Changing of coaches is the problem

2009-10-24 15:07

SOUTH Africa’s chopping and changing of national team coaches is the main cause for Bafana Bafana being Number 85 in the world.

This is according to a well-researched document produced by a soccer analyst and which City Press has in its possession.

Bafana Bafana have gone through 15 coaches since South Africa was admitted into the international soccer fold in July 1992.

This statistic – which does not include the facts that Shakes Mashaba has had two stints and Jomo Sono three, while Carlos Alberto Parreira is coming back for a second bite of the cherry – compares badly with the top football playing nations such as Germany and England.

Under the sub-headline, “The constant change of coaches”, the document compiled in 2006 states: “SA has gone through 13 Coaches in 14 years. This is an incredible statistic when one compares it to other countries like Germany, who have had 10 coaches since 1923, ie 10 coaches in 83 years. England has had 14 coaches since 1946; two of whom were caretaker coaches and one on a part-time basis from 1946-1962, ie 14 coaches in 60 years.

“Clearly South Africa is out of sync with international trends and it is plausible that the constant change in coaches is one of the primary reasons why the country has experienced a steady decline since 1996. It is no coincidence that the one coach who brought success to South Africa, by winning the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), Clive ­Barker, was the longest-serving, having played 43 matches.”

And therein lies the rub.

Petty politics have also contributed to the state where Bafana Bafana find themselves ranked a disappointing 85th, just a few notches lower than the number 109 they occupied when the ranking system was first introduced in 1993.

The team was still struggling with the realities of international football in those days, after many years of isolation.

They were dubbed a 4x4 by critics due to them losing matches by margins of four goals.

Barker’s introduction in March 1994 stemmed the downward spiral, and by 1996 – after winning the Afcon – Bafana were ranked a high Number 16 in the world.

The stout Barker can stand very tall when looking at his record.

Besides winning the Afcon, he took the team from Number 92 to Number 31 by the time he left.

Shakes Mashaba also steadied the ship as he took over the squad at Number 32 and left it in the same position.
The picture between January and February 1998, when Jomo Sono entered the picture, is not very good. He found the team at Number 31 but left it at Number 38.

He atoned for that, however, during his second stint from March 2002 to July 2002 when he found the team at Number 36 and moved it two notches up to Number 34.

Philippe Troussier’s record doesn’t look good either, as he found the team at Number 20 when he came in in March 1998 but left it at Number 27.

Trott Moloto did a marvellous job between October 1998 and September 2000. When he came in Bafana were ranked Number 28 and he took them up to Number 23 and Number One on the continent after collecting bronze at the Afcon finals staged in Nigeria and Ghana.

It was a free fall from then on as Quiroz took the team from Number 22 to 36, Styles Phumo from 36 to 40, Stuart Baxter from 40 to 48, Ted Dumitru from 49 to 50, Pitso Mosimane from 53 to 66, Carlos Alberto Parreira from 69 to 71 and Joel Santana from 68 to 85. Need we say more?

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