BAXTER’S BIG BALLS-UP
There are no excuses for woeful Bafana
What a load of balderdash. No, make that an utter, complete bollocks.
There is no other way to describe what amounted to a pseudo performance from Stuart Baxter and his boys against Cape Verde on Friday night.
All the talk from the team about knowing what needed to be done in Praia was blown to smithereens. In terms of a class comparison, Bafana Bafana versus Cape Verde is akin to Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor: a mismatch of monumental proportions.
Baxter and his charges have gifted Cape Verde their first home win in two years. At some stage of the preparation for the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier, the hosts had 12 players in camp . . . yes, 12!
Goalkeeper Ronwen Williams is a nice lad. But you’d be hard-pressed to recall one match, just one, that he has excelled in goal for Bafana.
Dean Furman has had his moments when he has marshalled the midfield like a foreman. But, with all due respect, there is no way in hell that the SuperSport United captain can get a starting berth ahead of his Mamelodi Sundowns counterpart Hlompho Kekana. Gerrara here. Forget the clumsy penalty Furman gave away. He can’t start ahead of Kekana for one reason and one reason only: You are playing on a field that has a wind blowing in one direction.
You know Kekana has a thunderbolt of a shot which he unleashes to great effect for club and country. He does it as a matter of course for Sundowns. Most importantly, he did it stupendously for Bafana in March last year against Cameroon in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
That goal was no fluke, that’s why it was voted a top-10 contender for goal of the year in the Fifa Puskás Award 2016.
Yes, Baxter didn’t ask Mulomowandau Mathoho to get a red card. But the lanky one had already showed signs that he was two burgers short of a happy meal for his club when he was sent off against Bloemfontein Celtic.
The worrying signs are way too glaring to ignore. The sooner we realise, accept and admit that this is not Bafana United or SuperSport Bafana, the better for all concerned. Wakey, wakey!
And when it comes to substitutions, why not Percy Tau ahead of Bradley Grobler? Who scored the goal that put the gloss on that historic win against Nigeria? Tau of course, but he was an ornament on the bench until it was way too late.
Yes, Themba Zwane, Keagan Dolly, Lebogang Manyama and Bongani Zungu were missing in action in the first half.
But Baxter did nothing astute to redeem the situation at half time. Absolutely bugger all!
Blimey, at the rate things are going, Baxter’s Bafana will reach Russia alright — their route would be via our Brics membership, that alliance we are in alongside Brazil, Russia, India and China. There is absolutely no two ways about it. All he needed to do was to get a result.
A charter plane was hired for the team and every need was satisfied to ensure that they performed to the optimum.
The road to Russia was promising until the Friday night implosion. Prior to landing in Praia, we had our fate firmly in our hands. We were in the pound seats, against a team that had suffered two defeats. Look at us now. Just look at us. We are a sorry, pity party.
The defeat to Cape Verde was a major setback on any given Friday. We were poor on the night. No positives to speak of. Plain pedestrian. Baba, please speak to your friend Vladimir Putin to secure our spot as guests of Brics, pretty please.
Jerr! What a load of balderdash.