It’s been just over a week since Bafana Bafana were beat in the quarterfinal on penalties by Mali (who happened to finish 3rd by beating BaGhana BaGhana in yesterday’s playoff). Having watched all of their games and having attended the opening game I have come to the following conclusions:
1. We are a football loving nation and therefore need to do everything in our power to advance the sport in our country so that our team becomes a success. When we won our second game, the country was in euphoria and we celebrated like we had won the cup. Right now, our team lacks the quality and depth to be the continent’s best! The only way we are going to improve is to invest in proper development structures that develop our coaches and our youth so that our team reaps the benefits in the long term. The USA is a perfect example and would make a great case study.
2. We don’t have any strikers who can score regularly or any good wingers who can deliver quality crosses and passes consistently therefore we need to ensure we grooming our players by paying special attention to these weaknesses. We must play to our strengths and capitalize on them.
3. We must stop settling for mediocrity and develop a spirit of excellence in our players. Been a losing quarter finalist means you were one of the top 8 nations in African football. We should be a top 4 nation as a minimum and a top 2 nation ideally. We cannot be proud of the fact that we lost to Mali on penalties.
4. We need to have a little faith in GI and allow him to get the best out of the players at his disposal. It is imperative that we qualify for 2014 and 2018 and too many changes in coaching personnel at this stage would do us more harm than any good.
If we are to improve as a nation, we need to learn from our past experiences and take corrective action that benefits us for the long term and the foreseeable future.