I read some interesting comments and observations by a group of die-hard local football fans, after the recent Premiership playoff match between Bay United and FC AK. There was a core group of fans who complained about the abundance of poor foreign talent on display, and suggested that these players were 'stealing' local players' positions.
I know there is the suggestion that foreign players are cheaper and that club bosses know how desperate they are and so save a few thousand rand a month rather than pay local players. The fact is that these foreign players will play for low wages in the hope that they can impress someone with their performances and move on to the big time.
What I don't understand is why our local players, who are untested at professional level, would choose not to play rather than have a go and improve themselves so that they could be worth more. They would rather sit around waiting for the big cheque to arrive.
Players from other African countries know that this is their one chance to make it out of the hole of poverty. They are desperate and show greater commitment and purpose in doing what it takes to make it as a pro. If I look back over the careers of Jabu Mahlangu (formerly Pule), Patrick "Ace" Mbuthu, Gift Leremi (sadly now deceased), Mbulelo "OJ" Mabizela and it seems that Mabhudi Khanyeza is going the same way, I have to ask 'who do they think they are and what have they achieved?'
They have shown no respect for the game of football, no respect for their team-mates, no respect for the people who have coached them and put in the effort during their youth to get them to the level they were at when they chose to waste it all on booze, cars and women!
So before I hear another local fan moaning about the quality of the foreign players in SA, I'd rather like to hear local fans having a go at these prima donnas, who think the world owes them something. The average local fan thinks it's a joke and has a good laugh about the collapse of some of these careers, instead of realising that we are not doing enough to keep our young players focused and committed. They don't realise that these are the best days of their lives, and they choose to throw it all away for a few drinks. Mindless!
Ronaldo must go!
Ronaldo must go - now! All this talk about Madrid and reasons why Spain is better for him, and the fans, and the sun, and the... Enough already!
He's done well for United, he doesn't want to stay, take the money and let him go. He'll soon learn that the average Real Madrid football fan is a lot more demanding than the average United fan. United fans have tolerated some of his petulant displays, and forgiven him the times he has given the ball away doing one flick too many, but Real fans who have watched the original Ronaldo (in his prime), Figo, Zidane, Robinho, Raul, Guti, Roberto Carlos and the rest of the Los Galacticos have seen it all before.
He will be adored while he plays well and Real get results, but he will be made fully aware when things are not going so well. The politics of being Portuguese in Spain are a lot more profound than being a foreigner in England. Good luck Ronnie, you might need it.
George is Media24's Mr Soccer.
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