Bafana Bafana

With friends like Pitso, does Baxter need enemies?

Stuart Baxter (Gallo Images)
Stuart Baxter (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Discretion, William Shakespeare and many others over the years have suggested, is the better part of valour.

Not so among them, it would seem, is Pitso Mosimane, with the Mamelodi Sundowns and one-time Bafana Bafana coach declaring after the recent appointment of Stuart Baxter as the latest incumbent to the national coaching position that Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt should have got the job instead.

Now Mosimane, who is rarely inclined to remain silent in expressing his views, is quite entitled to prefer Hunt as his favoured Bafana coach.

But as the mentor of the present CAF Champions League champions himself admits that because of his position at the helm of one of, if not the most talented squad in the PSL, he is in a special position to assist Baxter in one form or another.

Therefore whatever Mosimane believes, it was patently untimely at this delicate juncture with so many problems associated with the Bafana appointment for the Sundowns coach to express his view on Baxter's appointment.

To be fair to Mosimane, he has made it clear he will help Baxter where he can because he is "a South African" - and as such wants to see Bafana succeed in what looms a period of extreme importance in which World Cup and CAF Nations Cup qualifiers will be staged.

But it would not be human nature now if Mosimane's preference for Hunt does not remain imprinted on Baxter in his relationship with the Sundowns coach and prompts the sentiment that with friends like that does he really need enemies?

Meanwhile, the first crucial test of Baxter's second stint as Bafana coach against Nigeria in the African Nations Cup qualifier early in June looms urgently closer and larger by the day like a cascading snow blizzard threatening danger.

And in this ominous and uncertain atmosphere, Mosimane, in his singularly pivotal position, should have remained silent on his preference of Hunt for the Bafana post in keeping with the view that "discretion is the better part of valour".

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