OMG! It’s been a long time since mense believed in Bafana Bafana.
But here we are. They are 11 games without tasting defeat.
And it’s almost too good to be true.
Well that’s the reality for the national football team. And you better believe it.
It’s been way too long for us to have any belief in our football. But at the same time, it’s too early to truly believe.
Since Hugo Broos took the reins in May, the only way has been up for South African football.
We won the Cosafa Cup in July, with our new-look youthful side beating Senegal in the final.
It didn’t work out so lekker for the Olympic squad, as Team SA lost all their games in Tokyo. But in a group with the hosts Japan, France and Mexico, I wasn’t expecting much.
And now we’re top of our World Cup qualifying group.
Many fans are starting to feel like we’re on top of the world.
And who is gonna blame them?
Well, I’m here to give you the good and bad about where Bafana are and I’m not gonna sugarcoat it.
Let’s kick off with the bad...
Bafana are nowhere near winning the World Cup. Sorry to burst your bubble Mzansi Twitter.
It’s not gonna happen in 2022, no matter what you’re smoking.
Even with the team at the top of African World Cup Qualifying Group G – ahead of Ghana – many stars have to align for our boys to make it to Qatar.
First of all, it’s coach Broos’s biggest pet peeve. And that is the PSL.
Last week, the Belgian tore into SA football’s big three – Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.
Apart from playing league games on Bafana time, not being admitted to games and missing players, Broos also revealed that he has been unable to meet most of his colleagues in the league.
Like we’ve seen from Rassie Erasmus and his Springbok alignment camps, getting to know your fellow coaches and getting their buy-in on your ideas is a beautiful thing.
I’d love to see Bafana tear a page out of the Bokke’s book on this.
Once everyone is on the same page, then hopefully the PSL will also get their act together.
And especially after Broos said following the double header against Ethiopia this week that he is on the hunt for more better players.
This is where it’s going to get tricky.
Let me make something crystal clear though – Bafana are as much at fault at overlooking talent as the PSL are of withholding it.
And we’ll always have opinions on squad selections. However, defensive midfield has been in the spotlight after an injury to the man Broos called up as the only recognised anchorman – Mothiba Mvala – to play that role against Ethiopia.
I’m surprised, to say the least, that Rivaldo Coetzee has not been called up by the Belgian yet. He will take to the Belgian’s brand of football like a duck to water, I’m sure.
Who Broos will pick in this role for the final two games is going to make or break Bafana’s qualifying campaign.
While Zimbabwe no longer have Willard Katsande to boss their midfield, Bafana will have to contend with an in-form Thomas Partey, if fit, when they face the Black Stars in a match that will surely decide the group winners.
For once, we weren’t all crying about the missing Percy Tau.
Tau had been withdrawn from the squad with an injury, but suspiciously started training with the Al-Ahly team the same day that Bafana went into camp last Monday.
But let’s not say that Pitso Mosimane is trying to sabotage Bafana.
We’re definitely going to need more firepower upfront though after failing to score against Ethiopia at FNB Stadium – yes, it was only an own goal.
I’d love to see Temba Zwane added to the squad to bring some more guile and threat from midfield.
We’ve been too reliant on wingers, especially Bongokuhle Hlongwane, who is quietly becoming one of SA’s most important players.
The Maritzburg man has been great on flank, with goals coming when he is on the right and crosses when he is on the left.
Get him some decent players to interchange with and we will be heading to Qatar.
And now I’m getting ahead of myself too.