Are they really the solution?

2012-03-17 18:06

If you asked South African football fans, what they consider the darkest hour of the country’s forays in the international fold, they would probably point to the failure of Bafana Bafana to make it past two editions of the Africa Cup of Nations.

They might also point to the dismal display of the team the last time Bafana played in the continental showpiece when they failed to score a single goal or earn a point.

They might remember that the team that bombed out so spectacularly was led by self-styled football guru Ted Dumitru, assisted by the currently beleaguered incumbent Pitso Mosimane.

What seems to have escaped the minds of many fans is that the team’s goal and glory hunt was spearheaded by Benni McCarthy, Siyabonga “Bhele” Nomvethe and Sibusiso “Rhee” Zuma.

It is therefore ironic that current Bafana woes before goals have caused fans and some coaches to plead for the call-ups of McCarthy and Nomvethe (both 34 years old) to the national team, light years after they failed – when they were at their prime – to get goals for South Africa when it needed them the most.

The 2006 Egypt tournament proved to be a disaster after Bafana lost all three matches and failed to score a single goal as they crashed out of the tournament as the bottom team in their group.

And for that McCarthy, then 28 and with Porto, and Nomvethe also 28 with Pirates, came under severe criticism for the team’s poor showing.

But calls for their inclusion in the team now might be genuine as Bafana have been firing blanks and the two have been in good form.

Even Moroka Swallows coach Gordon Igesund has called for the inclusion of the two marskmen.
But Mosimane would not hear any of that, refusing to answer questions on the two players after the goalless draw against Senegal two weeks ago.

If the team was selected on form, there is no doubt that the two deserve to be included as they are both leading scorers at their respective clubs Pirates and Swallows on five and nine.

The two players have international experience in abundance as they have played at the highest leagues in England and Italy and have a combined 158 caps, between them – 79 each.

McCarthy is still the team’s leading goal scorer with 31 while Nomvethe’s 16 goals makes him fifth on the list.

Bafana’s recent performances in which they have gone eight matches without a victory is a cause for concern, not only for Mosimane but for the entire country, hence the calls for their inclusion.

Is it a case of desperate times call for desperate measures or simply selective amnesia?

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