Pitso urged to put foot down
Ted Dumitru (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane and Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairman Irvin Khoza must be firm on clubs employing a philosophy which is foreign to local players, if the national team is to succeed.
That was the view of four-time league winning and former SA Football Association (SAFA) director of coaching Ted Dumitru, on where to start in the recovery of the side's recent plight.
"Pitso has got to put his foot down and tell the coaches, 'look, this is not Holland or Brazil'," Dumitru said.
"Khoza as well, because the problem starts with the coaching mentality in this country.
"Let us stop confusing our players with all these different philosophies because Spain won't go out and play the English way, for example.
"It's only us who do not want to look and learn from those examples.
"To fix the problem, we have to start with the PSL coaches and development.
"We have a structure that is not conducive to progress, and Pitso does not have time to unify in the three days he has with them."
Dumitru felt that Mosimane was facing a lonely and "unfair" road ahead and that he was a "victim of circumstances."
Mosimane had come under fire since Bafana's failure to progress to the recently concluded Africa Cup of Nations, after misreading the qualifying rules in their 0-0 draw with Sierra Leone in October.
"It can be fair to say that Pitso is a victim of circumstances, despite the AFCON qualifier mess up," said Dumitru.
"Yes, we did not do enough and should not have found ourselves in that situation, but don't forget players spend 85% of their time at their clubs, which is unfair to Pitso."
Added to this, Dumitru felt that the nation was putting too much expectation on a team that lacked genuine quality and proper development channels.
"Lets be honest here, what selections can you do if you don't have the means because if you take [Steven] Pienaar out, then you have 50% of players that are efficient," he said.
"The quality of the squad is not conducive to progress.
"We need to look at that first before we build on expectations.
"[SAFA vice-president] Danny Jordaan on the weekend spoke about fixing Bafana but if you go back to 2003, we must have tried to fix them at least 20 times."
Mosimane will announce his team on Thursday for the international friendly against Senegal in Durban next week - a match South Africa need to win to keep the critics at bay.
The squad will also be the blueprint for Bafana's 2014 Brazil World Cup qualifiers starting in June, and next year's Africa Cup of Nations hosted by South Africa.
"[Former national coach] Carlos Parreira brought the collective, mobility game which is not practised in the PSL, and Mosimane had to keep to that, but there is not enough to follow on because of contrasting football styles," said Dumitru.
"I expect him to give a chance to players who share the same kind of understanding and rightfully so, since our own style has not been developed as yet.
"He has a lot of the players who have not shown improvement, in fact, maybe even have declined in the last few years."