Pressing Issues: Bafana’s on the right track

2012-09-08 15:17

One of the most interesting things about the game of football is the vastly different opinions you can draw from a single match.

Sometimes it seems as if people were watching different games altogether.

Even a simple thing like a saved penalty to some people becomes a miss by the kicker.

So it was with great interest that I listened to a group of hacks discussing Friday’s international friendly match between Bafana
Bafana and Brazil on the bus back to the hotel.

One was of the opinion that Brazil played badly.

Then there was a huge protest. Most of us thought our national team had played very well to contain Brazil.

During the game, I had even observed the masters of the samba play the long ball on more than one occasion.

To me, this was a sign of frustration as Brazil is known for their love for carpet football and their short-passing game is legendary.

But it’s a trend the world over.

When a respected nation is held to a draw or beaten by so-called minnows, the result is attributed to the great football-playing nation performing badly, having an off day or even “not taking the particular match seriously”.

It is never the lesser team that played well and did things right.

On Friday night, Bafana played with verve.

There was a level of commitment in them that we haven’t seen for a long time.

They showed no respect for Brazil, nor were they intimidated by big-name players who ply their trade in football’s giant clubs in England, Spain and Portugal.

It’s obvious Gordon Igesund is on the right track, and in the short period he’s been in charge, he has instilled a sense of self-confidence
and the right attitude in his players.

But from Tuesday, when they face the Black Mambas of Mozambique, the players should not be thinking they have arrived.

Getting big-headed would be the worst mistake.

Instead, the team should draw confidence and build from this performance.

Their attitude should be: “We can do better, guys.”

Should they adopt such an attitude, the sky would be the limit and the world their oyster.

Sadly for Igesund, Friday’s result will be recorded as a loss on his CV as there are no columns for “played with verve”, “showed courage” or “showed great improvement” in the annals of history.

A loss is just that.

But for Igesund, who has been speaking a good game of football since taking over, the future looks bright as so far he has lived up to his word.

Friday’s performance is a good foundation to build on and that’s all it is, nothing more.


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