Parreira, please heal our bleeding hearts

The end of the current 2008 MTN Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana on Sunday should also mark the end of mourning because of poor performances by Bafana Bafana.

Much as Molefi Oliphant, president of Safa, had said Bafana would win the tournament, something that was somewhat contradicted by coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, some of us still hoped it would help check a few things.

Among others, it was to actually see how our boys perform in an event of such magnitude even though leading to the tournament they were no-hopers.

We again hoped this would be more than an advantage for Parreira to justify his big salary by displaying the work he is supposed to have done thus far with the team.

The answer to both is that we got a "so-so result", something akin to what Ted Dumitru tried to do with that team that bowed out in 2006 without chalking up a point or scoring a goal.

Lest we forget, Dumitru did not spend the same period as Parreira with the lads before heading for Egypt.

It's about time though that Parreira starts winning matches, and convincingly for that matter.

Our period of mourning came to an abrupt end when that final whistle sounded after our last Group D match with Senegal.

Safa, on one hand, must tell Parreira that friendly matches with the mediocre Bolivias of this world are not going to happen again.

Henceforth we must play against quality opponents even though at one time or another we must also contribute in the improvement of southern Africa's football by engaging our immediate neighbours.

Parreira had better be told that the masses are dying to return to the streets to dance in celebration after Bafana Bafana matches. And this is feasible.

Parreira is enjoying the best of support from Safa, as we anticipated when he was hired. Now what's the fuss?

The man must start healing our bleeding hearts with good performances by Bafana.

To the players, I say no more stage fright after the experience and exposure gained from the Ghana event.

We are not going to tolerate the missing of goal-scoring chances, laxity and inconsistency in midfield, coupled with a generous defence.

In so far as TV coverage of the Afcon by South Africa's broadcasters - SuperSport International and the SABC - is concerned, I have little to complain about.

Of course with the SABC it was a question of "half a loaf is better than none at all". The SABC mainly gave us one match instead of two per day.

SuperSport found themselves in an offside position because of a desperate job-seeking coach and a wannabe whose antics diluted the good job done by their fellow studio analysts.

Clemens "Bull Balls" Westerhof and his fan Doctor Khumalo went overboard as they castigated some of the South Africa-based Bafana players. And it was not funny.

If Westerhof has "balls", as he implied with his lecture the other day when Bafana lost 3-1 to Tunisia, then he should demonstrate that by getting a job at one of Europe's big teams, if not a national team.

In all fairness, Khumalo would have made more sense with his advice to the targeted Bafana players if he also confessed that when the "16-V" under-performed in our 4-1 drubbing by Zimbabwe almost 16 years ago, unimpressed Zimbabweans called him "nurse" Khumalo. Were we hurt.

Mtungwa needs to articulate how he grew up from being "nurse" Khumalo to "doctor" Khumalo.

For your own sake Mdokis, stop mimicking the overrated coaches by ridiculing our players, some of whom are products of your predecessors. All things considered, if there are any football mercenaries out there, Westerhof must be one of them.

Long live Bafana Bafana!