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Mokwena – Why We Spoke To Spurs & Liverpool

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has revealed that him and his technical team attempted to get advice from analysts from Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

Masandawana were knocked out in the CAF Champions League semi-final for a second year running, with ES Tunis and Al Ahly setting up another North-African final.

After the latest heartbreak, Mokwena was asked why Southern African teams have struggled to reach the final as regularly as North-African teams, but the Sundowns tactician admitted he doesn’t have all the answers even though they tried to get advice from Premier League clubs.

“I don’t know. I wish I knew. If I knew we would be in the final,” he told media.

“I really, I really don’t know. And it’s okay not to have all the answers.

“I spent, in fact, I must say we spent a lot of time coach Michael [Loftman] and I talking to two analysts of Tottenham, talking to analysts of Liverpool and asking ‘how do you break down a reinforced block’?

“Fortunately, they gave us some so much information, clips, ideas, notes, presentations they have made to their teams when they play Crystal Palace, and they play against West Brom and some of the tactical concepts they try to develop.

“And that’s what I can tell you is that when I don’t know anything I invest time to try to find [solutions], I surround myself with people who are even smarter than myself, who can give me ideas and solutions.

“And I can’t talk about Chiefs, I can’t talk about Pirates. And I can’t really talk about Sundowns over the last few years [before me].

“I can talk about where we are. And I can say, I’m very proud of this group to do what they’ve done to be so close all the time. But it’s football, you know. Good, good. Sometimes it’s not good enough.

“And people expect you to have all the answers. But it’s okay to sit and say, ‘I actually don’t know’.

“When I read the books of people like Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, they’ve gone into meetings and they’d been asked, ‘how do we improve the product?’ And they’ve said, ‘I don’t know’. And these are the most successful business people in the world.

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“So I don’t know where we miss it. It could be luck. I think today we were very unlucky. But sometimes, even when you’re unlucky, you also have bad luck, because we also concede such a soft, soft goal.

“And as I said to you, you need luck, for in this competition, you really, really need luck in this competition, because before they went to score, we had two very, very good chances to score. And then from absolutely nothing, a goal kick from the keeper into our half, goes into the back of the net, but that’s football, isn’t it?”

David Kappel
David Kappel
David Kappel has served as a renowned international editor and content manager for almost a decade. David specialises in ensuring content and social media posts are highly engaging for football fans and was previously the international editor at Soccer Laduma. He is currently the iDiski Times website editor and social strategist.