running out of time

THERE are 276 days to go before the 2010 Fifa World Cup and the host team Bafana Bafana still do not inspire confidence.

THERE are 276 days to go before the 2010 Fifa World Cup and the host team Bafana Bafana still do not inspire confidence.

Some of our local top coaches, however, say things are bound to change and that the country must continue to support the team.

But they could not hide their disappointment after Bafana were outplayed 2-0 by Germany in a friendly in Leverkusen, Germany, on Saturday night.

Santos coach Boebie Solomons was blunt: "We are not anywhere near the top dogs such as Germany, Spain, Holland and Brazil."

Ironically, Bafana Bafana are expected to rise phoenix-style against similar if not the same opposition when South Africa hosts the World Cup next year.

Former Bafana Bafana skipper and now Platinum Stars coach, Steve Komphela, Mpumalanga Black Aces coach Sammy Troughton and Maritzburg United's Gordon Igesund agreed with Solomons.

Igesund, said: "We still have a lot of work to do but all of us must support the team. We missed several players. I must say the Germans were really good.

"We also need to stop playing against Botswana, Swaziland, Madagascar and Malawi for a moment because we always beat them and think we have arrived."

Troughton said: "We cannot judge the team based on a friendly game. Germany were also reserved because they have a midweek crucial 2010 World Cup game.

"The issue is we cannot be on a learning curve all the time."

Komphela said: "It's a pity we lost, which overshadowed the performance we saw in the Confederations Cup. We needed to do better in attack and defence.

Jomo Cosmos coach and owner Jomo Sono said: "I won't comment because certain journalists tend to twist my statements, saying I want the Bafana Bafana job."

The tactics of the ultra-defensive Bafana Bafana coach Joel Santana are still questionable and puzzling.

The defensive approach was also evident once more when Santana deployed a seven-man defensive team against the Germans.

He clearly went into that game - Bafana Bafana lost 2-0 - dreaming about a goalless draw.

At the back, Santana, who earns R1,3million a month, had captain Aaron Mokoena, Tsepo Masilela, Siboniso Gaxa and Morgan Gould.

In front of the back four, Santana surprisingly went for Bevan Fransman to partner Benson Mhlongo and Kagisho Dikgacoi as defensive midfielders.

Bafana Bafana play Ireland tomorrow, with Santana now starting to feel the heat as South Africans are fast becoming impatient with his empty promises of turning their beloved team into world beaters.