Time to be ruthless

2012-06-16 18:50

Bafana Bafana’s 3-0 victory over Gabon on Friday might go a long way to restoring pride in the beleaguered national team.

It was Bafana’s first win in nine games since their last victory in August last year.

Goals from captain Siphiwe Tshabalala, Tokelo Rantie and Mzikayise Mashaba secured their morale-boosting win.

It was also refreshing to see former PSL player of the season Thulani Serero back in action after he “miraculously” recovered from the groin injury that forced him to miss the Botswana game last weekend.

City Press has, however, reliably learnt that the Ajax Amsterdam midfielder had actually been fit to play against the Zebras.

But Friday’s victory will count for nothing if the team fails to book a place in the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

Bafana need to collect maximum points in their remaining four World Cup qualifying matches if they hope to avoid the embarrassment of missing out on the tournament in 2014.

With the departure of Pitso Mosimane, under whose reign Bafana failed to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup Nations, the new coach faces the prospect of working with a talented but underperforming team.

While many South Africans have already given up on Bafana qualifying for the Brazil tournament, they still have a chance of topping the group.

What looked like a walk in the park for Bafana has turned out to be a rocky road – with two points in two games Bafana find themselves in third spot.

With four of the five short-listed coaches already having done their presentations before Safa’s technical committee, the sooner the new coach is appointed the better.

Gordon Igesund, Gavin Hunt, Shakes Mashaba and Neil Tovey were reported to have impressed during the interviews and Steve Komphela will get his chance tomorrow.

Whoever he is, the new coach will be entrusted with the onerous task of getting Bafana back to their glory days.

Firstly, there is a need for a complete overhaul of the team as it is clear that the current crop of players are not hungry enough to succeed.

South African players have become prima donnas who do not seem willing to die with their boots on.

The coach must also come up with a playing style which is suitable for both local and overseas players.

While Bafana have excelled defensively, their attacking formation and strategy have been their major headaches.

They have been playing with two defensive midfielders with the wingers tucked in, a tactic that has failed repeatedly.

Whoever is chosen must never be shy of making his mark with the team.

If President Jacob Zuma could fire police chief Bheki Cele, then the new coach should follow his lead and be equally ruthless towards failure.

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