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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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An open letter to Pitso Mosimane

By Rams Mabote | Jul 16, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 6 ]

DEAR Jingles. My congratulations are in order, my friend, after your appointment as Bafana Bafana coach.

I’m sure I can call you my friend. Being appointed national coach is nothing but an honour, especially after the World Cup when many around us are falling like dominoes.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the job should be given to you. In my view, South Africa still needs a big-name coach with international experience and a pedigree at World Cup level.

My preference for big- name coaches is not only because they are more experienced than you and have CVs that are beyond reproach, but importantly, I think at this stage of our football we still need someone with much broader international experience, which you do not have.

But even more importantly, the local football scene is a minefield .

While we are among the most lucrative football nations to work for, with incentives that compete with the best in the world, we are not the best run and most organised machine.

Other than well-documented squabbles among the officials – and that’s putting it mildly – that always threaten to derail what happens on the pitch, we are also fettered with too many “experts” who will always interfere in the coach’s job.

For some reason, and I suspect partly because of an inferiority complex, these experts hardly ever interfere with foreign coaches, even such underachieving buffoons like Joel Santana.

But when it comes to South African coaches, you can be sure that your space will be cluttered with the drunken views of pretenders, as well as point-blank interference from the paymasters.

One more thing that is not in the favour of South African coaches – and I suspect you included – is that they are not immune to petty favouritism for players from previous clubs.

How many times have we seen coaches taking undeserving players to tournaments, only to trace it back to the history between the coach and the players? Think of Andrew Rabutla and Ricardo Katza, among others.

Ideally, you should have remained assistant coach for the next four years, with a clear succession plan that you would take over in 2014.

But the strategy – that word that is strange to Safa apparatchiks – would have had to be developmental.

I would have rather you were given the reins over the Under-20 side as part of your key performance areas.

In the next four years, you would have been expected to take them to the Olympics in 2012 and hopefully to the Under-20 World Cup in 2013.

Once that was done, I argue that you would have created your own squad to take to Brazil for the World Cup in 2014. This is not rocket science.

I merely observed what Ghana did and why they were the bright sparks of the World Cup.

But the job has been offered to you, mate, and we will have to live with that. Even then, as I was taking a shower yesterday morning before writing this piece, I wished I had spoken to you before you took the offer.

For starters, you are being asked to perform the impossible.

In a month’s time you will be campaigning for the African Nations Cup of 2012. Egypt, ranked first in Africa and ninth in the world, are in our group.

It is no secret that your chances of qualifying for 2012 are as slim as those of you enjoying an interference-free rein as Bafana boss. Your best bet is to be the best second- placed team .

Having said that, I will support you unconditionally. But I will not treat you with kid gloves when you falter just because you are black, and I will not attack you unfairly just because you are black.

Good luck.


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I Disagree with you, infact it is ironic that you accuse SAFA bigwigs of having an inferiority complex when you display it so blatantly. there's nothing wrong with Pitso nor his appointment, he fully deserves it. he has proen himself over the time to be a good coach, you my friend are disguising your inferiority complex for a white coach with the "experience" excuse. anyway, that is just my opinion and you're entitled to your prejudiced one Rams!

Jul 21, 2010 10:48 | 0 replies

I cannot agree with ou more on this issue. You're just right on the spot.

Jul 21, 2010 12:28 | 0 replies

i would like to comment on the issue of favouritism amonst local coaches and Pitso himself is no stranger to this. i remember a game where we played Botswana, i couldn't help but realise that the starting eleven were made up of SUper sport united and Sundowns player, ironically Pitso was the coach in that game and he was still in charge of Super Sport united, we subsequently went on to lose the match.
Pitso was there when Santana took on the reigns from Perraira and he was part of the technical team that ran the team into the ground. i believe we need a new technical team to run the show.

Jul 21, 2010 4:8 | 0 replies

At this stage we can all hope & pray that Pitso turn the squad around , as for Rams i think u have a point though i might not be in favour of foreign coach . We gain experience as we go on , no one was born with the experience , it is something that u aquire with time because we learn everyday!!!!! Experinced coaches also fail big time

Jul 22, 2010 1:39 | 0 replies

Rams I suppose you are entitled to your views.. I hope you can really back this article cause clearly you undermines the newly appointed National coach. You have forgotten that we had more success with a local coach than we did a foreign coach..

this article is rather one sided being that you offer no solutions(clearly buffoon mentality), I Am speechless...boredom is dangerous especially when u hv th platform and agency...
Wonder I agree with you.

Jul 26, 2010 4:4 | 0 replies

disgruntled columinst....Pitty we not given option to vote in ppl as head coach of national teams!

If we can have a local guy coaching springboks why not the same for bafana bafana?

Jul 27, 2010 12:55 | 0 replies