Mosimane’s success at Al Ahly was not enough for club’s president

In one of the most stunning developments to hit the world of football in the past few days, highly decorated Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane parted ways with the Egyptian giants.

But it should not have come as a surprise. I will spell it out it was simply because of the greed of Al Ahly president Mahmoud El-Khatib.

The club boss sat on Mosimane’s neck from the time the South African joined the club from Mamelodi Sundowns and told him that he would have to justify his salary of more than R2 million a month by winning every trophy under the sun.

Mosimane spent less than two years at the helm of the Club of the Century.

He decided to jump ship after losing 2-0 against Wyad Casablanca of Morocco in the CAF Champions League final last month.

That was a black mark as far as El-Khatib’s ambitions and the benchmark set for Mosimane go.

The insatiable trophy hoarder once described Mosimane as a “diamond” worth every penny he was paying him and claimed that  “not everyone at the club believed in” the 57-year-old mentor.

The CAF Champions League final loss was the final straw that broke the Egyptian camel’s back and his departure came as a bombshell to many envious of Mosimane’s success at the club.

Jingles, as the revered coach was known during his playing days here and abroad, won five trophies.

He won 65 of his 97 official matches with the club, drew 22, and lost a mere 10, including twice to Downs in the CAF Champions League.

That loss to Masandawana, on its own, did not go down well with El-Khatib.

Mosimane’s record-breaking stint at Al Ahly is crowned by back-to-back CAF Champions League title victories, two CAF Super Cup titles, the Egypt Cup, and the Egyptian Premier League just days after his arrival, and two bronze medals in the Fifa Club World Cup.

But the trophy monger’s voracious appetite for silverware could not be sated.

Mind you, before Mosimane’s arrival, the club’s cabinet had been devoid of the CAF Champions League trophy for seven years.

Disconcerting as the situation was for Jingles in Egypt, the daunting fact is the pressure to perform to his boss’s satisfaction affected his health. Mosimane once revealed that coaching Al Ahly took a toll on him to the extent that he developed high blood pressure.

This reminds me of an observation made by the one and only Kgoloko Thobejane while coaching the now-relegated PSL side Baroka FC.

With a troubled face after losing a match, the coach who was renowned for not being short of post-match comments, once said: “Football will kill you, it will kill you a real death! You will die because of football.”

El-Khatib and his club cronies, the likes of chairperson Yassin Mansour and board member Hossam Ghaly, were of the view that Mosimane was a machine capable of grinding out win after win.

In any sport, you cannot be victorious all the time. It’s impossible. Yet Mosimane had to win at all costs.

What pleases those swearing by Mosimane is that he achieved what he set out to accomplish with the Red Devils, and was at his wits end after the treatment meted out to him by the club officials, the club’s legends, some members of the Egyptian media and fans.

Football is not more important than your sanity, Jingles.

So, what does the future hold for Bafana Bafana star forward Percy Tau, who Mosimane brought to the club, now that his mentor has left Cairo?

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