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Back to the future


“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

With Gordon Igesund’s tenure as Bafana Bafana coach having been cut short, my question to Safa is where to from here? With 24 national team coaches in 22 years, how can we ever expect to build continuity?

While I still hold out hope that Safa president Danny Jordaan can leave a lasting legacy, like he did as CEO of the local organising committee in 2010, to be frank, the men’s senior national team post has become a short-term project.

Simply put, why would any coach appointed by Safa look to the long-term when history suggests otherwise?

Safa may publically state that they have a long-term vision in mind but chopping and changing coaches with alarming regularity contradicts this and undermines the sustainable development of South African football.

Moreover, I believe that until we shore up our systems at junior level, the men’s senior national team will continue to struggle. The inactivity of our national sides at under-17 and under-20 level remains a major headache.

To use an automotive analogy, coaches are the tyres which drive the car (team) forward. However, if the engine (system) has a latent defect, the tyres will serve no material purpose.

Although Igesund’s reign was up and down – with the 5-0 loss to Brazil the lowest point – two years was an insufficient amount of time to bed into the Bafana coaching role. In my opinion, Igesund deserved at least one more Afcon campaign to fully implement his style of football.

There may not have been electrifying momentum but Bafana were slowly moving in the right direction.

I believe Igesund is a convenient scapegoat – it’s far easier for Safa to dispense with one coach than 23 players, for argument’s sake. With regards to the players, I believe they could have given Igesund more backing. Near the twilight of his tenure, certain players showed a lack of respect towards him by failing to honour national call-ups, which I feel was unacceptable.

While the likes of Carlos Quieroz, Stephen Keshi and Ruud Krol have been heavily linked to the soon- to-be vacated post, I still believe Bafana should stick with a South African coach to carry the national team forward.

In my book, the men in suits at Safa should go back to the future by appointing the vastly-experienced Clive Barker, who led the national side from 1994 until 1997.

Hands down, Barker is the most successful national coach in South African football history, so why not afford him another opportunity?

Barker’s success with Black Aces this season proves that his football brain is as sharp as ever.

For years, Brazil have returned to former coaches with the most recent example coming in the form of Luiz Felipe Scolari and Carlos Alberto Parreira, who will lead the World Cup hosts in eight days’ time.

Should Safa go back to Barker as national coach? Tell us what you think by posting your comments below…


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