Bafana Bafana recently started their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a defeat, and while head coach Stuart Baxter was defiant following the result, South Africa Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan was not as optimistic.
Bafana were edged out by a solitary Jonathan Kodjia strike which put Ivory Coast level on points with Morocco in Group D, and Jordaan hasn’t held back his criticism of the performance.
“I was not impressed, let me just stop at that, because it is really for the coaches to pick the team and to organise the formation, and to instruct the players on what to do,” Jordaan was quoted as saying by Phakaaathi.
“This was not the performance we expected from Bafana. I think the players know this and are very unhappy. This (Bafana) is one of the most feared teams on the continent. The Senegal coach told me, nobody on the continent can play against you, can take you on, with your passing.
“He said that this is why they sit back against Bafana, they keep between four and six players at the back. They have big defenders, but they are slow and we have quick forwards, therefore they stay back.”
Bafana put on a rather tame showing, failing to register a single shot on target in 90 minutes of football, and Jordaan did not hide his disdain for the style of football played by Baxter and his team.
“But what they say is that from the 70th minute we will start making mistakes, giving wrong passes, losing passes, and then they hit you on the counter and beat you. This is what they do, every team employs the same strategy against us,” he explained.
“Namibia will do the same thing, they will put six or seven on the back, even the Seychelles did it (Bafana drew 0-0 in Seychelles in qualifying). Now it is for the coaches to decide, now that teams just wait for them at the back, what are they going to do?”
“This thing of playing (the ball) back, playing back they just push you back and wait for you to make a mistake. Every team has the same strategy. You can’t do the same thing in every match. This is the first match we have lost in one and a half years.”
Furthermore, the Safa boss suggests change is vital if Bafana are to advance to the knockout rounds – which in his eyes is a must. Bafana next take on Namibia on Friday.
“We have quality players, and we still have (Thulani) Serero and (Bongani) Zungu on the bench, two of the best passers on the continent. Other coaches say they wish they had two of the midfielders we have,” Jordaan expressed.
“We expect them (Bafana) to go to the second round.
“That is why we have a win bonus structure that starts in the second round. Then they will get R320 000 each.”