Pitso's sacking was inevitable
Safa finally heeded the nation’s call to fire Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane. It was a crazy 48 hours for the nation after the team drew their opening World Cup 2014 qualifier against lowly ranked Ethiopia.
After the match someone remarked that at this rate Brazil 2014 could just become a pipe dream.
As for Pitso, well you have to feel for the guy. He woke up on Monday morning as Bafana coach and went to bed in the early hours of Tuesday unemployed.
The cruelty of football.
It would appear that Safa’s move was expected by millions of South Africans after an uninspiring display against Ethiopia over the weekend. Many felt it was long overdue as the coach has, on a number of occasions, failed to prove that he has what it takes to help Bafana recapture their glory days. The team failed to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, yet the coach felt he was still the right man to guide them to the Fifa 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The result against Ethiopia was the final straw, considering that Bafana have not won a single game in their last nine matches.
It was also disappointing to hear Mosimane at the post-match interview unable to provide answers as to what could be going wrong with the national team. He appeared to me like a man who had no plan going forward. Instead he painted a shining picture, even though everything was suggesting otherwise.
A change was necessary and I commend Safa this time around for standing up and putting the interests of the nation ahead of personal feelings. It takes boldness to take a decision like that. The association showed strong leadership on this one, even though it might have come a bit late to mend the heartaches of past failures.
One is tempted to say Mosimane was the architect of his own downfall. I think he was way too confident of his own abilities. One always got a sense that he believed there was no one better equipped to coach the national team. His consistent failure to provide answers to what he considered a South African striking problem was just too much to bear.
The question I always asked was, was he prepared to find new talent? Did he travel the country to search for talent? The answer is no because since he took over, if I recall, no new player from the lower divisions or even from the lesser known PSL teams made it through to the national team. If there were it must be a handful. He preferred his tried and tested, even when it became increasingly clear that the team needed new faces who are motivated.
Against the Ethiopians he included two players, Bongani Khumalo and Reneilwe Letsholonyane, who have not played in months. This ahead of players who shone for their teams week in and week out, the likes of Andile Jali, Oupa Manyisa and Punch Masenamela.
He could have well been advised that once the results were not coming, people would start questioning his selection criteria. It was becoming apparent that Safa were becoming embarrassed by this situation and finally they acted.
The question remains however, was the coach the only problem in the team? The way I see it, his most trusted lieutenants somehow let him down. They showed very little commitment and the pride of the jersey was no longer appealing to them. It would appear they were losing confidence in their coach to the detriment of the national team.
They did not think of the embarrassment they have been causing the nation.
Bafana were losing it. They were no longer a feared team. Everyone, even the lowest ranked teams, fancied their chances against South Africa. The squad celebrated mediocrity.
Maybe it is time that some of the players also take the blame for degrading Bafana.
The worrying thing is that the very players who on a number of occasions failed to deliver will have to represent the country in the next two games, against Botswana and Gabon.
I hope they rise to the occasion and make the nation proud and not regret the axing of Mosimane.
Who should be the next Bafana coach? It is time Safa engage Moroka Swallows coach Gordon Igesund. The man has proven over and over again that he thrives in challenges. His achievements with lesser known teams speak volumes.
Let’s restore the battered image of Bafana Bafana. South Africa’s football loving nation deserves better from this team.
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