Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba shed
a tear the other day.
in case you missed it, it was at a press conference to welcome him and the SA
Under-20 national team back from their West African jaunt.
became all emotional when talking about his new role with Bafana Bafana and asking the nation for their support.
employers at the South African Football Association (SAFA) have promised him
their full support. If the groundswell of support from the nation is anything
to go by, the majority of the population is behind him.
few players, from Bafana captain Itumeleng Khune, former skipper Aaron Mokoena,
Teko Modise and others, have also thrown their weight behind the new man and
praised SAFA on their choice saying this
is the right candidate for the job.
even former Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane has vowed to support Mashaba through
and through saying "even if he wants six players from us (Sundowns), he
will get them".
we all know how it has been in the past. I mean, not a single one of the more than 20
coaches that have occupied the Bafana hot-seat have been spared from the
country v club saga.
Mosimane himself spoke about how he had players pulled off the national team
from the airport just as they were about to depart for an important match.
Mashaba too has been a victim of this syndrome and it is part of what cost him his
job the last time around, even if he had easily qualified the team for the 2004
Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Tunisia.
he should view all this sudden change of heart with suspicion, if he knows
what's good for him.
worry is whether the players he is going to select will show the same passion he has shown,
even crying in public, a show of emotion that most grown-up men quite shy away
crop of players we have these days have proven time and again that to them it
is all about money. They are the type that are found smiling even after losing
an important match.
is the emotion and passion that goes with pulling the national shirt over your
is the group that goes on social network platforms as soon as the final whistle sounds, whether they have won or lost. There seems to be no shame among these players.
means that besides training them, giving them tips and shaping them on the
training field, Mashaba will have to deal with bad attitudes and king-size
is besides the fact that our players are no world-beaters, something that has
been proven time and again.
how do you explain their failure to qualify for the 2010 and 2012 AFCON tournaments, being
bundled out of the first round at the 2010 Soccer World Cup hosted in the country, failing
at the quarter-final stage of the 2013 AFCON also hosted in SA and being bundled out
of the African Nations Championships (CHAN) also hosted here?
This brings us to another argument, if Mashaba is a good driver, does he
have a good car to achieve his goals?
has to pick a number of the same players who have failed in the past or
will he go for a total overhaul and build a team for the future comprising of
the group of players Gordon Igesund took on the Australasian tour earlier this
year when big names turned down their call-ups?
he goes that route, will the nation be patient with him as South Africans have
proven in the past that they are a nation that expects instant results and
these are pointers that while Mashaba could be the right man, he has indeed
taken on a mammoth task. It is not going to be easy to turn Bafana Bafana
can be done but it's not gonna be a walk in the park and Mashaba might find
himself shedding even more tears in the process.
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.
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