As South Africa sits and comprehends our failure to qualify for yet another continental showpiece, the country, and in particular the supporters, attempt to dissect what went wrong or what is wrong. Is it a matter of a lack of talent, or is there something else at play? One of our supporters has an interesting suggestion.
Soccer Laduma website reader Jerseynumber8 has been contributing some great comments on the site, and for those who think South Africa suffers from a talent deficit, this user has something else to say. He would like you to cast your mind back to 2006, where we had an abundance of talent but little success.
"I cannot fathom how SA failed to qualify for WC 2006. Baxter had a golden generation at his disposal," he said.
Jerseynumber8 spoke of the potential of a great team, one that had an "attacking trio of McCarthy, Nomvethe, and Buckley, good enough to keep up with the world's best". And then there was the midfield talents of "Fredericks, Sibaya, Fortune, who were industrious and creative".
This supporter suggests that this Bafana Bafana team, under the guidance of Stuart Baxter, was hampered by a mandate to focus on building for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This made him focus on the "emerging talents of Josephs, Mokoena, Morris, Mabizela, Vilakazi, Pienaar, and Van Heerden", who were also brilliant footballers.
So what Jerseynumber8's point is is that one must never think we have a talent deficit in South Africa. There is a combination of problems that contribute to our slow progression through the world rank; just what those problems are, well, that's up to us to figure out in Supporters Club. Give us your suggestions.
Was this Bafana team the most talented we have ever had? Why could such a great team still struggle to qualify? And what does this teach us about our current failures?