Rulani On Zungu, Entitlement & Empowerment

Bongani Zungu of Mamelodi Sundowns.
Bongani Zungu of Mamelodi Sundowns.

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has suggested that Bongani Zungu still has his work cut out to force his way into the regular team.

Zungu has struggled to break into the Sundowns regular team since he was signed as a free agent at the beginning of the season and actually played his first full match at Sundowns in the domestic scene in the win over Richards Bay on Tuesday evening in the Nedbank Cup.

Mokwena initially criticized the Bafana Bafana midfielder for carrying weight early in the season and his tough stance on 'Ben 10' continued after explaining the reason for his lack of game-time.

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The 36-year old coach says they are trying to teach Sundowns players life principles not to have a sense of "entitlement" but want to develop in them a sense of "empowerment".

"Good player but comes into a very good squad. I was listening to a podcast where (Jurgen) Klopp (Liverpool manager) was speaking about the difference between entitlement and empowerment," Mokwena told the media in a press conference.

"And he was saying that he's not coaching players to give them a sense of entitlement but he's coaching them to give them a sense of empowerment.

"You look at Liverpool for example, maybe for the last three, four seasons, a team that was on the cusp of glory but what has happened to them this season?" he quizzed.

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"There's no sense of entitlement in football, Man City breaking records, this season? Second to Arsenal, even with an aggressive push. Chelsea signed the most promising young players and they spent a lot of money. What happens? Still not able to get results."

The coach carried on to allude that they won't allow statuses and reputation to dictate the playing personnel at Sundowns and that everybody has to fight for a place in the line-up.

"Football has very little regard for name, reputation, money, value and whatever. Football says what do you put and you invest and because you put and you invest, it gives back," he went on.

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"So Zungu has to understand that he has to compete with everybody and that's life because life is unfair, those are the empowerment values that we try to give to all our players and everybody must fight for a place in the team like you fight for things in life.

"Nothing in life is given on a silver platter, you fight to achieve things in life, so you have to fight," he added.

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