New Bafana coach faces tough time

JOHANNESBURG - The new Bafana Bafana coach, Shakes Mashaba, was reappointed yesterday and the immediate demand from the nation is for him to bring instant results.

Thing is, Mzansi people are a proud nation. They reckon by virtue of them having the most advanced economy on the continent, they must dominate everything including all sporting codes, soccer in particular.

The indifferent performance of Bafana Bafana in the past decade has not sat down well with the soccer loving fans.

To them, not appearing at the World Cup, let alone the Africa Cup of Nations, is an insult of the highest order.

According to an ordinary South African, the rest of Africa should look up to them for everything – and I mean everything on this planet. Whether this is realistic or not, from their perspective, that issue is not negotiable.

So Shakes will face a herculean task the public will heap on him. Mzansi people don’t accept half-measures. They remind everyone of the 1996 achievement when the then young nation on international football stunned the world by winning the African Cup of Nations.

To them, that is a barometer all coaches should emulate - after all, we are the best in Africa, they reckon.

Talk that soccer has changed around the globe and any team can beat another is not something Mzansi people entertain. To them, they must steamroll everyone especially African opponents.

Of late, they have been brought down to earth following some indifferent results and anyone named as the new coach this afternoon will bear the brunt of the public should he fail to run through most countries in Africa.

But that will not be easy for any incoming coach.

Mzansi football has been on the backward trend for years now and there seems no end to the ongoing malaise.

They failed to go beyond the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations last year; a tournament they hosted and followed this up with another dismal display in the Chan tournament. And not going to Brazil 2014 was the final nail for the humiliated soccer fans.

Club soccer, which is supposed to be a barometer for any national team, has been Mzansi’s biggest unbecoming. For example, the country’s most supported club, Kaizer Chiefs, were knocked out in the early stages of the Champions League by DC Motema Pembe of DR Congo before bowing out in the Confederations Cup to Asec Mimosa of Cote d’Ivoire.

Supersport United did not fare well either.

Now countries like Germany and in the past Spain dominated the world football, thanks to their dominant clubs.

If Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke dominate European tournaments, it goes without saying that the national team will benefit from such incursions. Real Madrid and Barcelona are the biggest providers of national team players to Spain and their dominance rubs off to the national team.

That cannot be said of Mzansi clubs, who like England rely too much on foreign players’ thereby stifling local talent.

When Bafana Bafana won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996, the previous year, Orlando Pirates had won the African Champions Cup.

So, Shakes his work cut out. This is one of the most pressure cooker jobs in the world.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.