is not right, so be it. I am a football coach and I don’t like losing.” – Mosimane on his ambition in May 2019.
“I give myself to Sundowns. Even my family is short-changed. I’m working very hard at filling the seven-year void of no success the club has had to endure. We’re investing and we’re relentless in our pursuit of success. And if only they knew that we go out there to do our best all the time.” – Mosimane on his commitment while addressing Sundowns supporters’ frustrations in November 2014.
“Sometimes I want to give more but I say to myself keep quiet. Unfortunately, football loses. I will keep quiet, I will be modest. I should wear this tie and jacket and speak nice and come out like a role model” – Mosimane after apologizing to the PSL, who fined him R100 000 for bringing the league into disrepute, in November 2014.
“I react to fans on the other side that we went to. They were singing, clapping and calling my name on the other side. This side, I don’t react. I will leave it to God. What can I do? I found it like this by the way,” – Mosimane reacting to fans calling for his sacking in September 2015.
“I think we should congratulate Chipezeze for being named Man of the Match for wasting time hey. He is falling all the time to kill time and he kills our momentum. Referees should be able to see what he is doing. I mean he deserves the award, don’t get me wrong… but we know who does this, on the floor all the time in South Africa, the specialist,” – Mosimane after Baroka keeper Elvis Chipezeze’s delaying tactics denied Sundowns victory following a goalless draw in December 2018.
“I said to Rhulani he is an angel, he has got a lot of luck. And I said to him please don’t miss many trophies again, stay where the trophies are.” – Mosimane on his assistant Rhulani Mokwena, who rejoined Sundowns after unsuccessful stays at Pirates and Chippa United.
“It was sad to be fired by a taxi owner, a priest and a traditional chief. So do I want to face that again? My fate and career in the hands of those people” – Mosimane on the prospects returning to Bafana in August 2019. Mosimane would later apologize for these remarks.
“I leave this family knowing that our bond is unbreakable and hoping that with the passage of time, our paths would come together again. This is not a divorce. We shall remain bonded forever.” – Mosimane announcing his departure from Sundowns in September 2020.
RELATED STORY: The men joining Pitso Mosimane in Egypt
By Hosea Ramphekwa