OPINION: Bafana Bafana are consistent – consistently poor
Every time we start believing that they are getting better, they make sure to remind us that 'no, we are not getting better, we will stay as we are'.
Bafana’s players clearly view stars like Kylian Mbappe (left) and Paul Pogba (right) as their idols, not their equals. Picture: DENIS CHARLET / AFP.
I like Bafana Bafana. I do not like them only because they are our national football team.
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I like them because they are consistent. I do not think there is a team who have been poor for as long as Bafana have. They have been consistently so for over 20 years now. And the best thing about them is that they like reminding us ever so often that they are a bad team through their performances.
Every time we start believing that they are getting better, they make sure to remind us that ‘no, we are not getting better, we will stay as we are,’ like they did on Tuesday against France.
Bafana are very consistent – consistently poor!
We, as the supporters, critics and pundits alike are also consistent. Whenever Bafana reminds us how bad they are, we come with all sorts of ideas on how the team can be improved.
We will also blame it on Safa – rightly so obviously – and say they are neglecting grassroots development and this is why we are in such a mess.
But after a few days, we will forget all about it and the rot will continue. We are used to the smell
anyway, we just don’t like it when someone reminds us of it.
I am choosing to comfort myself by believing that the only reason they could not even properly trap or pass the ball was because they were overwhelmed by France.
It was the same team who dominated Guinea just three days earlier, so I will not believe that they
changed in a few days and became so bad that they only had one shot on target – and that was also just a tame effort that didn’t trouble the France keeper in any way.
And I swear I didn’t even see who the France keeper was because he could have just gone back home and watched the match on TV and no ball would have gone into his net.
It was, however, what happened after the game that left almost everyone shocked. Immediately after the game the lads went and got their cellphones and asked for selfies with the French players.
This incident reminded me of something that a Facebook acquaintance who is a coach in the lower ranks had written earlier in the day. He said he was preaching to his players to start behaving and
treating themselves like professionals even while they are at amarteur level.
He says this will help them transition easier if they get a chance to turn professional. The way our players performed on the day showed that they do not consider themselves equals to the French players, they see them as idols.
Another Facebook friend wrote about how his father’s friend would tell them about how the
conic Scara Sono – Jomo Sono’s father – scored five past him once when they were amateurs, almost as if proud of the feat.
He says now he understands why Bafana players took selfies with the French stars after the game – because they were not sad to have lost to their idols.