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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist


Bartlett gives reaction to Tau and Foster criticism

'A lot of attacking players all come under fire because they are in the limelight and unfortunately they are ones that have to score goals,' Bartlett said on Radio 2000.


Legendary Bafana Bafana striker Shaun Bartlett shares sympathy with current forwards Percy Tau and Lyle Foster who are under heavy criticism from the South African public for different reasons.

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Tau’s form in a Bafana shirt has been far from impressive as opposed to his Egyptian Al-Ahly club who he led to two back-to-back Caf Champions League titles. Bartlett is second on Bafana’s all-time list of top scorers with 28 goals, three behind Benni McCarthy.

“A lot of attacking players all come under fire because they are in the limelight and unfortunately they are ones that have to score goals,” Bartlett said on Radio 2000.

“Sometimes it’s one of those things where it’s not going your way. Even when Percy missed a penalty at the AFCON, the next game he took one (and scored) so I’m sure he will bounce back and show his quality.”

Meanwhile, Foster missed the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year due to mental health issues but continued to play for his English club Burnley who have since been relegated from the Premier League. That stance has not gone down with some faction of Bafana supporters. He was part of Bafana’s two 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

EPL is ‘one of toughest leagues’

“With Lyle, it has been an up and down season with his club as well and not coming for the AFCON,” Bartlett added.

“I think it’s one of those things where you have to be mindful that it’s not just the physical and strength you need. If you’re not prepared mentally for certain things it’s not always going to go your way. We have to be mindful and see how we can help him get back into the national team at the level that we know he’s capable of performing.

“It (English Premier League) is one of the toughest leagues to play in. It’s not often where you play a match and the fans are two metres away from you and constantly in your ear. So if you’re not mentally tough enough to play in a league like that, believe me that it can really break you.

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“I have my own opinion but I think the less I say about him not coming to the AFCON the better because I’ve been in similar positions before. He had to look after himself in order to have a long career. You can’t just come for the six weeks and forget about the 10 years that are ahead of you.”

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