Three mentors means too many voices, says Igesund

Sundowns' coaching set-up could be a recipe for confusion

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Steve Komphela has joined the Mamelodi Sundowns coaching arsenal.
Steve Komphela has joined the Mamelodi Sundowns coaching arsenal.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

As if the ascendency of Manqoba Mngqithi and Rulani Mokwena to be joint head coaches at Mamelodi Sundowns wasn’t enough to be the talk of the town, the appointment of Steve Komphela in the uncommon role of “senior coach” has added to the controversy.

Veteran coach Gordon Igesund, who won one of his four league titles with Sundowns in the 2006/07 season, is of the view that it will be hard for the three mentors to find common ground.

“Personally I think it will be very difficult [for Mngqithi, Mokwena and Komphela to work together effectively]. You’ve got to have one message. That message must be followed by everybody,’’ Igesund told Sowetan yesterday.

“When the team is winning or losing who do you speak to as a journalist? You’re going to speak to Steve, others will speak to the other one and others speak to the other one. It can only be one voice to get the message across.’’

Having served as assistants, Mngqithi and Mokwena were promoted to be co-coaches after the departure Pitso Mosimane, who joined Egyptian powerhouses Al Ahly earlier this month.

In the aftermath of Mosimane’s exit, many had given the experienced Mngqithi the thumbs-up to fly solo, with the budding Mokwena as his right-hand man. However, the Brazilians hierarchy decided the duo must have equal powers.

Interestingly, Komphela, who joined the Tshwane side after resigning as Golden Arrows head coach on Sunday, is more experienced than both Mngqithi and Mokwena. Despite his experience, Komphela, 53, will be reporting to Mngqithi and his former student, Mokwena.

Mokwena served as Komphela’s assistant at the now-defunct Platinum Stars in 2009. The three coaches with different qualities have since been dubbed “the three wise men’’ by many.

What does each coach bring to the table? Komphela is commonly perceived as a defensive coach. However, the former Kaizer Chiefs mentor can be pragmatic and has been willing to adapt based on his playing personnel at a particular time.

Mngqithi is more or less like Mosimane and with him it’s possible that Downs will not change the way they’d been playing under Mosimane. The former AmaZulu coach isn’t one-dimensional but his play is based on keeping possession.

As evinced during his short stint as Orlando Pirates caretaker coach, Mokwena is all about attacking after building from the back. His approach mainly neglects defending and his side can concede easily at times.

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