27 June 2009

Bafana Bafana!

Well, well, well!! The Boys are back in town! What a performance against Brazil. We matched them in defence, midfield and attack. The guys were hard-working and played with their hearts on their sleeves. They truly deserve to represent this country. But what does this performance mean? What does this achievement mean for the country, for football in our country? It shows that the potential we have had all along is starting to be pieced together to form a brilliant mosaic. Pieces of individual brilliance were once scattered, they are starting to be brought together. One can liken the the evolution of a football team to the building of a stadium. The piles and foundations is the defence of your team. To be truly world class, your football team needs a rock solid defence. From their building can begin. The main skeletal structure is the midfield. This is the skeleton that defines your team. This is the structure of your team, the structure that allows you to add the final flashy finishes. The roof and all final touches is your attack, your strikers. They look the best, yet cannot exist without a foundation and skeletal structure. In Matthew Booth and Aaron Mokoena, we have a rock solid foundation. Midfielders – the likes of Steven Pienaar, Teko Modise, Siphiwe Tshabalala showed that they are world class in the performance against Brazil. We dominated them at times in midfield! The last facet is still under construction. It is strange how this analogy between our football team and a stadium and the current status of our stadia link up quite well. In Bernard Parker, we have a poacher, someone who can finish – the girders are in place. The cladding is not quite complete however. Despite creating many chances against Brazil – a feat in itself – we failed to take a lot of them. That is the last facet of your world class stadium/team. We need a big man up front. A man who has pedigree, who takes those long balls out of the air and can slam home corners. Bernard Parker is excellent on the ground, but his lack of size is a problem. The cladding of the stadium is, in my opinion, Benni McCarthy. He is playing excellent football in England. He has scored readily against the best and biggest defenders in the world. Through coaching and practice we will become clinical, we just need that second man up front to partner Parker. A man who can hold the ball up, a man from which Parker can feed, a man who can bundle his way into the penalty area, get free-kicks, penalties and score goals from corners. Benni McCarthy is the answer. He has had problems with the national setup, yet, the World Cup is bigger than him or SAFA. The World Cup is the country. If Benni  will not play for his country at his own World Cup, probably his last World Cup, then something is really wrong. I believe he wants to play for his country. I believe he is the last cog in world class machine, the cladding on a world class stadium.

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