Pitso's nod to 'golden oldie' a wise move
IS IT A question of a big-headed and arrogant man bowing to pressure, or is it one of a wise man changing his mind?
Whichever way you look at it, some of us can and will live with it.
The decision by Bafana Bafana head coach Pitso Mosimane to recall the evergreen Siyabonga "Bhele" Nomvethe to the national team set-up has to be welcomed.
While the team still has to be announced on May 17, Mosimane has dropped hints that the veteran will definitely be called up for the opening 2014 Brazil Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Ethiopia and Botswana next month.
There will, of course, be the "haters" who want to believe this is a step backwards because of the player's so-called advanced age.
This is the same mentality that the national coach once held firmly on to.
But, in all fairness, Mosimane ended up with no option or excuse as the 34-year-old Moroka Swallows striker has shown beyond reasonable doubt that he has no equal in the Premier Soccer League at present, with a tally of 18 goals to his name.
He is presently out-scoring out-running, out-thinking and out-jumping younger men who were not even in their teens when he started out.
We know a lot of people were angered when we suggested that Mosimane should take a closer look at what Nomvethe and Orlando Pirates's Benni McCarthy were doing, as they would cost him his job.
He had felt they were past their prime and should be put out to pasture.
The coach had at that time flatly refused to listen to anyone else.
That was when he also told the media where to get off.
What was perplexing was that he gave a very worrying explanation for his decision at the time.
Those with good memories will recall that Mosimane wanted to know from us what he would be saying to the likes of Thulani Serero, Edward Manqele and George Maluleke if he picked Nomvethe and/or McCarthy for Bafana Bafana games.
The answer to that has always been the same and it still applies: pick players for the national team based on form, not sentiment.
Anyway, those mentioned will be in the fortunate position of learning from all the experience accumulated over the years locally and abroad by these "old-timers".
While it took Mosimane eight months to realise what Nomvethe has been doing this season, thousands of soccer followers have been aware of what he, coach Gordon Igesund, midfielder David "DVD" Mathebula and the rest of the Beautiful Birds have been achieving since the second half of last season.
There is no denying that the Birds no longer rely on a wing and a prayer as they are flying higher than usual because of the array of eagles in their aviary.
As we said earlier, whether it is through pressure or a wise man changing his mind, this is the way for Mosimane to go.
That outlook and approach to national team games will surely yield results and get the nation back behind Bafana Bafana.
Final Whistle also believes Nomvethe is still going to stun a lot of people in the football world by winning more accolades at the end of the season PSL awards.
We predict three awards plus a fourth as a member of the Team of the Year - Swallows.
Actually, the only nod that Nomvethe will not get is the Young Player of the Season award - for obvious reasons.
Maybe that tells us we should have one for the Golden Oldie of the Season for the over-30s.