Benni McCarthy likens Abbubaker Mobara to Pep Guardiola

17 July 2019 - 10:49 By Nick Said
Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy during the Absa Premiership match between Cape Town City FC and Orlando Pirates at Athlone Stadium on May 05, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy during the Absa Premiership match between Cape Town City FC and Orlando Pirates at Athlone Stadium on May 05, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Thinus Maritz/Gallo Images

Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy has likened Abbubaker Mobara to Spain and Barcelona star Pep Guardiola in his playing days and says he is so good he does not know where to play him!

The versatile Mobara joined City from Orlando Pirates in this transfer window and McCarthy admits it could be one of his biggest captures as he prepares to challenge for the league in his third season in charge of the side.

“Mobara … phew. Every time I see him play he reminds me of a young Pep Guardiola in his playing days. A similar style and the reading of the game‚ it’s incredible‚” McCarthy says.

“How we got this boy‚ we can only count our lucky stars. He looks like he has been a player for me since I joined Cape Town City‚ because the way I want to play‚ this boy just executes perfectly.”

McCarthy feels Mobara could be best used in midfield‚ but with something of a central defensive crisis at the club‚ seems likely to play in his preferred position of centre-back.

“My only query is‚ I genuinely don’t know where to play him‚" he said.

"Is he a right-back‚ a centre-back‚ a number six or a number eight? My dilemma is there and he seems to pick his own spot that he drops into‚ he wants to play centre-back.

“But I think he is a waste at the back‚ he is probably more effective if he is six or eight.

"With no [Thabo] Nodada yet‚ no [Roland] Putsche … I would love for him to be in that midfield‚ spotting those nice balls into the 10 and the nine.

“But I have to go according to where he is most comfortable and that seems to be centre-back.”

With Taariq Fielies missing due to complications from an appendix surgery that could see him missing for the rest of the year‚ McCarthy is short on experience in the centre half positions.

McCarthy is also delighted with the capture of another former Ajax Cape Town player‚ Tashreeq Morris‚ who he says gives the side a different dimension up front.

“Tassie is superb‚ he is a [big] unit and a different player from what we had before. Very good at hold-up play and brilliant running behind [the defence].

“The understanding that he is starting to have with Kermit [Erasmus]‚ with Surprise [Ralani]‚ Gift Links‚ Craig Martin and Chris David‚ it is working out very nicely.”

City open their Absa Premiership campaign away at Baroka FC on August 3.


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