Talk­ing up a good game

Soccer Laduma - - Make Your Point -

Be­sides all the other sub-plots to this game, it will be in­ter­est­ing to see whether Or­lando Pi­rates as­sis­tant coach Rhu­lani Mok­wena will serve up the sump­tu­ous ‘mind games dish’ he so ef­fort­lessly did in the build-up to the Soweto Derby. It worked to the tee against Bucs’ big­gest ad­ver­saries. But should Mok­wena de­cide to ‘go men­tal’, he will know full well that in Pitso Mosi­mane, he is up against a dif­fer­ent foe to Gio­vanni Soli­nas. In fact, it could be ar­gued that some of that trick­ery he em­ployed against Amakhosi, he learnt from be­ing Mosi­mane’s right- hand man. That said, Mok­wena should be given credit for ap­pre­ci­at­ing the fact that you need to shake up the op­po­si­tion camp a lit­tle bit ahead of a mas­sive en­counter be­cause even though words can never break any bones, they can hurt if they reach the in­tended tar­get and have enough venom. While Soli­nas does not boast an im­pres­sive CV and there­fore it be­came easy for Mok­wena to throw some below-the-belt punches at him, in con­trast, Mosi­mane has achieved a lot in his coach­ing ca­reer and won al­most ev­ery­thing there is to win lo­cally, even adding the cov­eted CAF Cham­pi­ons League to his re­sume. It’s not easy to play mind games with such a man or to pick him out for taunt­ing. Jin­gles has seen and done it all. In fact, he con­sid­ers him­self the mas­ter of the mind game and has used it to good ef­fect against the self­same Pi­rates in the past, prais­ing them for “not park­ing the bus” like many other Absa Pre­mier­ship teams, and “play­ing open foot- ball”, and yet go­ing on to hu­mil­i­ate them with a 6-0 score­line. So the ques­tion begs to be an­swered: will Mok­wena even play the mind games or will the mere thought of it scare him to si­lence?

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