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‘Mamelodi Sundowns’ shoeshine and piano style back’ – Mokwena revels as Masandawana boss in PSL

1:43 PM GMT+4 09/01/2023
Rhulani Mokwena Mamelodi Sundowns.
Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rhulani Mokwena has said the 'shoeshine and piano' style is back at the club.
  • Masandawana currently in impressive form
  • 'Shoeshine and piano' credited to ex-coach Tshabalala
  • Mokwena credits free-flowing style to quality of players

WHAT HAPPENED? The Brazilians are known for their flowing football, a style that has made them not only ruthless but also helped them stand shoulders above their peers in the Premier Soccer League

To Mokwena, the "shoe-shine and piano style" has been a successful formula at Sundowns because of the quality of players they have had.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "It’s the DNA of the club, it’s the culture of the club, Mamelodi Sundowns are about piano and shoeshine," said Mokwena as per iDiski Times.

"It is the style of play that was designed and created many years ago by many legends, and of course, it is the quality of the players, if you know what I mean.

"You cannot speak a lot about how we play without mentioning how good our players are."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The shoeshine and piano style has been credited to Sundowns’ former coach Tshabalala.

Tshabalala was appointed head coach - when Zola Mahobe bought the Pretoria club in 1985 - and was tasked with revamping Masandawana and making it a competitive outfit.

The coach is said to have picked up the idea of the unique style during his visit to Italy, where he interacted with AC Milan and Juventus.

Piano is an Italian expression that means ‘easy’, and is a concept that involves building up play from the back, passing neatly through tight spaces, holding up play confidently, and keeping things calm while dominating the opponent.

And as Mokwena credited the successful implementation of the philosophy to the club’s legends, the style demanded players who could implement the idea when it was first adopted.

Currently, the Brazilians enjoy a healthy lead at the top of the table, with a 10-point gap separating them from second-placed SuperSport United.

The Tshwane giants have also been ruthless in front of goal and boast a whopping goal difference of 25 after just 15 games.

The free-scoring PSL heavyweights have dismantled their opponents with ease, even though they have been without Peter Shalulile – the Golden Boot award holder – who has been battling an injury issue.

WHAT NEXT FOR SUNDOWNS? They will host Chippa United on January 10.