News24

Benni Bafana's 'missing link'

2009-11-10 08:25

Johannesburg - Blackburn Rovers striker Benni McCarthy is Bafana Bafana's missing link as new coach Carlos Alberto Parreira rebuilds the national side starting with two friendly matches against Japan in Port Elizabeth on Saturday and Jamaica in Bloemfontein next Tuesday.

That was the view expressed by Bafana goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs in welcoming back McCarthy, 31, to the squad after a six month absence.

McCarthy was axed form the Confederations Cup squad in May by former coach Joel Santana for disciplinary reasons, but Santana's successor Parreira, has welcomed McCarthy back with open arms.

Said Josephs: "McCarthy brings a new vibe to the squad. He is a leader on and off the field because of his personality and experience.

"I do not mean any disrespect to the other strikers in the squad, but Benni brings a special quality to Bafana.

"I am glad he is back and I am sure he will be firing when we meet Japan on Saturday.

"We have missed his experience and the uncanny way he can score vital goals. We all know what Benni can do and in my opinion he was the missing link in our past games where we hit a slump."

Josephs is also happy that Parreira is back as head coach after 17 months in the wilderness under Santana.

The Orlando Pirates star would not be drawn on Santana who was seen as a poor substitute for Parreira but added: "Parreira has experience of having won a World Cup with Brazil.

"He brings so much quality and know-how to the squad. I think his influence will start rubbing off soon."

Josephs who has been in superb form for club and country, is fighting against German based Rowen Fernandez and teenager and South African Under-20 cap, Darren Keet, for the number one jersey.

Although Josephs played in the last two friendly matches away to Norway and Iceland, he is taking nothing for granted.

Former Bafana keeper Hans Vonk, 39, now playing for Ajax Cape Town, has also made himself available for the national side.

Said Josephs: "Competition is healthy. It is good for goalkeepers and for the side as it will make us a lot sharper.

"I am taking nothing for granted and know I will have to work for my place in the starting line up. It will be up to the new coach as to who starts.

"But one thing for sure is as keepers, we are going to have to work our socks off at training this week to get the nod.

"Parreira appreciates hard work and that is what I am aiming to do - giving my all at training."

Despite Bafana losing 1-0 to both Norway and Iceland, Josephs shone, especially against Norway in Oslo. He has grown in confidence since he replaced an injured Fernandez in the 2008 African Nations Cup finals in Ghana.

Parreira was in charge of Bafana at the 2008 AFCON and both Josephs and Fernandez are keen to play against Japan with the imminent return of first choice Kaizer Chiefs keeper Itumeleng Khune who has been sidelined for three months with injury.

Khune is set for a return to club action within weeks.

SAPA

Comments
  • Gone - 2009-11-10 08:38

    The only reason you could call Benni the "mising link", is because he is never there!!!!!!!!!

  • Franklin - 2009-11-10 09:09

    Benni past his sell-by date and has little to offer Bafana except arrogance - something which they already have in plentiful supply.

  • Brian - 2009-11-10 09:31

    I look forward to Benni being back in the team! Lets go Bafana Bafana!

  • Crap Attitude - 2009-11-10 09:37

    I'm still not convinced McCarthy should be in the team. He is a self-serving egotist, who places his own wishes before that of his team and country. Now we are putting him on a pedestal, prasing him as if he is the one saviour who will make all the difference. It's partly because of the crap attitudes like his that Bafana Bafana are so pathetic at the moment. I would rather have a team of fighters, who are committed to their teammates and country. No-one is ever bigger than the game and McCarthy should be made well aware of this.

  • no hope - 2009-11-10 09:39

    aaaiii only in SA do you rest all your hopes and dreams on a washed up,ill disciplined old croc. they'll probably still be calling on this dinossaur in 2014 and 2018.. nxa haaai is vaar jong!!!

  • Sikhu - 2009-11-10 09:41

    This has been long overdue, i think it's a good thing Bennie is back as i read in different columns i can now pick up the positive vibe amongts our boys, having someone like him will also inpire a lot the likes of Mphela and Henyekane.

  • abs - 2009-11-10 09:45

    "He is a leader on and off the field because of his personality and experience" my goodness are we missing something here? how can he be called a leader when he does not have the pride and respect for his country of birth?moeneeb does not have a clue as to what a leader should be and does. anyway how can we blame him?political leadership is also as bizzare as anything else.we have a serious problem for our children here!!!!

  • abs - 2009-11-10 09:48

    "He is a leader on and off the field because of his personality and experience" my goodness are we missing something here? how can he be called a leader when he does not have the pride and respect for his country of birth?moeneeb does not have a clue as to what a leader should be and does. anyway how can we blame him?political leadership is also as bizzare as anything else.we have a serious problem for our children here!!!!

  • Believe in the boys - 2009-11-10 09:51

    Mourning and complaining will not help at all.Benni is back so let's give him a chance. The return of Parreira shows that the boys are happy because of the calibre he possess and will therefore rub off to them soon.The team has a lot of work to do and i think they are all determined to make the country proud so let's continue supporting OUR BOYS!

  • MOGALE - 2009-11-10 09:54

    I REALLY THINK OLDJOHN DESERVE A SECOND CHANCE ALSO OR IS BECAUSE HE IS PLAYING FOR PLATINUM STARS NO FAVIRRAITISM PLEAS MZANZI

  • Diski 9-9 - 2009-11-10 09:54

    it would be better if he stayed missing and nevere found!

  • Sgonondo - 2009-11-10 09:54

    Whatver man!

  • Mamaile - 2009-11-10 09:57

    some of us are confused and really suprissed by the euphoria displayed by the south africans (not sure all) on the return of a player who is ill diclipline and unable to command a regular lineup in his native so called team. Mark my words. coach appointed against the view of the south africans now the ill dicipline and unpatrotic player reselected against the majority. please someone tell Where is sa heading to from a football 's point of view. sis Bafana Bafana.

  • Miggs Mats - 2009-11-10 10:03

    Benni needs to be here, i am glad he is back!!! and if you look at the form stats and scores for the goalkeepers in this season, Hans Vonk should also be recalled !!!!!

  • Sox - 2009-11-10 10:06

    Is not like we've got choice Bafana can't score, the opposition can play with no keeper it wont make a difference, welcome back Bennie.

  • MBUI - 2009-11-10 10:07

    "He is a leader on and off the field because of his personality and experience" what personlity??Moeneeb does not have a clue of what leadership entails.Leaders dont betray their country for self, but they pride themselves over it.Politicians should take stock of this as their kind of leadership is now seen as the correct one, hence this comment by a proffessional soccer player!!!!

  • MBUI - 2009-11-10 10:09

    "He is a leader on and off the field because of his personality and experience" what personlity??Moeneeb does not have a clue of what leadership entails.Leaders dont betray their country for self, but they pride themselves over it.Politicians should take stock of this as their kind of leadership is now seen as the correct one, hence this comment by a proffessional soccer player!!!!

  • dumkofp - 2009-11-10 10:10

    There are plensh missing links. There is no solid midfield, defence, playing discipline, etc. Bennie will help sat, he has got no support.

  • Len van Heerden - 2009-11-10 10:16

    @Gone Very good. I cannot imagine why anyone would call McCarthy the missing link. McCarthy wants a contract with another team as he is not getting playing time with Blackburn, and as he has done before, he expects Bafana to provide him with the necessary publicity to get another contract. Now, I am not against this as I believe national call ups afford players opportunities. My concern is that Bennie will once again retire as soon as he gets a gig with anyone stupid enough to want him

  • Roberto - 2009-11-10 10:17

    Say what you like but Benni always boosted the teams morale even if he himself did not score in a game he created chances for others to score. Coaches should not punish vital players in the squad. If Benni played at the Confed Cup BB would have done better in tornament.

  • Ricky - 2009-11-10 10:19

    I couldn't agree more with you ''Gone"! This self centered fat man wants to revive his dying soccer career on the expense of the young & upcoming boys. This is disappointing news indeed as the fading star will think the country depends on him. Nxa!!

  • Sbu - 2009-11-10 10:20

    Love him or hate him.....He still holds the record in SA as the best striker ever...and we need him...Talk to me again if anybody managed to brake his record...Bye bye....I guess ,I will wait forever...Viva comrade Benni Viva

  • Badboy - 2009-11-10 10:31

    I wonder who is trying to raise South African expectations!Bennie has NOTHING TO OFFER!WE have Killer,let nuture him and prepare him for the bigger stage.I remember not long ago when people couldnt stop calling for Doc Khumalo(replica) and Shaun Bartlett,Bennie was there too and he wasn't scoring.

  • Mandla - 2009-11-10 10:42

    We'll see what he does on Saturday,remember how many open net chances he missed when we were eliminated against Tunisia on the first round of the Nations cup.Screw him!@Roberto-Are you stupid?How would Benni have better helped Bafana in the Confed Cup?YOU BETTER CONCENTRATE ON PEELING THOSE GARLICS BEFORE YOU CUT YOUR OWN FINGERS MY BOY!!

  • Anon - 2009-11-10 10:42

    I'm sorry Roberto did you say Benni boosted moral? What Benni are you talking about, the one from LA Law? Benni is a disruptive force, demorilising everyone and discrediting the privilege of playing for Bafana. He is a disgrace, and now we have some hack brazilian coach who stabbed SA in the back already bringing him back. I have officially stopped supporting Bafana and hope they fail miserably. Because I'm proudly South African, I'll root and cheer for any team playing against Bafana, until Benni and this two faced coach are given the chop.

  • owen - 2009-11-10 10:49

    im glad that Benni is back coz we all in need of his experience with help of team fortitude.I wish for you all the best Bafanabafana so please lets win all the in coming match preparing for Wold Cup.

  • Anon - 2009-11-10 10:54

    Oh great Sbu, and we are 85th or something in the world, no thanks to the distruptive nature and forces benni has brought to Bafana. GO JAPAN

  • ikhapa - 2009-11-10 10:57

    the problem with SA sport is too much politics and political interference, Benni has a right to stand up against these injustices, he is the best striker in Sa football and has a right to be called up.SAFA must stop bullying our players

  • blackburn rovers - 2009-11-10 11:36

    I saw Benni and Jason Roberts (fellow Blackburn Striker) outside a bar in scotland a short while back. They both had a blonde bird on each arm, flashing their bling. I shouted out ' hey benni, be safe' He shouted back 'Always Bro, got my rubbers'. I remember thinking, what a fantastic example to all the kids. Yes mate he really is a leader on and off the pitch!!! Dick-head

  • WAN - 2009-11-10 12:18

    What has Bennie done for blackburn this season? Why was Parreira fired from his previous job last month? The future sure looks sh***ty for SA football!!!!

  • Tso - 2009-11-10 12:53

    Benny is prideful. Lets groom Katlego Mphela and Calvin Kadi for the World cup and will never go wrong. Stop worring about big names and look at the commitment.

  • WAN - 2009-11-10 14:08

    What has Bennie done for blackburn this season? Why was Parreira fired from his previous job last month? The future sure looks sh***ty for SA football!!!!

  • WAN - 2009-11-10 14:11

    What has Bennie done for blackburn this season? Why was Parreira fired from his previous job last month? The future sure looks sh***ty for SA football!!!!

  • zion - 2009-11-10 14:22

    If you say we dont need Benni you might be out of your mind. After all this poor shows we watched, what more do you want to happen in order to bring izikhokho back? Benny in the 18 area!!!!!!!

  • Lance - 2009-11-10 15:00

    Oh My Word. How many of you haters have been to the Bafana games during the Confed Cup? You suckers probably wanted us to win so that you can continue with your bleak outlook on life! No one else had a song made about them giving shibobo's and being in the 18 area! Bennie is the man, when he started at Rovers he scored great goals and aplenty as well, then it started to go down as always when faced with injuries...some of you doose don't even know the rules of soccer but just to ad your negative outlook on life you comment. Joh, some of you really need to see a shrink or someone who can help you deal with life. Bennie is back, can't wait to see him on Saturday...man oh man will he create chances...what always gets me is that when Bennie showcases his strengths for the team and individualy it will be you guys who'll scream when he scores...and to make matters worse you don't even know why he did not come to play for SA previously, you are all sheep!

  • ndyebokazi - 2009-11-10 15:03

    He must be back,we waiting for you Macathty please give us the good soccer we looking for.

  • @Lance - 2009-11-10 15:52

    where do you get off thinking Benni is this great Footballing god. Really man, he is average at best. He plays for a crappy team (soon to be two when he plays again for SA). He always starts the season over weight and he days are numbered in the Prem. He had a couple of decent seasons at Porto which ended up with them winning the ECL. He's been dinning out on it ever since, slowly going down hill and slow getting fatter. Why didnt he kick on and go to a 'big club'? I'll tell you cos his attitude sucks. Another shinning example of someone thinking they are better than they actually are. It will end it tears. If you think that Benni is the answer to you footballing prayers then its you my friend that knows stuff-all about football. Believe be SA needs more than one has been goal poacher.

  • Lerato - 2009-11-11 14:52

    Benni is a gift to South Africa in soccer.He is the best striker in South Africa has ever had.I'ts like that whether u like or not, whether u see it or not.I'm happy he is back and there is nothing that all you haters can do about it.

  • Benito - 2009-11-12 08:54

    Benni is the best striker in south african soccer history ever and think he could make a huge change because of his experiance and ability fo score vital goals "benny we need ur and make us proud ur the best"

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