Carlos Parreira’s new-look Bafana Bafana team seem “Bok” for a bit of fun.
Actually, this photo is doing the rounds on email under the heading: “This is the only way Bafana will ever win the World Cup!”
Bafana Bafana fans might be surprised by the bout of optimism displayed by coach Joel Santana, but they probably don’t realise that this is a Brazilian trait.
Brazil coach Dunga was equally optimistic after his team’s draw against Venezuela this week, saying the result would keep their feet on the ground going into the World Cup. A big win, he said, would have created a “certain euphoria”.
So on the plus side – Bafana Bafana will have their feet on the ground going into the World Cup!
Perhaps the local fans, who expect the SA football team to beat the world’s best sides, shouldn’t keep their heads in the clouds.
According to a radio report, a whole nine fans turned up at OR Tambo Airport to welcome Bafana Bafana home.
I think perhaps the report was wrong – I suspect something got lost in translation. It was probably a German-speaking reporter saying Bafana had nein fans!
(Click here to read about the radio report)
South African soccer should take a different approach to the World Cup – and leave the coach alone for a change.
It seems the knives are out for Joel Santana, especially if Bafana Bafana lose against Iceland tomorrow night. What sort of nonsense is this? South Africa are ranked 73rd in the world, while Iceland are way lower than 96. Quite honestly, what will a win mean anyway?
Bafana have lost seven of their last eight matches, and the critics say this is unacceptable. What are these people smoking? The seven matches lost by Bafana were against superior opposition (Norway are ranked 43rd; Ireland 38th; Serbia 13th, Germany fourth, Spain second – we lost twice to them at the Confederations Cup, including 3-2 after extra time – and Brazil No1.
Yes, there are some important questions that need answering, especially those around Benni McCarthy. But that’s more a Safa issue than a Santana issue, I suspect. Bafana need a classy striker capable of putting the ball in the opponents’ net, and that is something they’ve been missing to date.
But with regards to Santana, he’s got the team playing excellent soccer – he proved that at the Confederations Cup. This may come as a shock to some SA soccer supporters, but Bafana Bafana are not going to win the 2010 World Cup!! Nevertheless, there’s no reason why the team can’t play decent football and do us proud. That is all I ask – to exit the World Cup with our heads held high.
Firing the coach at this stage ain’t gonna help. If you want to sack anyone, let’s start with Raymond Hack and work our way though the Safa head honchos. They are replaceable – Santana won’t be that easy to replace just nine months before kick-off. And who would replace him? Jomo Sono? Don’t make me laugh.
Let’s live and let live, guys (and let’s bring Benni back).
If any Springboks hope to catch the 2010 Soccer World Cup final live at Soccer City on July 11 next year, they will have to get themselves dropped from the squad to be there.
According to the Tri-Nations schedule released today, the Boks begin their title defence with a double-header against the All Blacks – in Auckland on July 10 and in Wellington on July 17 – and then a week later they’ll take on Australia in Brisbane. Talk about a tough start!
While the Boks will miss the World Cup final, I reckon Bafana Bafana won’t be there either – well, not on the pitch anyway.
No real surprises in the 20-man squad named today for matches against Norway and Iceland later this month. Let’s hope they have better luck than their last time abroad, against Germany and Ireland.
Goalkeepers: Emille Baron (SuperSport United), Rowen Fernandez (Arminia Bielefeld, Germany), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates)
Defenders: Bevan Fransman (Maccabi Netanya, Israel), Siboniso Gaxa (Mamelodi Sundowns), Morgan Gould (SuperSport), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth, England), Anele Ngongca (Gent, Belgium), Siyabonga Sangweni (Golden Arrows)
Midfielders: Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham, England), Benson Mhlongo, Teko Modise (both Pirates), Steven Pienaar (Everton, England), Macbeth Sibaya (Ruban Kazan, Russia).
Strikers: Richard Henyekane (Arrows), Mabhuti Khenyeza (Sundowns), Sthembiso Ngcobo (Free State Stars), Mphela Ngcobo (Sundowns) and Bernard Parker (FC Twnte).
Bafana Bafana deserve a limerick for their memorable performance in Limerick, so here goes:
There was a soccer team called Bafana
Who hoped to get as good as Ghana
But they were less than fair
Losing 1-0 to Eire
So give another million to Santana!
(Hopefully Bafana will never play in Sonnet, Ode or Iambic Pentametre)