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'Shakes Believes He Can Get More Out Of A Less Talented Player'

It's that time of year again when coach Shakes Mashaba names his soldiers to go to war, and the rest of the country picks apart his selection criteria. The latest one has left no fewer raised eyebrows than before. The selection policy has even been described by some as the "Mashaba Madness". One of our supporters has made an effort to describe the method to this madness.

Many supporters are puzzled at how a team that is supposed to be selected based on form constantly features players who are not even make the starting XI at their respective clubs. One of our supporters, Jerseynumber8, has stated that things may not be as simple as they seem…

"Shakes has played his hand. He selects players who play fight-football. Basically, he values players with heart (passion), lungs and legs (commitment) over brains (football intelligence) and ability (skill). He values brawn over brains, artisans over artists, pragmatism over style, linearity over analytics, and static over dynamics. No thrills, no frills, no flair. Shakes has this belief that he can get more out of a less talented player than a talented one."

This is an interesting point. While we may not always understand Mashaba's selections, there are some things to keep in mind. He said, upon arrival, that he was trying something different, and by dropping the class of 2010, spearheaded by Siphiwe Tshabalala, he took a bold step.

In the early days, it paid off. Recently, it has not looked terrible either – we had two encouraging performances against Cameroon, especially away. Although it was too little too late, the team still seemed above the "embarrassment" grade we have been subjected to before when featuring all our "stars".

So maybe there is method to the madness, maybe not. It is difficult to say. It is difficult to trust a coach who has Kermit Erasmus, Darren Keet, Kamohelo Mokotjo, and others at his disposal but does not use them… However, as with all things football, the proof will be in the pudding when Bafana Bafana take on Gambia on Saturday.

Does this reasoning make sense to you, or do Mashaba's selections still leave you scratching your head?


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