Ntokozo Gumede
Football Writer
1 minute read
3 Jan 2022
1:40 pm

‘Maybe the problem is the yellow jersey’, says Mokwena as he believes Sundowns players don’t get the deserved praise

Ntokozo Gumede

'If they were wearing a different colour they would probably get the recognition and praise', says head coach Rhulani Mokwena.  

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena believes his evergreen players don't get enough praise compared to their more famous opponents. Picture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Traditionally, when you speak of the two biggest teams in the country, you think Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, who are without doubt the most popular, but when it comes to performance on the pitch, Mamelodi Sundowns are heads and shoulders above the rest – at least in the modern era.

READ ALSO: Chiefs ‘dumbfounded’ by PSL decision on Covid-19 postponements

The Soweto giants’ popularity takes away the shine of Masandawana’s “incredible” players, coach Rhulani Mokwena believes.

“These players do not get the recognition and the praise they deserve. Maybe the yellow jersey is the problem, if they were wearing a different colour they would probably get the recognition and praise from the country,” said Mokwena.  

“Look at the number of goals that Peter Shalulile has scored and Themba Zwane going to score a 50-goal mark is incredible. They are there for every tournament and we are the defending champions of the league and we are currently first on the log. The players have been exceptional and this has been the mentality and the culture,” he added.

One player he has been particularly impressed with is Andile Jali, who took to the field 16 out of 19 times in the DStv Premiership this season, becoming a mainstay at the heart of the Brazilians’ midfield.

“Jali has been superb. I was reading the other day when Pep Guardiola was talking about Rodri and how important it is for Manchester City to have Rodri playing at a certain level every single game because when you have positional football as a main model, it is very important that your deep-lying midfielder is a player that has a lot of consistency and he is always at the right level because any drop in performance exposes the team,” said the Downs co-head coach.