Sacking Jingles will not solve our problems
I was tempted to ask my boyhood hero – Edson Arantes do Nascimento – better known as Pele: “Bosso ke mang?” which when literally interpreted means “Who is the boss?” after watching a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina mesmerize Brazil 4-3 in that seven goal thriller.
Pele it was who was recently widely quoted in the media globally claiming that Messi had achieved nothing yet; that his Brazilian compatriot Neymar, he with the spiky Mohair style, was the real deal. But after Leo had smashed a hat-trick past Brazil, even Neymar confessed that Leo was indeed the boss.
But I cannot focus on issues in South America and pretend as if the situation in my own country was kosher. There had been a revolution of some sorts taking place in Mzansi since Pitso Mosimane was sacked as national coach. I listened to comments from followers of the beautiful game and some bordered on hate speech.
A betting company, I’m told, wanted to run a competition to find out who was the most hated national coach between Mosimane and Natalino Santana. But, I am getting side-tracked. I have analyzed the situation since Mosimane was sacked and I wonder if it has solved our deep rooted problems.
If we fail to confront the stark reality facing us and labor under the impression that removing Mosimane would solve our problems, then we are living in a dream world full of fantasy. We cannot beat Sierra Leone, we have failed to beat Niger. We appeared to be holding a tiger by the tail against Ethiopia and were bullied by the Zebras of Botswana!
With due respect to Steve Komphela, he is a fantastically gifted coach and one of the best coaches blessed with impeccable “Man Management” skills. But, are we going to dismiss him as useless and a no good for nothing “Plaas Japie” should we unfortunately fail to beat Gabon?
Are we really as good as we believe we are? Do we have the kind of quality players that can box with the likes of Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia and even Zambia? Are our selection committee messing things up? Is the criteria to select national team players skewed?
I think the sooner we accept that we are going through a lean spell; a dry patch and need to go through a rebuilding process, the better it will be for our football. We need to accept that our current generation lacks the fighting spirit that was inherent in previous squads.
But, are we ready to accept that some of the players in the squad have been putting on the canary yellow shirt since the 2009 Confederation Cup and have achieved absolutely nothing. They say change is pain, but are we willing to take the plunge and re-fresh the team by bringing in another group of players?
Maybe certain players who were selected irrespective of whether their form was suspect, became complacent and this alienated those players that were playing better, but would be ignored at the expense of some that were off-form and perhaps we need to change the situation.
I have no problem with Safa and whether they select Steve Komphela, Gavin Hunt, Gordon Igesund, Neil Tovey or even Mshekesheke as their next national coach, it cuts no beef with me. However, I wish they could make their appointment now rather than in a month or three months.
This would enable the incumbent coach’s team to plan for the new season. And I also hope that SAFA will consider roping in the national U-23 and U-20 coaches as part of the senior national team’s technical staff and be empowered to double up as assistant coaches.
We must be the only country in the world where the U-20, U-17 and U-23 coaches do their own things in conflict with what the senior team is doing. England has just included an 18-year old player in their Euro Championship squad; can our senior coaches mention five U-20 players that they are earmarking for a role in the senior team?
We need to start harmonizing our teams. It’s pointless to work in isolation when the ultimate aim is to groom players for the senior team. And just by the way, when will an invitation be extended to Kamohelo Mokotjo in Holland and give the boy an opportunity to play for his country?