For Rulani Mokwena, the best player in the country remains none other than Thembinkosi Lorch despite the Orlando Pirates talisman going through a bit of a tough spell and being sent off midweek, which effectively ended his game time in 2019.
Many have argued the holder of the Footballer of the Season award has been a shadow of a player that cleaned up at the Premier Soccer League event in May this year, but his club coach continues to back him.
“Unfortunately we forget that he is still the reigning Footballer of the Season and sometimes I think we put undue pressure because of social media,” Mokwena told the media.
“So the expectations are based more on that. I always tell him that he’s still the best player in the country. Who has the award of Footballer of the Season at home? It’s Thembinkosi Lorch. He has got nothing to prove to anybody.”
Lorch was red carded for retaliation in Pirates’ 3-2 Absa Premiership victory against Polokwane City on Tuesday night and has also had close calls in previous matches where he was lucky to have still been on the pitch.
There were also suggestions that no move to Europe materialised even though Pirates received numerous offers from both French and Belgian clubs during the most recent transfer window that slammed shut on September 2.
“Some of the incidents, like you mention, are difficult to assess because like the (Polokwane) incident, he was fouled. With a little bit more emotional intelligence he could have avoided the situation. But it’s different to the Chiefs one (his stamp on Billiat) or the previous match. We can’t be too critical of Nyoso. He is still the best player in the country. If someone wants to argue I will talk stats. The award is at his house,” said Mokwena.