BE PATIENT WITH BRA SHAKES – RADEBE
Former Bafana Bafana captain has urged South Africa’s football loving public to be patient with the national team. Bafana are in Cameroon this weekend to face The Indomitable Lions in a crucial Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier. After a draw against Gambia and a loss to minnows Mauritania, Bafana are bottom of Group M and must win on Saturday to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for AFCON 2017.
Against this backdrop, many were surprised when coach Ephrahim Shakes Mashaba named his squad for these two matches against Cameroon on Saturday and Tuesday. Mashaba chose to include several players who haven’t played regularly for their clubs. Players such as goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune who has been troubled by injury again this season, and players such as striker Tokello Rantie whose injury resulted in his being dropped from Bournemouth’s official 25-man English Premiership squad. The selection of these kinds of players hasn’t gone down well with the South African public.
But Radebe argues that just like his predecessors in Clive Barker and Jomo Sono, Bra Shakes is in the process of building a team that can compete on the African continent, and later the world. ‘It’s difficult because we don’t have the players that can win things on a global stage. It takes time to build that and so he [Mashaba] has to juggle youth and experience,’ said Radebe.
But even though Bafana’s supporters may understand the former Leeds United Captain’s point, they are unlikely to share his view on patience, especially given that it’s been over two decades since Bafana won continental title. As was the downfall for many before him, failure to qualify for AFCON could lead to SAFA showing Shakes the door. If Mashaba values his job, he’ll have to take a leaf out of Barker’s book and motivate Bafana to beat Cameroon in Limbe on Saturday. Win or else?