It looks like Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba is on shaky ground.
The rumours that the coach had last night’s match against Egypt to save his job were gathering pace before the kick off at Orlando Stadium.
I find it a bit strange that a Bafana boss would be axed after a Nelson Mandela Challenge — a friendly game after all – rather than after he failed to get the team to Afcon 2017.
Whether or not Bafana could beat Egypt last night had very little to do with the coach’s overall report card.
If Safa were going to get rid of Shakes, they should have axed him after he failed to meet a real target.
The truth is we the public is tired of the excuses.
We are tired of being told progress is being made and that there are positives to get us on track for Russia 2018 when we can’t even beat Mauritania at home.
What really bothers me more than the results is the fact that we don’t seem to have a solution to our biggest problem – scoring goals.
After Bafana exited the Cosafa Cup last year without scoring a goal, I interviewed Shakes, who said: “We can’t finish. It’s a problem all over the world.”
This answer told me two things. Firstly, that the coach isn’t accepting blame but rather saying the results are the fault of a national problem; and the second thing is that he doesn’t have a clue how to fix it.
After the Mauritania draw brought down the curtain on a sad qualifying campaign, Shakes was still giving pretty much the same answer a whole year later.
Yes, we struggle to score goals but tactics and selection also come into play, you can’t pick players who haven’t been starting for months and expect miracles.
The comment about Khama Billiat also bothered me a lot because again it shows we don’t have a plan or a way of finding a real solution.
It’s not a worldwide problem because Cristiano Ronaldo, Jamie Vardy, Sergio Aguero, Mesut Ozil, Antoine Griezmann, Dimitri Payet – these guys are all scoring goals for their countries!
There are former players in South Africa who know a thing or two about finding the back of the net.
Why are they not being employed to help groom our strikers?
I’m talking about Afcon 96 hero Mark Williams, there’s Shaun Bartlett who played in the Premier League and what about Benni McCarthy who scored goals in so many of Europe’s elite leagues.
Why are these guys not being roped in by Safa to help the new generation?
We talk about Vision 2020 but it seems we are blind to these simple solutions.
Also if Shakes is content to blame Bafana’s failure on the national problem of goalscoring, then maybe he should let someone else come in and try and find the answer.