Home Sport Soccer Please, beloved coach, pardon our poison pens

Please, beloved coach, pardon our poison pens


They did not play the football that they promised us when they practiced here at home.

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So our national football coach Stuart Baxter has decided to take a break from the “unappreciative” media and retreat to his adopted home in Sweden where he will consider whether he still wants to continue in his job after the media put-downs following our nearly dismal performance at the ongoing CAF Afcon soccer championships.

Well, after careful consideration I truly want to reach out to the coach and sincerely ask him to pipe down. Above all, I appeal to the coach not to take our stinging words to heart.

We are merely acting as shareholders in the national team and as such are sometimes unrestrained in our commentary.

On the upside the coach must, by now, know how our country’s president and politicians of many stripes feel after trying to please us with one or the other thing and we pay no attention to their best effort. The only other person we the media seem not to make an impression on is the Safa president.

How we wish that he could hear us!

Our commentary, negative or otherwise, is in no way a reflection on you as a person. But for all that it is worth, “Askies tog coach for the bad lingo”. We do get carried away sometimes and make life unbearable for you.

Phew! With that bit off our backs it’s back to our analysis of Mzansi’s performance at Afcon. Let me say straight up that our Bafana Bafana did not make it in the first round. They did not play the football that they promised us when they practiced here at home.

It took a random mathematical sum to get them to fire up.

Why did it have to come to that?

You could tell by the way we played after that “fake” readmission to the Afcon competition that we had caught a wake-up call. Percy Tau and company started shooting the Eqyptian dream to pieces the minute they set foot on the pitch in Cairo.

As a matter of fact Tau shot thrice at the Egyptian post in just the first half, while Thembinkosi Lorch did so twice and Lebogang Mokotjo about the same. The question is why don’t they start like that all the time? The more they shot at the Egyptian side’s goalposts the luckier they got.

We know the rest.

Then came the encounter against the Super Eagles and we reverted to our habit of being laid back on the pitch once more. Coach, did you see that Nigeria beat us with the same dead ball trick we pulled out against the Namibians?

I dare say that one of our midfielders should have tracked the dude who scored at the furthest post with his shin or leg.

We should not be relearning this lesson at each Afcon. It’s not the place for tutoring class, period.

On the upside again, we did not do too bad. I guess you got a sense that we, the Bafana public, are not too upset with either you or the team, as could be witnessed by the reception you got at OR Tambo International.

The win against the Egyptians has at least burst a little bubble of self-doubt when it comes to the North African teams. We have now added the “Pharaohs” to our book of beatable “enemies”. Soon we shall reduce the whole lot of them to our Cosafa mates’ size.

One supposes that the likes of Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates must win more often against that type of opposition. This is so that at team level we gradually lose the fear of teams further north of us.

The next stop: Conquer the mother of them all! And by that I mean the Fifa World Cup.

Let’s do this!