While the Bafana Bafana coach has stayed true to his word about building a young team, I can’t help but get the feeling that he missed a few tricks, writes Matthew Marcus.
IT’S FLY or die for coach Hugo Broos and his inexperienced Bafana Bafana.
The Belgian has assembled a young squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Zimbabwe and Ghana. And while he has stayed true to his word about building a young team, I can’t help but get the feeling that he missed a few tricks.
Having watched our national soccer team at the Cosafa Cup and the Olympics, Broos has put his faith in players from both these groups. But after some mixed results, Broos seems to be sticking to his guns when they haven’t served him well.
Olympic goalkeeper Ronwen Williams struggled for consistency in Tokyo. Maybe not all the blame for Bafana’s defence can be placed at his door, but there were moments when we should have been better in organising his backline and stopping shots.
Broos will have to manage him to get the best from the SuperSport stopper.
Bafana’s choices in the backline are a bit thin at centre-back for my liking. Rushine de Reuck has been solid over the last three seasons and deserves his place, Siyanda Xulu is the man with experience and Thabani Dube was a revelation at Cosafa.
But when you look at midfield options ahead of them, where Mothobi Mvala is the only defensive-minded player, then Bafana could be playing with fire.
I would have gone with a player who could cover centre-back and No.6. Rivaldo Coetzee should have been the obvious choice, but Cape Town City boasts Abbubaker Mobara and Thato Mokeke, who have both even slotted in at fullback in a pinch.
Big things are expected from Sipho Mbule as Themba Zwane misses out, but he needs to up his workrate or SA’s midfield may seem light of bodies even with Yusuf Maart and Ethan Brooks running their legs off.
Broos, though, has not left anything to chance in his attack, packing seven shooters into his squad.
Here he doesn’t lack any type of forward. He can play three in support of one. He can play three up front. Two with one tucked in behind. Or even one loan man.
Such versatility is great to have. But goals are still the only currency in this game.
There are a bunch of hungry guys here and after cutting his squad to 23 from 31, I’m glad to see he only has the most ruthless left.
After moving to FC Copenhagen, I hope Luther Singh gets some confidence back after an Olympic nightmare.
Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams, Veli Mothwa, Bruce Bvuma.
Defenders: Sydney Mobbie, Rushine De Reuck, Thapelo Morena, Siyanda Xulu,Thibang Phete, Thabani Dube, Sibusiso Mabiliso
Midfielders: Sipho Mbule, Teboho Mokoena, Mothobi Mvala, Yusuf Maart, Ethan Brooks, Njabulo Blom.
Strikers: Thabiso Kutumela, Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Gift Links, Evidence Makgopa, Victor Letsoalo, Percy Tau, Luther Singh.