Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane explains why Asavela Mbekile is not playing
Posted: 19 January 2018 Time: 13:00
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says Asavela Mbekile is not doing enough at training to get into the starting line-up.
Mbekile has been struggling for game-time at Sundowns and has recently been linked with a move to Bloemfontein Celtic, but he is apparently not in favour of a move to the Free State.
Mbekile was signed as a hard-tackling central midfielder from Moroka Swallows in 2014 but was converted into a right-back due to the tight competition for places in the middle of the park.
He has performed well in defence when given a chance, but he has not been getting many opportunities since Thapelo Morena joined Sundowns from Celtic last season. He now faces an exit and a move could happen this month.
“'Shoes' is struggling to find a position. Thapelo has done well, Anele [Ngcongca] came in and is fighting with Thapelo,” Mosimane tells KickOff.com.
“I always say Mbekile is one of the best right-backs in the country and when I say that people say why is he not on the pitch? In football there are a lot of dynamics. It’s not about playing, it’s about putting yourself in a position to be selected and it starts at training.
“You cannot tell me that if there is a guy who is doing exceptionally well at training he won’t play. Then that means we have sabotage. That comes back to bite you when you sabotage players. At the moment, [it's] injuries and mentally not putting himself in the right position [to play], but it’s also probably frustration because he has not been playing.
“Remember I bought him as a central midfielder and I gave him another option to say he can play at right-back. He played at right-back in the Champions League final and he played at right-back in the Nedbank Cup final. There’s 'Shuga' [Tiyani Mabunda] in the midfield, there’s Oupa [Manyisa] and there’s still Lucky [Mohomi], so it’s a bit tough.
“It has been about competition and being ready when the time calls. Thapelo is injured now, Anele is injured and we are using [Siyanda] Zwane. And Mbekile was ahead of Zwane to be honest, but all the components needs to be right for him to play. So those things apply and I don’t think he has put himself in that position to play.”