STRUGGLING: Cape Town City striker Tokelo Rantie. Photo: CHRIS RICCO/BACKPAGEPIX

It’s a damn shame about Tokelo Rantie.

The player is really struggling to take the chance to get his football career back on track at Cape Town City.

The Bafana Bafana striker joined the Citizens on a free in September after failing to cut the mustard in Europe.

Rantie was overweight when he arrived from Turkey and the club put the 28-year-old on a diet to get him into shape.

But as the weeks passed by without the burly striker slimming down, the question of his fitness started to grate at coach Benni McCarthy.

TACTICAL TEST: City coach Benni McCarthy. Photo: CHRIS RICCO/BACKPAGEPIX

Not too long ago, Benni was asked if Rantie was ready after the striker was playing with his teammates in a training session.

Benni’s face dropped and answered with a question: “Does he look ready?”

“No” came the answer from the journos. “I like honest answers” said the coach.

For Benni, who was also called out at West Ham over his weight issues, to lose his patience says a lot.

But where Rantie really struggled is a reported drinking problem.

PROMISING: New City hitman Kermit Erasmus. Photo: PHANDO JIKELO. African News Agency/ANA

I sincerely hope he cleans himself up and gets back on his feet. The sad story of Lerato Chabangu, who last week opened up about his depression, should be more than motivation for Rantie.

While Rantie looks to move on, City has already.

They signed Kermit Erasmus and should have him come into the side sooner once he is registered at the start of the January transfer window.

And this week, Benni gave us a glimpse of how he might use the former SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates star.

Playing without a target man in his attack against Chippa United on Tuesday night was “food for thought” for Benni.

In a front line of Surprise Ralani, Riyaad Norodien and Ayanda Patosi, Benni played the latter as a “false nine”.

INTEGRAL: City playmaker Thabo Nodada. Photo: BACKPAGEPIX

Erasmus comes tailor-made for that role, as he likes to link up with the midfield and his wingers.

However, playing without an orthodox striker is very tricky system that will require a lot of work for his team discipline-wise.

If your “false nine” is not pulling the opposition centrebacks out of position to make space for your runners, then things will get very tough.

It means City’s midfield will have to be a lot more disciplined with the ball, recycling it to suck players into the centre of the park.

And in a congested pitch, they have to wary against the counter press.

But I’m talking about SA football like tactics really matter here now. Let me just put it this way, City will potentially be working towards another system as Benni puts his new coaching ideas to the test.

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