Even third-string Bafana could have doused Flames
Hold on! Please, hold on!
Hold on! Please, hold on!
The euphoria experienced by sections of the nation when Bafana Bafana doused the Flames of Malawi 3-0 was rather misplaced.
And, that is said advisedly.
Maybe after so many defeats any positive result against anybody was what was needed to restore people's faith in the national team.
Not so with yours truly.
We should learn to differentiate between an international friendly, a friendly and a chialence (challenge) game.
What people witnessed last week was the latter.
The only difference was that they paid for it.
Well, a couple hundred were later let in for free.
As usual locals only had information about their team.
It was made up of locally based players with the foreign contingent rested.
Well and good.
Now for what you were not told.
Malawi did the same.
They didn't even call up any of their South African-based internationals.
The goalkeeper was their fourth choice.
We could have fielded our real Amabinneplaas and still won that game.
And we still went on and fielded two teams.
Substituting more than seven players makes the side a completely new one altogether.
Which one in particular were people happy with?
The Bernard Parker-led one or the Daine Klate group in the second half?
Don't bother to answer.
There are no prizes.
And the coach and his technical staff celebrate as if we had just qualified for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola!
Let's get real.
Was it a case of desperate situations calling for desperate measures.
That was real desperate.
But, a word of caution.
One swallow does not make a summer. We need the kind of opposition that will make the nation sit up and look at the result or performance with confidence. Against the likes of a full strength Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon. Then you can look at France, Brazil, Argentina, Italy and so on.
Let's play the kind of football that we know we are capable of. To do that the selection of players should be addressed seriously.
It doesn't make sense that some players become good for Bafana Bafana only when they eventually play for certain teams.
We are now faced with the smallernyana issue of Equatorial Guinea to contend with over the weekend.
It is an insignificant game that should not have been so.
We were supposed to go into it strutting our stuff like peacocks knowing it was only academic in the sense that we had qualified for the Afcon with a game or two to spare.
That is if we were serious about Bafana Bafana and the game itself.
We need a holistic approach to the whole national team.
And, as a colleague wrote over the weekend, we can still afford to keep our best footballing brains on the sidelines as we prepare to host the world in 2009 and 2010.
Is it a question of prophets not being honoured by their own?
People say you can't keep a good man down, but they obviously had never heard of Safa. They can and they do.
The answer lies not in our stars that we are now underlings in the beautiful game.
It lies in ourselves.
It hurts more when so-called experts and analysts turn a blind eye to what they should engage in.
Even at the risk of being ostracised.
It wouldn't be anything new.
Football is politics.
The truth is a stranger from Mars. Let's hope nobody needs an interpreter to understand this column as none are available, ask Joel Santana.
Wonder how he was able to train Bafana Bafana these past few days ... in Portuguese?