S'Busiso Mseleku

Just forget about the embarrassing Bafana Bafana

2015-09-07 10:56
Sport24 columnist S'Busiso Mseleku (File)

Khune howler goes viral!

2015-09-07 10:42

Itumeleng Khune's shocker against Mauritania is going viral, watch his blunder here...

A colleague complained that this past weekend would be very boring because of the absence of domestic soccer action.

I reminded him that Bafana Bafana - our national soccer team - were playing what Shakes Mashaba had rightfully dubbed "a crucial" Africa Cup of Nations match against Mauritania.

He was unperturbed by my view and kept on moaning about not being able to watch his favourite club in action.

Given  the way the Bafana match went, where they did not even pitch up and embarrassingly lost 3-1 to a country with a population of 3.9 million and ranked 114th by FIFA, I now guess there are many soccer fans who share my colleague's sentiments.

Bafana Bafana have been such a disgrace that very few still want to be associated with them.

I am not going to dwell on the soccer national team and their coach Shakes Mashaba's disappointing ways as I think enough have been said on all available platforms on this subject.

Now that action returns to the Premier Soccer League this coming weekend, I think many will be delirious.

While there are a number of clubs that have been touted as championship contenders, I think the spotlight will be more focused Steve Komphela.

Not only because in Kaizer Chiefs he coaches one of the two biggest clubs in South Africa, but after stepping into Stuart Baxter's shoes, the question is, can or will he be able to emulate the Briton?

Not that Komphela's abilities are in doubt but seeing that Baxter won a league and MTN8 Cup double last season, the hordes of Amakhosi supporters will expect their new coach to at least defend those two.

And therein lies the rub!

Not only is the astute Komphela expected to do well, but anything below defending those two titles and maybe adding another one of his own, will be deemed failure.

And having already guided Chiefs to the final of the MTN8 Cup after dispatching of his former side Maritzburg United in the quarter-finals and then Bloemfontein Celtic in the semi-finals, hopes will be high that he does the job against Ajax Cape Town in the final.

Should he do that, he would be a step closer to matching Baxter's achievements from last season and in the process endear himself in the hard-to-please hearts of the Amakhosi faithful.

Then it would be time to make a serious assault on the league where there are still many hurdles to scale.

Just this week, he faces SuperSport United whose four-time championship winning coach Gordon Igesund has been given the mandate to win the league title after his bosses splashed out on a good group of quality players.

And it won't end  there for Komphela, there is still the Soweto Derby that pits Chiefs against Orlando Pirates. This is a match that has made and broken many coaches in  the past.

Coaches at the two clubs are usually judged by the results they achieve in this match. If  you can't beat Pirates or vice versa, you are usually considered not to be good enough to coach either of the two giants.

So Komphela has many walls to scale before he can be accepted and be deemed the right man for Chiefs.

After a long time - close to a decade - of the Naturena side not having a local black coach, Komphela has the unenviable task of not only landing a blow for himself but his local colleagues in proving that we do have men in this country capable of handling one of the hottest coaching seats in South African football.

Does he have what it takes? Yes!

Will he do it? That's the million dollar question.

S’Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  s'busiso mseleku  |  soccer

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