Every football lover has had their say on the below-par performances of our national team, Bafana Bafana. A lot of criticism is directed at head coach, Ephraim "Shakes" Mashaba. One could argue and say understandably so, if you consider the fact that we just failed to qualify for the next Afcon. Losing to lowly-ranked teams such as Mauritania and failing to beat smaller football nations like Gambia is unjustifiable.
We have better facilities than many of our African counterparts, yet we are failing to beat even Mauritania here at home. A nation with a population of only three million, a country that has never ranked above 100 in the FIFA world rankings, a country who has never beaten any nation that is ranked above 100 in the rankings. To think that we didn't win any of our home games and only scored one goal here at home during the recent qualifiers... that is surely a disgrace to South Africa as a football nation. The question is: How did things get this bad? Just last year, we qualified for Afcon with flying colors, yet we have failed dismally of late.
During the recent Afcon qualifiers, Bra Shakes made some very strange selections. An example that comes to mind is that of young Platinum Stars left back Siyabonga Zulu, who was selected ahead of the in-form and experienced Tsepo Masilela and Muzi Mashaba. The poor boy couldn't handle the pressure and ended up getting a red card in that game, something many saw as Bra Shakes' arrogance towards senior players. We all know the spat between him and players like Kermit Erasmus, whom he constantly overlooked and preferred his ex-teammate in Thamsanqa Gabuza, who was Erasmus' understudy at the time. This has resulted in a lot of cries from the RSA football fraternity. And now the latest victim was Kamohelo Mokotjo. "Kamza" was voted the best midfielder of the season in the Netherlands' Eerste Divisie for two seasons in a row, yet he was overlooked and when he was eventually called up, he was benched for two games.
At this point in time, no one can argue with the fact that our football has been on a decline. We have lost important games to the likes of Mauritania, and that is bad. This has cast a dark cloud over Bra Shakes' head, and the word out there is that the game against Egypt might have been his last game as the head coach of Bafana Bafana. Well, if our mother body see that as the solution to the ongoing crisis, then I think we can only hope for the better!
Ukuthula kwande bakithi