Shakes Mashaba had built a solid Bafana team that was defensively sound and went on a long unbeaten run. His Bafana side was built around the centre half pairing of Rivaldo Coetzee and Erick Mathoho, who have played together for years now.
New coach Stuart Baxter will obviously be making changes to the line-up, but South Africans have become fond of the Coetzee-Mathoho partnership. With Thulani Hlatshwayo being made the new captain, what does it mean for either Mathoho or Rivaldo?
Mathoho will probably be the one to be sacrificed for the newly elected captain considering they are similar in their playing style. Or does this mean that there will be a change in formation with Baxter playing a backline consisting of three centre backs which could include Coetzee, Hlatshwayo and Mathoho in a new formation, potentially a 3-5-2 or a 3-4-3? After all, we saw Baxter experiment with this at Kaizer Chiefs, with Tefu Mashamaite, Morgan Gould and Erick Mathoho.
Whatever changes Baxter will be implementing in his line-up, we are sure to be surprised by his tactical genius that has been lacking at senior level for South Africa. As long as he gets the positive results, Mzansi fans won’t be on his back and he will receive our support.
Do you think that there will be changes in the backline for Bafana Bafana?
*This article was written by a Soccer Laduma reader and reflects their opinion, not that of Soccer Laduma.