Don't focus on Stuart Baxter's flaws only

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter interacts with the supporters during at OR Tambo International Airport.
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter interacts with the supporters during at OR Tambo International Airport.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

It seems there's no end to calls for Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter's head since our elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations finals last week.

The same calls were echoed early in the tournament when Bafana huffed and puffed in the group stage but somewhat subsided when we sneaked through the back door to the knockout stage of the tournament.

The calls predictably resurfaced enthusiastically when Nigeria booted Bafana out of Afcon in the quarterfinals last Wednesday.

A hashtag, #BaxterOut, was even created and was the top trend on Twitter a day after the match against Nigeria.

As a country, we are understandably not entirely happy with what transpired in Egypt and, of course, we were also let down by Baxter's conservative tactics.

He should have done better, Bafana would have done better had they been attack-minded.

While we neither support the idea of Baxter staying nor going, we urge those calling for his head to do so after making a proper analysis of his performance.

A knee-jerk reaction to Baxter's performance will not help the coach, players and Safa.

We need a sober and constructive conversation as we plan for the future.

Bafana might not have gone much further in the Afcon, but they punched beyond their weight to reach the quarters and we should note that.

We showed some character considering that we played against much stronger nations who boast players with Uefa Champions League experience.

They also play in highly competitive leagues week in and week out.

Yes, we had our strengths and weaknesses at Afcon but critics should not only focus on our flaws.

Baxter's critics should come forward and and make input in a structured way rather than making comments from afar, calling for Baxter's axing. How will that assist Safa?

Like we said, we are not saying the beleaguered coach must go, but proper analysis and overview of his performance should be done before his future is decided.

Safa boss Danny Jordaan should be commended as he's not been seen entertaining talks of firing Baxter.


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