Benni and Bhele showing Mosimane up

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Benni McCarthy wants to be the first SA player to win both the Euro  and African champions league titles.
       Photos: Gallo  Images
DOUBLE TROUBLE: Benni McCarthy wants to be the first SA player to win both the Euro and African champions league titles. Photos: Gallo Images

BENNI McCarthy is going to get Pitso Mosimane fired.

This assertion is based on a number of observations and what people and football pundits say when talking about Bafana Bafana.

The head coach of the senior national football team is on record as saying that he sees no role there for McCarthy and others like Moroka Swallows and the Premiership's joint leading scorer, Siyabonga Nomvethe.

He had already put the country's most capped player and former captain, Aaron "Mbazo" Mokoena, out to pasture.

Some argued it was too early for Mokoena to be retired from international football.

Others were elated. Let him go, they cried out aloud.

McCarthy and Nomvethe are said to be too old for Bafana Bafana.

But their performances for their teams are not matched by any of the players called up by Mosimane.

He also bemoans the fact that there is a lack of quality strikers in Mzansi, except for Katlego Mphela.

Excuse me!

Here are two very experienced strikers who cannot get a look-in because someone thinks they are not good enough and are past their prime.

McCarthy has been something special for Orlando Pirates in recent weeks, banging in the goals, not only regularly but also spectacularly.

Nomvethe is running rings around young local defenders and is giving opposing coaches sleepless nights.

Ask Johan Neeskens at Mamelodi Sundowns. He had planned around closing Nomvethe down in their 2-all draw with Swallows last Friday - and failed.

We had always been told or been of the opinion that national team players are called up based on current form.

We were naive. Or this was a clear case of being economical with the truth because we do see that in practice. The reason Mosimane gives for their omission is that he is "building" a team for next year's Afcon and the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

Now that is hogwash!

Shouldn't the job of building a team for the future lie with Solly Luvhengo of Amajita (Under-20s) and Shakes Mashaba of the Under-23s, who would then feed the senior team?

Someone once said age is nothing but a number.

Not true, says Mosimane.

At the time of writing, Bafana Bafana were due to play the Teranga Lions of Senegal and excuses had already been made in case of defeat. One of these is that they are more prepared than us, having played at the Afcon in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. They also have a good number of players plying their trade abroad, we are told. But this was not entirely true as some of their top players were not here last night.

Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse was among four players who pulled out of Senegal's squad. Forward Mame Biram Diouf, who moved from Manchester United to Hanover 96 last month, Stade Rennes defender Kader Mangane and Toulouse defender Cheikh Mbengue as well as the more well known Demba Ba also missed yesterday's game.

While we are concerned about players' ages, Egypt were pulling out all the stops to make their own 36-year-old Ahmed Hassan the world's most capped player in last night's game against Niger where he would earn his 179th cap for the Pharaohs.

They are making sure he beats Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohamed Al Deayea's all-time record.

Now that's patriotism and creating history for and by your own - something we cannot say about how we see and do things.

England also once went out of its way to make sure David Beckham earned that most sought-after 100th cap and created space for him to do just that.

Not so Mzansi. Mokoena would not have achieved that milestone if it was up to our present coach.

Manchester United's duo of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs showed what they still have at 37 and 38, respectively, when they both scored for the Red Devils in their 2-1 win over Norwich City at the weekend.

McCarthy and Nomvethe can still play a role in Bafana Bafana's flagging fortunes in more ways than one.

Chief of these would be the psychological effect on the opposition coaches and players when they check our team sheet.

Our "youngsters" in the team would also learn a lot and take their games to a higher level as these guys show them the way.

That is a given - look at their effect at their clubs . You can see the swagger.

Mzansi football followers are no fools, they know their game. Ask Julio Leal at Pirates. When the going got tough against Maritzburg United, who did they call? Benni the Ghostbuster! And he obliged, as we all know he can.

Roger Milla was called up by the Indomitable Lions at the age of 40 for a World Cup he ultimately set alight.

Anyway, from the way Safa is running things, Bafana Bafana's results do not matter much.

We have found an easy and great way to "qualify" with all those 2010 Fifa World Cup facilities we have.

We will host.

So much for Vision 2014, which we are still to be shown.