Parreira, don’t make a meal of it

2009-11-17 00:00

SO Benni McCarthy had to go and declare himself as one of the “four or five best ­finishers” in the game.

The same man who can’t crack the nod at Blackburn, yet he can speak of himself in the same breath as Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba and company.

It certainly takes a brave man to put himself in such lofty company, but this is McCarthy we are talking about here, not your everyday grafter who stays well clear of unneccesary hype or attention when marking one’s comeback to the Bafana line-up.

Truth be told, McCarthy has a very good point. He is one of the best finishers in the world. In fact, he looks like he has polished off every single meal put in front of him this year with admirable aplomb.

Those new Bafana kit designers did him no favours on Saturday. These tight-fit jobs would not have been ­McCarthy’s preference, surely.

I mean, they only draw attention to inglorious parts of his anatomy. But, it is not his fault that he is perched on the bench at Ewood Park, behind such superstars as El-Hadji Diouf and Jason Roberts.

We should all get behind McCarthy, , and push him — if that is possible — to reach peak fitness by Christmas.

Then again, the festive season and all its trimmings may gobble up the good work, so this one may have to be a New Year’s resolution.

Jokes aside, McCarthy in form and in some sort of fitness is a viable option for Carlos Alberto Parreira. Not a dead certainty, but an option. It baffles me that Parreira saw fit to pick big McCarthy despite his lack of conditioning.

Katlego Mphela was more ­indust­rious than McCarthy, but Parreira’s ­infatuation with McCarthy meant that Mphela spent most of the game lying deep and feeding off crumbs, while his well-fed partner wobbled his way around the box.

Mphela has been among the goal scorers this season, and there was no reason why he shouldn’t have been the main man. This was, after all, a friendly and if Parreira had treated it as an opportunity to try out a few things, the result could hardly have been worse than Saturday’s boycott of the Japanese penalty area.

Yes, Bafana missed Steven Pienaar, but are we to believe that no other ­creative force exists between this country’s admittedly leaky borders?

We need a plan B, and that should not stand for Benni. Perhaps that is Parreira’s big idea.

Pick the name brands, and hope to goodness that they come good. And if they don’t?

Well, there is always the consolation of millions of rands for a part-time gig in charge of a no-hope team.

And by “no-hope” I mean that we will not have a chicken’s chance in KFC if we continue to play as we have in our last half dozen games.

Things have to change, and the size of McCarthy ’s boep should be the least of Parreira’s worries.

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