S'Busiso Mseleku

Spare a thought for Igesund

2013-08-15 10:39
Sport24 columnist S’Busiso Mseleku (File)
Spare a thought for Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund if you see him having grown more grey hairs since taking up the hot seat than in any other period of his life.

I am sure he always knew that coaching the national soccer team was no child's play. But I doubt he had fully bargained for what he is faced with.

Should you ask him today, when was the last time he had a full-strength squad for any outing, he'll be sure to scratch his rapidly graying head.

And chances are that his answer will be preceded by an, "Eh...?"

Just for Wednesday night’s Nelson Mandela Challenge, he had to do with eight players missing from the original list he had released. This after Orlando Pirates requested that their six players he had selected, be released from national duty as The Buccaneers faced a daunting task against Egyptian giants Zamalek in the CAF Champions League.

And then, Belgian club Racing Genk, refused to release Anele Ngcongca claiming that he was injured.

It does not end there, he will have to do without the overseas brigade of Dean Furman and Tokelo Rantie for the Nelson Mandela Sports and Cultural Day match against Burkina Faso on Saturday as the match “does not fall on a FIFA calendar date”.

Just not so long ago, the coach had to replace 15 players from his initial list for the Cosafa Challenge Cup tournament played in Zambia.

Hmm... some nice fix the coach finds himself in.

The flipside is that he is expected to deliver miracles no matter what team he fields on the day.

Usually, national team coaches are the envy of their peers who still coach clubs because of the pool they always have to choose from. But I doubt any local coach wishes to be Igesund at the moment. Well except for the lucrative package that comes with being your country’s No 1 coach.

I also guess little did Igesund anticipate that among other things, he would have to be a suave politician in his new job. You should have heard the speech he gave when he accepted Pirates’ request, he sounded like a true, well-polished politician.

To be honest, he was caught between a rock and hard place and chose to play a patriot. But lo and behold, he did not anticipate that he was touching a hornets’ nest as Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter - whose team will face the same Pirates in an MTN8 semi-final on Wednesday - made a growl that was heard from Brixton to Britain.

His gripe was that his charges in the national team to face the two grueling matches against Nigeria and the Burkinabe would be exhausted come the 'derby'.

Poor Igesund! You can’t win them all now, can you?

And don’t forget that there is still that small matter of the 2014 Soccer World Cup qualifier against Botswana next month. The whole nation expects Igesund to win that match and hope that Group leaders Ethiopia falter against the Central African Republic so that South Africa can proceed to the final round of qualifiers.

What better opportunity then it would it not have been for Igesund to have all his players available and test them against the two 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finalists?

Will Igesund ever have a full squad for an international event?

Your guess is as good as mine.

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
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Boks must build continuity

2014-11-21 10:50

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 

BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

 
 

Men24.com

Want to start talking dirty?
Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro
 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

Bafana Bafana have qualified but how far will they go at AFCON 2015?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.