Whole team to blame for Bafana loss

2010-06-17 09:33

It’s not only two men who were responsible for Bafana Bafana’s loss to Uruguay, writes Elijah Moholola.

Teko Modise and Aaron Mokoena would not make my team, Bloodriver XI – an imaginary team from my place of birth in Polokwane. But blaming the two after Diego Forlan left Bafana forlorn is just unfair.

Football is a team sport (yes, that cliché) and South Africans should remember this before singling out players to blame.

Consider this:
» Was it not Itumeleng Khune who was badly positioned after having left his goalline when the first goal was scored?

» Was it not in the middle, where Kagisho Dikgacoi and Reneilwe Letsholonyane operate, that the attack started?

» Was it not a static Bongani Khumalo who was passed twice in the first half?

» Did any of our wingbacks – Siboniso Gaxa and Tsepo Masilela – make their trademark overlapping runs?

» When he did launch attacking forays, what kind of crosses did Gaxa supply?

» Was it not Steven Pienaar whose wheels (read: boots) kept going off in the first half?

» Was it not Siphiwe Tshabalala who fizzled out two attacks by choosing the wrong option when he shot instead of passing?

» And how many passes did the midfielders provide to Katlego Mphela upfront?

» Where was the right back, Gaxa, in the first five minutes of the second half when Mokoena found himself having to deal with two attacks from Uruguay’s left?

So the hapless Modise was supposed to give a performance that redresses all these, while the helpless Mokoena was expected to deal with everything in defence?

The honest truth is that we do not have the right kind of players – in all departments – to compete at this level.

Instead of accepting this, we look for excuses (read: Mokoena and Modise).

In sport, as in life, one is not supposed to have a scapegoat – what if the goat escapes?

If Mokoena and Modise got it wrong, what did the rest of the team do right?

Bafana played according to their standards. You just need to glance at the latest rankings to be aware of this.

If anyone should be blamed, it is the referee that red-carded Khune and awarded a penalty from a move that was offside.

The entire defence should be blamed for freezing on a cold night when the third goal was scored.

With the loss hanging over their heads, Bafana could do without two kinds of people: those who throw salt on the wound and those who throw in the towel.

They need as much support as they can get.

It’s not over yet – there is still France to play against, and that game could throw us a lifeline.

And by the way, Mokoena and Modise do not deserve to be in the starting line-up next Tuesday.

They would not even make it to my Bloodriver XI bench.

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