Experts lack insight
THE beauty of the beautiful game came to the fore this past week.
It gave meaning to the saying: is the glass half empty or half full?
This was especially the case as far as the international friendly between Bafana Bafana and Brazil in Sao Paulo last Friday.
That Bafana lost 1-0 is history. Then we had the one against the Mambas of Mozambique at Mbombela stadium in Nelspruit on Tuesday. Bafana won that one with a brace from Bernard Parker.
And, Brazil walloped China 8-0 on Monday with Friday's villain Neymar scoring a hat-trick.
But still, opinions have differed. Was there cause to celebrate or was there supposed to be doom and gloom?
Methinks there was reason to be optimistic and look forward to a change of fortune for the once-beleaguered national team.
Having weighed up all the aspects of the game, in particular the one against the Samba kings and five-time winners of the Fifa World Cup, yours truly believes we have the capacity to be among the best.
All we need is self-confidence, not only from the players and Bafana Bafana technical team, but from the Mzansi nation as well.
Of course, we are a nation of critics and experts and we know it all - that's not negotiable. The above is said advisedly because comments and responses to websites always give one a glimpse of what people are thinking out there.
It is not always pretty and the least said about the language the better. One wonders how they get away with that. But, I digress.
The so-called experts say Bafana played a weakened Brazil team but they do not say who was left out that they believe should have played instead. We are talking here about the same team that played China two days later and put eight into the net. Wonder what the Chinese are saying.
That the Bafana Bafana team only met at the airport on the Monday and had less than three days of training while also having to acclimatise to the scorching heat of Sao Paulo means nothing to our experts.
The blooding of two debutants in Dino Ndlovu and Dean Furman; the arrival of Bongani Khumalo and Siboniso Gaxa only on the eve of the game; the loss of striker Ndlovu and his replacement Benni McCarthy in the first half forcing a change of plan for Igesund; and playing away from home - having travelled through five time zones - with the Samba kings having more than 60000 fans behind them, is neither here nor there for the experts.
We should have beaten Brazil, period. We are talking about a team that is under a new coach in their first game together; a team that was low on confidence after a 13-game winless streak; a team deserted by its captain whose reasons for not showing up are unconvincing, having played the entire match for his English club days before; a team that nonetheless received a standing ovation from the Brazilian supporters. And still we do not see any positives going forward!
The experts also say the Mambas played their second-string team while implying that we fielded our strongest XI. Gordon Igesund has said there's work to do and Bafana Bafana are a work in progress for him.
The Mambas brought the same attitude into their game on Tuesday as Bafana did in their game against Brazil. We were a closed book to Mano Menezes, the Brazil coach, and the same can be said about Igesund on the Mambas. The Mambas were also playing for scouts and PSL contracts.
The Friends of the Final Whistle will surely agree as we rest our case.