An open letter to Pitso Mosimane
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.