It's back to square one with Bafana Bafana. Our national team has failed to qualify for major tournaments in recent years. However, after managing to qualify for last year's Africa Cup Of Nations (AFCON) with ease, we all rejoiced in satisfaction, with the belief that the tables have turned for our national team. Unfortunately, yet again, the team is on the brink of failing to live up to expectations, relying yet again on other teams' results to see the team through.
One would not even begin to question the expertise of the head coach, Shakes Mashaba, given the expensive brand of football displayed by his team whenever they take on to the field of play. It is also a known fact that when he was named as Bafana head coach; the mandate wasn't to qualify for the previous tournament, but this upcoming one, as well as the 2018 World Cup.
With his selection criteria under scrutiny for the most part of his tenure as the head coach, inconsistent line-ups amongst many other issues surrounding Mashaba's name, one has to also admit that the national team has been doing well since he took over, but there is always room for improvement.
As patriotic citizens, we all want to see our national team doing well. As much as we may throw tantrums whenever Shakes announces his squad, as much as we may go into a media-frenzy, criticising and asking probing questions, it's for the good of our national team. With the presence of Rivaldo Coetzee in the team, Keagan Dolly's omission is still unjustified. The criticism is not meant to distract or show a lack of confidence in the selected players.
It is true that, just like the millions of football fans across the country, Shakes has Bafana's best interest at heart. Tonight's match is one of those whereby Shakes can either be silent, or learn to live with his critics for good. It is do or die for Bafana. A win and only a win will keep our team's hopes of boarding South African Airways to Gabon next year alive.
It's time for Shakes to prove the so-called naysayers wrong. His selected troops must go out there and prove to the masses why they were selected. It's time for Shakes to shake things up!