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20/08/2013

WHY BAFANA BAFANA KEEPS MISSING CHANCES IN THE FINAL THIRD?

It's a question of age.  Just follows my logic for a second and you will see what I mean.
Since 1998, there has been four world cup tournaments in which an average of 151 goals per tournament were scored. 
In each tournament, 50% of the goals were scored by an average of the top eight countries.  And a comparison of these teams from the eight countries in each World Cup tournament revealed that Germany, Argentina, Brazil and Spain are the only four countries that appeared at least three times in the top eight world cup goal scoring nations since the 1998 tournament.  For that reason, there is no doubt that if there is anybody we can learn from about goal scoring in the national team, it is these four countries.
What do they have in common?  The answer is in the squad selection.
When looking at quad selections by these four countries, with the exception of Spain in 2002, a consistent trend is that every single one of these countries tends to select at least one forward who is 29 years and older. 
In 1998, Argentina selected Gabriel Batistuta (29) and Abel Balbo (32).  In 2006 they selected Hernan Crespo (31), while the 2010 squad had Martin Palermo (37) and Diego Milito (31). 
Germany selected Marco Bode (33) and Oliver Bierhoff (34) in 2002, Oliver Neuville (33) in 2006 and off course Miroslav Klose (32) and Caucau (29) in 2010. 
Brazil went with a 34 year old Bebeto in 1998, Edilson (32) in 2002, Ronaldo (30) in 2006; and off course Luis Fabiano (30) and Grafite (32) were in the 2010 squad. 
Lastly Spain had the 30 year old Pizzi in 1998, Raul (29) in 2006 and David Villa (29) in 2010.
What is clear with the above is that an important aspect of a successful goal scoring team selection methodology is a mixture of experience and youth.  This works simply because, during the tough times on the road to a major tournament the older more experienced players shoulders the pressure while the younger more energetic player gets on with the job with far less scrutiny from the press and fans alike.  
This approach works not only to produce goals but to ensure succession in future competitions.  In 2010, Uruguay had the comfort of calling 23 year old Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez (26) but they still called Diego Forlan who was 31 years old at the time.  Brazil introduced Ronaldo by protecting him with a 34 year old Bebeto, while Alan Shear was broken into the English national team set up with a protection and mentorship of a 34 year old Gary Lineker.
The challenge is that South Africa has is to get over the mental block that a 30 year old is over the hill.  No nation is foolhardy enough to put he hopes and dreams of a whole nation on the shoulders of a twenty six year old. But because we just don't get this, it was this exact thinking that induced acrimonious protests when Carlos Alberto Perreira announced the selection of Siyabonga Nomvete for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  As a result he was only used for 22 minutes in the entire 270 minutes Bafana Bafana march towards the worst World Cup campaign by a host nation.
Therefore, the question begs, are we really lacking in the striking department. Or are we just expecting too much too soon?
Just a thought.
The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale

12/08/2013

Q-INNOVATIONS AND MTN TOP 8 - CONTRADICTING OBJECTIVES

Any business in the sports industry is very easy to operate.  I say this because the revenue streams are reliably predictable.  By the start of each financial year you can easily tell what you can expect to earn in the worst case scenario.  Be it the consolation purse for tournament participation, the agreed annuity from the sponsors and off course the periodic grants for media rights (where applicable).  As a manager, all you have to do is to plan and control your expenses well enough so as to deliver the kind of profit results you can promise to your shareholders.

It is that easy, in fact all sport club businesses work the same way.  Fighting tooth and nail to finish in the Top 8 of the PSL and the Top 4 of the EPL means the difference between a good financial performance and an exceptional one.  The Southern Kings and Gauteng Lions relegation clash was fundamentally all about that.  Therefore, it is for that reason that tournaments in the sports industry (football in particular) should be designed to foster that exact competitive spirit. The problem is that when you put incentives on the table in order to promote a specific behaviour, care should be given to ensure that while each incentive drives a specific behaviour the sum of the whole should not serve to contradict itself. 

Allow me to illustrate the above postulate.

What we know about the PSL is that when it comes to the MTN Top 8, with exception of Kaizer Chiefs in 2008 (who finished 6th in the season before), no club finishing below 5th position in the season before has actually managed to win the MTN Top 8.  This season is no different, as the only clubs that managed to survive the quarter finals knock-out stage of the competition all finished in the Top 4 of the 2012/2013 season.  Furthermore, we also know that if a club is not going to win the tournament, then they might as well get knocked-out in the quarter finals stage of the tournament, because whether a club finishes in 2nd place in the MTN Top 8 or gets knocked out first, they all earn R800 000.

Bearing in mind that we are now operating in the new world of Q-Innovations where clubs stand to earn R1.5 million for finishing top of the log at the end of each quarter.  It stands to reason that if a club does not finish in the top five of the log, then the prospect of getting knocked-out in the quarter finals of the Top 8 and then focusing on the Q1 is a lot more lucrative that ever before.  It is for this reason that where Q-Innovations and Top 8 were put on the table to coax the flames of a competitive spirit, the two competitions are now working against each other.

On the other hand there is the age old argument that says coaches will never throw a game for the sake of it. Clubs want to play all the time, the breaks in between fixtures to make space for cup competitions are detrimental to their rhythm and fitness.  Be that as it may, the bottom line is that if you are not strong enough to finish in the Top 5 you are not strong enough to win this thing. Why throw everything and the kitchen sink for the same money, when you can finish Q1 with almost three times as much just by taking the foot off the pedal?

On the other hand I wonder, what would happen if the script was flipped?

Let's just say, the earnings in Q1 were reduced by two thirds and the savings were transferred to Q4.  All of a sudden you have a completely different MTN Top 8 mentality, do we not?  Because then what you would have is not so much of an indifferent showing in the MTN Top 8, where even the under achievers who finished outside the Top 8 stand to earn almost twice what the top performers can earn.  All they can stand to earn in Q1 is R500 000.  But if Q4 paid out R2.5 million then all of a sudden the tail end of the season will be fought fiercely, thus making the log race and Top 8 chase ten times more interesting than what it is now. 

Just a thought

Themba A Dikgale; the Tempest Prognosticator

05/08/2013

PLAYER PRICES

I listened to reports on of Real Madrid looking at the possibility of acquiring Gareth Bale for the crazy price of £86 mil, and I couldn't decide which was more hilarious. Was it the fact that Tottenham Hot Spurs was crazy enough to ask for that much money, or that the leadership of Real Madrid was even bothered to look at that proposal?  I say this because when looking at pure talent and know what the world has seen to date, in my humble opinion, there is no player in the world today who is worth that much money.

The truth is, when it comes to the transfer market, the elephant in the room is the painful fact that irrespective of the record breaking amounts of money in clubs are willing to pay to acquire for players; world football standards have dropped. Therefore, it is actually scary to hear people saying that if Real Madrid paid £80 mil for Cristiano Ronaldo then it stands to reason that Lionel Messi should be worth the €100 mil.  I say again no player walking the earth today is worth that much money, not even Messi.

Before you persecute me for this opinion, let me first premise my argument.

Clubs build teams around the qualities of a specific player whom they believe could be their star.  They buy and sell to build the right collection of players who suit their style of play and that is okay, for it is the way of the world.  He who pays the piper picks the tune. However, in as far as the national team is concerned, a player cannot choose the country he is born in, nor can he choose the generation of players he is born with.  Therefore it is fair to say if you want to form a definitive opinion on a player's quality in relation to others who have come before him, you need to juxtapose his club performance to the his national team performance.

Allow me to illustrate this argument further.

There is no question that the national team is the highest credit any footballer can earn, in his career.  When a player receives a national call up, the leadership of the country's football is effectively saying to the player - “of all the options to represent and defend the country's honour, you are the best one available.” Furthermore, the World Cup is the highest most prestigious level of competition in football.  It does not matter which era one evaluates, the World Cup remains the highest level of the game. 

So, in July 1957 Pelé became the youngest player ever to score a goal in an international football match in a 2-1 loss against Argentina.  At the tender age of 16 years and 9 months Pelé scored his first goal for Brazil.  In June 1958 Pelé became the youngest player to play in a World Cup final match at 17 years and 249 days. What this says to me is that, in 1958 when the leadership of Brazilian football looked around wanting to find the best available talent to represent the country; Pelé was one of the best available options.  And the World Cup Final goal is definitive proof that he did not disappoint.

Fast forward to 1978 when Argentina won the World Cup, on the bench was a young Diego Maradona.  He was just 18 years old, and was part of a world cup winning team representing Argentina. What this says to me is that, in 1978 when the leadership of Argentine football looked around wanting to find the best available talent to represent the country; Maradona was one of the best available options.

Now, fast forward to 2005, Argentina suffers a 4-1 embarrassment at the hands of Brazil in the Confederation Cup final ahead of the World Cup in Germany.  Lionel Messi was not there.  In fact he was playing in an under twenty World Championship tournament at the time. If he is indeed better than Maradona, or Pelé why was he not there to defend Argentina's honour, when his country was being humiliated?

This is precisely the reason why I think that, world football standards have dropped.  There is no ZenadineZidane, Rene Higita, Pele or Maradona walking the earth right now.  If a World Cup tournament comes and goes and the greatest players in the world at the time are not even on the list of players considered for “Player of the Tournament” or “Golden Boot” awards then we have a problem.  When a the greatest player in the world, plays 450 min of World Cup football without being able to score a goal, can we really say he is better that Pele or Maradona? Or better yet can we really say that he s worth €100 million?

World football standards have dropped, we should first discuss that, before we start talking about Gareth Bale.  Because if we approach this matter from that perspective, then maybe Cristiano Ronaldo was overpriced at €80 million.

Themba A Dikgale; The tempest prognosticator
19/05/2013

Q-INNOVATION - A GOOD IDEA NEEDING IMPROVEMENT

When Alexandra J Bell spoke his first words through a little speaker deice to mark the first test of a telephone, it might have then appeared to be a phenomenal device which was going to revolutionise the world.  Never a truer word said in prognostication.  However if you look at all the other instruments that we have today from the radio, to the cellular phone, to the internet and everything else, a telephone looks like a great innovation that needed a great deal of improvement. Looking back, Q innovation is a lot like the telephone, a brilliant idea that needs a few years to improve it. 

Bear with me a few moments as I explain why Q-innovation is such brilliant idea for South African football. 

At the end of the European football season, there are three stories that are being covered.  These are the end of the league race, the clubs qualifying for Champions and or Europa League, and the relegation battle.  Now because, winners are decided with a few matches to spare these stories are afforded the maximum coverage, and are covered in a compelling way.  First the league championship is won, and covered. Then the relegation battle is settled, and covered; and then only do we have a post mortem on the clubs qualifying for continental competitions as the transfer window opens.

In South Africa a similar situation exists in that there are also three stories that come about; league race, Top 8 finish and the relegation battle. However fortunately, or unfortunately due to the fact that in the nature of the South African football competitive landscape is such that the league goes down to the last ten minutes of the season.  The log is rarely won with a few match days to spare; these three stories literally break when the final whistle is blown on the last game day of the season.  Therefore, within a two or three hours period editors and journalist alike find themselves in a mad scramble trying to make decisions about the best way to tell all three stories at once.  Generally they do a brilliant job of dressing it up as DRAMA, DRAMA and more DRAAAAAAAMA.  However the truth is, there is only so much space, and so much time until these stories goes cold and the rest of the country focuses on the Nedbank Cup final (seven days later); and therefore these stories do not get to be told in as a compelling a way as they could be told, so as to celebrate football.

This is why the decision not to hand Kaiser Chiefs FC (KCFC) the trophy in Polokwane after the Supersport United FC match, left me baffled.  Doing that would have let the daily and weekly newspapers that come out on Fridays two days to cover the KCFC Champaign popping celebrations, and then the Sundays newspapers space to cover the dramatic photo finish for TOP 8, and then the relegation post-mortem in the dailies in the week thereafter.  For the first time in five seasons, we had the opportunity to allow the three stories to be given enough space to celebrate football, the PSL decided to reject that opportunity.  But, that is a topic for another day. 

Anyway given this unique situation we find ourselves in, Q-Innovations is a fantastic idea which provided an additional dimension upon which publications and broadcasters alike could report and analyse.  Because all of a sudden, analysis and discussions in the football public discourse are not limited to “this team beat that team” – but now have to also include an additional dimension of “how does this result, affect the standings in Q-Innovations?” Hence the perception that the league was more exciting.  In reality looking back at the season, the league race was more exciting only in the discussion off-the-pitch, rather than what was happening on-the-pitch. 

Just by the way KCFC approached the transfer window in the last 18 months; they were always going to dominate.  In fact the season kicked off with a KCFC that had just a little over 70 Bafana Bafana caps in their defensive pack alone, by this I am talking about Khune, Maselela, Gaqa, Gould and Mathoho.  When a club has seven players in the National Team’s starting eleven, it is very difficult not to expect them to be at the top and stay at the top for much of the season.  Therefore, the way the season played itself out, had nothing to do with Q-Innovation.  It was always going to happen, regardless.  The season was only more exciting because the context of our discussion about football was different as a result of Q-innovations.  Q-Innovation was only successful as a Public Relations strategy, and that’s all. 

Where Q-Innovation does need improvement is in the execution. 

To be honest it was quite naive to expect that this wonderful PR idea, innovative as it was, was going to enjoy the same coverage as PSL’s normal log.  Therefore, I think the criticism against the print media’s coverage of the Q-innovation by the Chairman of the PSL was unfair.  The reality is no editor was going to chase advertisers who have been buying space from his paper for years away, in order to make space to print an extra Q-Innovation log.  It was never going to happen like that, newspapers are also businesses and space is like hen’s teeth.  Q-Innovation was only ever going to get covered in the text and that’s it.

So! How does Q-Innovation improve from a telephone to a smart phone? The answer is in the clouds.

In a time when the world is seeking means to be more connected by being paperless and wireless, innovative ideas can only thrive if they are optimised on innovative platforms.  Therefore, it stands to reason that to improve the effectiveness of Q-Innovation; opportunities should be sort in social media.  Because if people thought that this season was exciting because of this idea, wait until we have a normal season; in which Friday night through to Sunday night, the log leaders can change two to three times.  In a season like that, Q-Innovation will provide photo finish after photo finish, one quarter after quarter another.

In a season like that, Q-innovation will not change the way football is played, but it will certainly change the way we talk about it.

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale

09/05/2013

The Battle of Lubumbashi – a stain on my shirt!

 

I have this wonderful shirt that I love.  It is of an egg-white hue, well more the side of an ostrich egg, but not quite. Over and above the fine navy single stitching, it also has these navy blue cuffs with embroidery of my initials centimetres before the edge in the same colour as the rest of the egg-white material. TD, it says, in Edwardian script.  A few beats to the side are the gapping slits, made especially for my cufflinks; and these, if metallic; the cufflinks tend to invite the eye like a disco ball against the backdrop of the dark lighting in a night club.

 

I love this shirt.  Though I am not a fashion aficionado, this shirt is just one of those things I used to wear with pride. I am not sure if my emotional attachment is as a result of the fact that it was a gift, yes, a gift made bespoke and given to me by a client after the successful completion of a gruelling project.  Or if I love it because, it’s just a well made piece of clothing; or both.  All I know is that I love that shirt; and ironically I also know is that it’s also that one piece of clothing I dread wearing.

 

Anybody who knows me also knows that I am also all fingers and thumbs.  So one day in an immaculate display of my own deficiency in Teutonic in precision, I managed to stain my shirt with a glass of Shiraz.  And after countless efforts to try and wash it off, I managed to get most of it out. All but this tiny bit that looks like a faded blood stain on my chest, no bigger than a ten cent coin. Apparently it is small, so small that many people don’t even notice it, until I mention it.  But to me, it looks ghastly and hideous. Hence I hardly wear that shirt.  It pains me, but hey!?!

 

The situation with my shirt is not that different to the situation regarding the CAF champion’s league.  To me after the events of the “Battle of Lubumbashi” this weekend, where Orlando Pirates FC (OPFC) were barbarically bullied into a 1-0 loss submission; a loss which was fortunately not enough to eject the Buccaneers out of the Champion’s League. I find it very difficult to understand why a player would wear a jersey with a star above the emblem, signifying a champion’s league title.  A shirt with a star is supposed to be worn with pride, but how can a player who is worth his salt wear it with pride if this is how championship titles are won?  Instead of the star having meaning, it looks more like a stain on my bespoke shirt.

 

On the one hand you could argue that if OPFC went on to win this tournament, the events of the “Battle of Lubumbashi” will go down in history as one of those gallant moments that Buccaneers and indeed South African, can referrer to with pride for years.  After losing Lucky Lekgwathi, the most experienced player in the team, on a dubious red card inside the first 35 minutes, the two crazy penalties which were stopped and nine free kicks on the edge of the box.  It is actually sad that OPFC were not allowed to land at Waterkloof Airbase on their return. 

 

But after all is said and done, you have to ask yourself is it all worth it?  What respect should the football purist have for a CAF Champion’s League winner, if it is generally accepted that this is how opposition is treated in the continent? 

 

One thing I think should be commended is the Chairman’s call for “South Africans to do the right thing, and not treat clubs visiting South Africa in the same way. Two wrongs don not make a right.”  When Chris Hani was shot dead in his drive way, we did the right thing. When apartheid was abolished and a free and fair South Africa was established, we did the right thing.  When we had the opportunity to write a new constitution, we wrote class leading document that even protect the rights of the minority, we did the right thing.

 

As a South African, I am actually proud to say, I have no doubt that my fellow compatriots will do the right thing.           

 

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale


06/04/2013

 

Kaizer Chiefs Done and Dusted – Really?

 

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) is like a poem of three stanzas. The first stanza happens over the first ten matches, and in this time anybody looks like a potential champion. Anybody fires off a warning shot, even debutants like TUKS or Vasco da Gama.  It is a period characterised by shocking results, interesting performances, and new names making headlines. 

 

The second stanza is made up of the second list of ten fixtures.  This is the period when the men split themselves off from the boys.  In this time the real title contenders put up the consistent performances that secure their place in the top four.  In this time players transferred in the June window have settled.  Teams start to understand the new coach, and with the additional signings in the January transfer window tough teams can become stronger, while weak teams can become reinforced.  It is a very unpredictable time in the PSL, what with Bafana Bafana call ups, injuries, could’ve-should’ve-would’ve regrets from the TOP 8 and Telkom Cup; and team momentum affected by the X-mas break.             

 

Then the last stanza arrives - ten fixtures of unpretentious rush for the championship finish line.  In this time, the gloves are off.  And clubs that basically implied that they were good-enough in the second stanza, are constantly asked the question “how good are you really.”  The Bloemfontein Celtics against Kaiser Chiefs FC (KCFC) encounter is a classic example of the champions in waiting being asked the question – the 3-0 for three points smash and grab was an all too confident answer. However amidst the ensuing ululation and premature celebration, the question has to be asked-are KCFC really champions in waiting?

 

All I know is that I may not have a crystal ball to foretell the future; but I do know this, whatever happened in the first round needs to happen in the second round before the season can end.  Now the fact is KCFC may have had a wonderful Q1, but they sure as hell did not have a good Q2; the same stage in which Orlando Pirates FC (OPFC) managed to close the gap and find them in second place of the PSL log standings.  Therefore what that says to me is never-mind the events in Q3, but KCFC still has a far more difficult run-in Q4 than what OPFC has. And therefore, the seven point lead may not be as effective an advantage as everyone might want to think. 

 

Remember KCFC still has to play Supper Sport United FC (SSUFC), the very same SSUFC that held OPFC to a draw three times in seven days, and eventually beat them to knock them out of the Top 8.  They still need to play Moroka Swallows FC (MRFC), the same MRFC which managed to beat OPFC home and away.  That may sound like nothing, but the fact is OPFC hadn’t lost a match at Orlando Stadium in over a year and half.  KCFC still have to play Platinum Stars, which just happens to be the only team in the PSL that managed to beat them this season.  Throw in there a few teams fighting with everything they have to avoid relegation, and suddenly you have a nail biting finish.

 

Now a lot has been said about this apparently new system used at Naturena; a revolutionary tactical innovation – I hear people say.  There is no question that it is an effective formation, but I question the notion that it is new.  Have we forgotten how we won the AFCON in 1996?  Were we not playing three centre backs with Tovey, Fish and Radebe; with Nyathi and Motaung providing offensive option on the left and right? Or is it that self hate thing, I keep talking about? Anyway, I digress.

 

The bottom line is the job KCFC has to do in order to defend the seven point lead is far harder than the job OPFC has to do especially with a two games in hand.  Remember that Cuthbert Mualajila goal in the dying minutes of the game in the first round to steal 2 points, well Maritzburg United did it again in the second round.  They stole two points.  Furthermore, with all that has been said about KCFC playing five defenders, how many times have they actually managed to keep a clean sheet?  I thought so. 

 

All I am saying is Q4 is here, a mirror image of Q2.  The uphill battle is here.  Before people pop the Champaign bottle my word of advice is, to keep it chilled; because this season is about to get interesting.

 

The tempest Prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale                            

26/03/2013

CAR THE TRUE TEST OF OUR PATRIOTISM?

Remember “the hand of God” goal scored by Diego Maradona at the 1986 FIFA World Cup Quarter Finals?  Many people do not know that the backdrop to that match is the Falklands War in which England and Argentina clashed in 1982. 

The Falkland Islands, situated in the South Atlantic Ocean is an overseas British territory, which was claimed by Argentina as its own, as the Islas Malvinas. On April 2 of 1982, Argentina's forces invaded the islands. The British considered this an invasion of its territory and sent a naval task force that recaptured the Islands on June 14 of 1982. Though the two nations were never officially at war, the conflict resulted in 258 British and 655 Argentinean deaths. As a result, the match taking place just four years after the war was emotionally charged. Following the game, Maradona stated: "Although we had said before the game that football had nothing to do with the Malvinas war, we knew they had killed a lot of Argentine boys there, killed them like little birds. And this was revenge” (source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argentina_v_England_(1986_FIFA_World_Cup)

On Saturday the 23rd of March we went to sleep happy that Bafana Bafana had collected maximum points in FIFA World Cup qualifier, and then suddenly on Monday the 25th all that delight had soured.  The news of the death of 13 SANDF members in Central African Republic (CAR) on a peace mission, cast a dark cloud of revenge on the return fixture between South Africa (SA) and Central African Republic (CAR).  Or should I say, it should have – cast a dark cloud.  If you watch how indifferent we are about this matter, you would swear those casualties are not South African.  Perhaps if we consider the implication of the unrest on our road to Brazil 2014 campaign, maybe then will the typical South African football fan get hot under the collar?

The reality is that should this civil unrest not die down before our return game date we will be well within our right to ask for a neutral venue. This would not be an unfamiliar place to be for SA.  Remember that in April 1997, Bafana Bafana played a World Cup Qualifier in Lome - Togo against Zaire because safety could not be ensured in Zaire due to civil unrest.  That happened the last time South Africa managed to qualify for a FIFA World Cup on our own accord, in 1998.  Therefore, the events in Bangui could very well appear a good omen.
The flip side though is bleak.  If CAR decides to pull out of the competition, then South Africa would be worse off.  According to Confederation African Football rules all points and goals earned in games involving a country that withdraws a team are left out when determining group rankings. That would leave Bafana Bafana with only two points – a situation that would put our qualification in a terrible state.  In fact it would means we need to beat Ethiopia and Botswana and hope Botswana holds Ethiopia to at least a draw on their return fixture.
I am not a protagonist for anarchy, but I certainly hoped that the death of South African soldiers would have been met with some level of emotional response.  Perhaps this is a reflection of the state of our patriotism.  However, I do hope that when Bafana Bafana does eventually take the field against CAR, that match will not be about football.  I hope it will be about settling a score; just like Argentina did with the English.  I hope Bafana Bafana will walk onto that pitch with one mandate and one mandate alone.   That is to deliver a crushing blow to avenge all the mothers, wives and children who will be receiving a folded flag in the next few days. 
The tempest prognosticator; Themba A. Dikgale

11/03/2013

SOWETO DERBY – A celebration of football

I am very phlegmatic about many things, but I feel pressed to express concern about this trend I have seen growing over the last twenty years. 

Do you remember that senseless Hip Hop war between the East and West Coast from the mid-90’s?  I call it senseless because, not only did the world lose some of the most gifted Rhythm-And-Poetry artists of our time, but Hip Hop lost a once in a life time opportunity to unleash something so BIG – it could have bettered our lives for decades to come. 

No seriously, just think about it. If Eazy-E, Suge Knights, Sean Combs and their gun wilding henchmen did not go on rampage shooting at each other and actually worked together.  They could have built something extraordinary, bigger than Motown Records or Sony Music.  I know it sounds a bit “out there.”  But think about it, it was a STUPID WAR.  Can you imagine Bra Hugh Masekela saying he will not work with Abdula Ebrahim, just because he was from Cape Town? STUPID! Consequently Hip Hop imploded into countless fragments of pockets of talent needing to work extra hard just to earn the respect of being treated like other genres.

The same thing happened to Kwaito maybe not to the same extremes.  But we had something going and then saw the need to destroy it by creating this senseless and unnecessary schism. “King of Kwaito” this, Kwalawa Jazme that, “Mazola” this and “Mashamplane” that.  By the way the man never called himself, King of Kwaito, the recoding still says “President of Kwaito.”  President! You know, like the kind that gets elected out by public opinion? Anyway, don’t get me started on that!  But think about it.  If all those artists or entrepreneurs actually worked together, and not bothered with that WAR of WORDS, would artists still be struggling to get record deals and dying poor? I ask, with tears in my eyes, where is Kwaito now?   

Day by day, I see fragments of this virus seeping into our football.  Yes I am talking about the SOWETO DERBY. 

First of all let us look at the numbers ahead of the game on Saturday. By the time the two teams stepped on the pitch on the 09th of March 2012, yes there was a five point difference between them on the log.  But in Kaizer Chiefs FC (KCFC) you had a team with the best offensive record matched up against best defensive record in the league of Orlando Pirates FC (OPFC).  KCFC was scoring and average of 1.5 goals per match while OPFC were producing 1.1 goals per match. If you looked at the home and away logs; KCFC was 1st on the away log and 3rd on the home log, while OPFC was 5th on the away log but first on the home log.  If you looked at the respective performances on fixtures against corresponding opposition, both teams collected 79% of the points available on all those fixtures. You didn’t need to be a mathematician to realise that there was very little that separated these two teams, in fact a goalless draw was the fairest reflection of the respective teams’ strengths.

Would it kills us to actually acknowledge that Saturday’s Soweto derby was a wonderful display of tactical acumen from both teams, executed with meticulous precision? Is it such a crime to acknowledge that Steward Baxter had been preparing to approach this fixture with a compact defence for the last three weeks?  So much so that he was fielding five defenders in an effort to contain the pace of Klate, Segolela etc.  You have to admit, it takes some doing to play five defenders and still manage to produce six goals in three matches (two of which were scored by defenders nogal).  Is it such a disaster to appreciate that despite the decision to play five defenders, KCFC was still playing attacking football so much so that Senzo Meyiwa was able to win man of the match, because of his shot stopping efforts to ward off the KCFC attack. 

Why is it so difficult to congratulate OPFC for their ability to contain KCFC despite coming in to this game having conceded seven goals in their last two games?  I doubt that Reneilwe Letsholonyane woke up that morning and decided to deliberately give the ball away.  He did so because Rodger De Sa and his technical team realised that when Yeye plays, the KCFC transition is seamless;  and so they prepared to stop him from playing, successfully so.  When Jose Mourinho did that with Barcelona in the Copa del Ray by stopping Xavi Hernandez from playing through the defensive works Xavi Alonso and Varane’s cover; no one said Xavi Hernandez was overwhelmed by the occasion.  I struggle to see how that conclusion is so easily reached when it comes to Letsholonyane.  When Mbesuma turned to face five defenders resolute to cut out any space he may have had to make an attempt at goal, what was he supposed to do? FLY?

Therefore one is most perturbed when, in the post match discussions, all our esteemed analysts (particularly former players) are quick to say that a goalless draw implied a reduction in quality – “as compared to what we used to do back in our days” they said.  It is yet another “us and them” debate which I don’t think SA football needs.  The stats are saying after 40 plus years of clashes between the two teams, 147 encounters 43 draws, whether it is uncomfortable to accept it or not; draws were there. In the days of Stanley Tshabalala, Amos Mukhari and Jan Letshaba draws were there. In the days of Jerry Skhosana, Mark Fish and John Moshoeu draws were there.  So to be honest I cannot understand where this claptrap comes from. 

The bottom line is there are three moments in football defence, offence and transition.  For those of us who enjoy football in totality, all three moments interest us immensely.  Defence is also a tactic; Mourinho has won many tittles defending, and duly showered with endless accolades.  I find it despicable that people see the need to criticise it when it happens in our own backyard.  To all my compatriots who believe a football match is only about goals, I suggest that they stop watching the game and watch the News (they show goals).  Maybe then they will stop their undue criticism, as this is tantamount to a self infection of a venomous and incurable disease that will surely lead to our football’s demise; just like it did to Kwaito and Hip Hop.

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale                       


24/02/2013

Oscar - The HERO

In 1990, on the eve of the World Cup quarter final between host nation Italy and Argentina, Diego Maradona ended a press conference with this statement – “Fellow Neapolitans, remember this, for one day in a year these people (the Italians from the north parts) want your support. But for the rest of the year they call you Africans.”  The very next day, when he took the field dressed in the colours of the Argentine national team, the stadium in Napoli was split in half.  Right there, Diego Armando Maradona became a HERO. In that moment, Maradona did not become a HERO for more than his enchanting display of God given talent.  He did not become a HERO for his gutsy statement. 

He became a HERO simply because, the world needs HEROS.

Even before television, comic books turned Superman and Batman - imaginary super humans clad in capes, under pants and over sized boots into HEROS.  Why, because even then, the world needed HEROS!  A lot of things may have changed about the world since then, but that simple little fact has not changed.  The only difference is back when Shaka Zulu, Alexandra the Great and Napoleon Bonaparte fitted snugly in that classification box, HEROS were more mature and some could say, capable of dealing with this adoration with greater ease.  Perhaps, one could go a step further and say; it was far easier for them to be HEROS.  No camera stuck in their face 24/7, reporters and social media platforms commenting on anything from their performance to their outfits.

However, in 2013 a time where there are fewer wars to fight and violence is met with detestation.  A time where movies have stolen our ability to imagine things; many people look to sport for hero-worship.  Because when life is tough, bills are piling and the future is uncertain; it soothes the heart to look up and see a man throwing one leg before the other in relentless pursuit of a predetermined goal.  The image alone is enough to inspire us to push on. 

The idea of sports personalities being HERO’s isn’t new, although the world is a lot more complicated than the days when Babe Ruth swung a baseball bat.  Today with a few clicks of the mouse news spread worldwide almost instantaneously, while direct access to a sports personality via facebook and twitter has the ability to catapult an introverted soul into mega super-stardom.  And then, all of a sudden, a person who should only be celebrated for his ability to run, jump or climb now becomes revered as a role model; and also rewarded financially and otherwise for the attention he or she commands.  Never mind the fact this small group of people by virtue of their talent, are getting younger and younger by the day.    

Oscar Pistorius fell in that box. And on that fateful morning, when Reeva Steenkamp’s body lay there lifeless; with blood seeping through her wounds like a secret.  Oscar Pistorius’ name accrued a different meaning. 

Before then, he might have never imagined the kind of effect his public persona may have had around the world, but when news of your bail hearing over shadow the first Pope resignation in 600 years. I suspect somewhere amidst the commotion, that penny might have dropped.  The reality is, what happened last Valentine’s Day set-off the biggest story we have ever seen.  Bigger than OJ Simpson, bigger than the Rivonia trial, bigger than the Mbeki recall and Zuma rape trial put together. 

As the long-armed judicial mechanism grabs hold of the facts, and systematically interrogates the crevices of this dark cave called “The truth.” The world will find itself dealing with the telling reality that is, the true picture of Oscar Pistorius when the PR machine is turned off; just like we did with Tiger Woods, OJ Simpson, Lance Armstrong and Hansie Cronje.  As the flames that consume Reeva’s remains in ceremonious fulfilment of her final wish slowly die down, so will the “inspirational illumination” that is Oscar Pistorius’ image dim with every fall of the preceding judges’ hammer.           

Consequently, a bigger question begs our collective social attention.  In these days and days to come, where HEROS are bound to get younger, less mature and ill-prepared to deal with the rewards that come with this reverence. Is the world ready to deal with the truth about these young people we so admire?  Or better yet, are these HEROS ready to deal responsibly with this “love” we so profess?

Just a thought!

The tempest prognosticator, Themba A Dikgale

21/02/2013

WEEKEND REVIEW

This past weekend provided a good prospect of the season ahead. Let me start with Mamelodi Sundowns v Moroka Swallows clash. This is the type of match we have grown to respect and it didn’t disappoint. I think it’s mission accomplished on Swallows side as they have a high-score draw away, though they may feel that they should have bagged that one having led by 2 goals. I have a feeling that Sundowns left the pitch unhappier and more confused. I find Sundowns’ coach is very confusing considering that he played football at the highest level for a longtime. One of my reasons is: He fielded an unbalanced team (eg. Nyandoro in the last line of defence with Clayton Daniels and Wayne Arendse available?). This considering that he failed to beat Swallows anywhere last season. But maybe that is how he walloped Chiefs, by confusing the hell out of them, though Nyandoro was not in his last line of defence. My guess is: if he carries on like this, he will finish this season without a trophy and may have to ‘step up’ like he promised.  Moving on to Supersport United v Orlando Pirates. Both sides came into it cautiously with the view to clinch it, until a reckless tackle resulted in red card. Be that as it may, Supersport showed guts by successfully improvising. Gavin Hunt clearly had a plan not to lose again to Pirates & it worked. However, it is Pirates’ tactics that are concerning, or should I say lack of proper implementation thereof. Let me note that against Celtics in the quarter finals, Pirates showed similar signs. I am not sure if it is fatigue or lack of hunger but Pirates didn’t look like they wanted it enough. If this is how Pirates are going to play this season, then I’m afraid they might be kissed league championship goodbye. Never say die attitude alone can only take this far, maybe it is high time they plan more accurately and implement with a bit more diligence.  Mosala Marumo

15/01/2013

 

FACT OR FICTION – THE CONGENOITAL EFFECTS OF AFRO PERCIMISM  

 

In the public discourse there are concepts used to describe ideas which are esteemed at any time for their acceptability, and therefore accrue a term that emphasizes this predictability.  These ideas are referred to as conventional wisdom. 

 

I know, that sound wordy.  But simply put – conventional wisdom is that idea that everybody refers to as truth, even though on closer inspections the facts prove the converse.  But since it is referred to so repeatedly in the public discourse, it is generally accepted as the truth.  

 

For example, for Bafana Bafana to do well in the AFCON, we need to select a squad of South African players plying their trade in Europe.  FACT – the last time a team with a high European based contingent that won the AFCON was in Cameron in 2002.  Since then, squads that have won the AFCON have all had a higher number of home based players or at least made it their business to pursue a healthy mix. Tunisia in 2004, the Pharaohs’ domination from 2006 to 2010, and the Chipolopo’s Equatorial Guinea mission of 2012 we crafted and executed by squads so constructed.  In fact, it was the very same teams laden with European based players which were ejected by countries who pursued this approach.  The Ivory Coast exist of the 2012 and 2013 tournaments comes to mind.  Therefore, one wonders if the idea of Europe based players helping Bafana Bafana really holds water, or if it is simply conventional wisdom.

 

Another example of conventional wisdom is the idea that the AFCON tournament is about football.  Fact is, the AFCON tournament is about a lot more than that.   If you consider the impact that winning this tournament had on the infantile democracy that is South Africa in 1996, and the ceremonial significance of Zambia winning the AFCON in Equatorial Guinea; and then juxtapose that with an Egyptian national team charged with the responsibility of performing well in the tournament in an effort to restore the country’s confidence in its leadership against the backdrop of a bubbling Arab Spring.  If you consider the desperate attempt Keita and his men to perform well knowing very well that lifting the trophy in South Africa can mean the difference between life and death in a country ravaged by civil unrest. 

 

With that in mind, consider a Stephen Keshi who in all probability went into his quarterfinal with a desire to settle a score with the Malian FA who fired him after helping them qualify for a major tournament. Over and above that being of Nigerian lineage, it is not that difficult to imagine that part of the task the Super Eagles were sent to achieve was to settle a long held speculative argument that the only reason that Bafana Bafana won the tournament in 1996, was because Nigeria did not participate. 

 

If you consider these, if you really apply your mind to these issues, you can clearly see that the idea that the AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS is about football, it is indeed a tournament that goes beyond life and death.  

 

The idea that Stephen Keshi’s resignation as Nigeria coach was about him wanting to leave the national team on a high note, or that he wanted to settle a dispute between himself and the Nigerian Football Federation is another case in point of conventional wisdom.  It is about something bigger than that.  It is an act aiming to deal with the malevolent tendency that embodies the treatment of Africans by other Africans; even beyond the limits of chalk that marks the grass on a football pitch. It is a practice that chips away at the African Dream like the diligent swing of a lumber jack, a malignant cancer that permeates our every social being – the practice of self castigation and disrespect. 

 

What Stephen Keshi did, was not just for him and for Nigerians, it was for all Africans. Although his resignation was rescinded, after the smoking of a proverbial peace pipe, the meaning of the gesture can only have a lasting effect if you and I seek to capture it in our social discourse.

 

For an example, If a set piece is converted, don’t spend the week lamenting the goalkeeper’s positioning; congratulate the taker – in the same you would have, had it been a Lionel Messi taken free kick.  If a striker misses a goal scoring opportunity, before throwing your hands on your head in apparent disgust at the poor South African attacking prowess.  Take a moment to watch the action replay, as it is often the case, you will probably find excellent defensive execution – which would have turned a sure chance into half a chance.

 

If we all take the time to observe, appreciate and congratulate one another as Africans we will soon realise that a major portion of the consternation surrounding our situation is a product of that deceptive logic called conventional wisdom.  Maybe then, just maybe Stephen Keshi’s single handed passive aggressive move will not have been in vain.                  

 

 The tempest prognosticator; Themba A. Dikgale

 

10/01/2013

IS IT BECAUSE IT IS ONLY AFCON? HOW DO WE VALUE OURSELVES AS AFRICANS?

Some of the visionary leaders of Africa have always maintained that Africa’s problems should be solved by Africa herself, they have continuously tried to keep the rest of the world (especially the western world) at Bay. This resolution – of Africa solving her own problems – is influenced by the renewed belief that Africa can overcome poverty, ill-health, civil wars and corruption and emerge to become one of the influential continents in the world. Adding to that is the emergence of China, as a super power, which proved to the developing world that once they do things their own way, without relying on the hand-outs, they also can emerge to be strong and truly independent. But, what’s the difference between China and Africa?

In my mother toungue – Setswana – there is a phrase “ngakagaetlotlwemogaabo”, loosely translating into “a healer does not get recognised by his own”. I have watched with awe and concern the developments of the AFCON 2013 in South Africa. I have contrasted, rightly or wrongly so, those developments with those of the World Cup 2010 here at home. Granted, these are two different competitions however I believe that when a road is paved, it is paved for any motor vehicle, regardless of the size or make, same as when a stadium is built; it is built to host a match of any standard.
The excitement of the AFCON in SA hasn’t been anywherenear that of 1996 or perhaps anywhere near that of the world cup 2010. The lack of “vava-voom” has automatically somehow degraded the tournament before it even begins. This lack of excitement has been experienced from all parties concerned, from the fans, the media, government and corporates at large.

I have watched with concern as I asked myself time and again, how we value ourselves as Africans. I have wondered why there were so many problems with attaining tickets, as we know; people attend football games every week in the country, why should it be difficult for them to attain tickets at this point? Was there no easier way of attaining tickets? Why would it seem more difficult to attain tickets for the African tournament than it was for the world cup? I have observed with awe as the LOC claim to have only received the funds from government in late December 2012 and could not market the tournament. Why did the government take so long to release the funds as compared to their swift reaction during the world cup? Why? Is it because it is only AFCON? How do we value ourselves as Africans?

I have watched with great concern as the media offered mediocre promotion of the tournament. I have watched how poor the creative is opposed to that of the world cup. I have observed how no effort was made to unite the nation as we host our fellow Africans. I have observed how we fail to return the “feel it, it is here” spirit; how we fail to return the “football Fridays”. Why not? Is it because it is only AFCON? How do we value ourselves as Africans?

I have observed how corporates lack interest in this tournament, how they don’t run competitions for fans to win tickets, the same corporates that will run competitions for fans to go watch Manchester United or EURO Cup? I have observed how we would take a friendly against Norway to Cape Town (the same place that refused to host the AFCON), for who or what? I have wondered all along, where are those flags in restaurants and bars, where are those mirror covers? What happened to schools adopting a nation? Why not, is it because it is only AFCON? How do we value ourselves as Africans?

South Africa, as one of the leading nations in the continent, carries the responsibility of leading Africa into a new dispensation. South Africa is supposed to take AFCON to the level of the EURO’s and other international tournaments. We should give the same energy to Africa as we do to the rest of the world. We should please our fellow Africans as we please the Americans and Europeans. We should host them with the same love that we host west. We have the platform to promote this tournament, to make it huge, a big success, to make noise about Africa, to showcase (for a change) the beauty of Africa, to give hope to the continent, to the young stars that will be competing, we have that opportunity to love Africa just as much (if not more) as we love and please the west. Why not? Is it because it is only AFCON? How do we value ourselves as Africans?

“For Africa to me... is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.” Maya Angelou

Brian Basiame Letsogo

07/12/2012

 

Mamelodi Sundowns FC vs. Chelsea FC

 

Mamelodi Chelsea!  No wait. Is it Chelsea Sundowns?  Am I getting confused?

 

Well on the balance of facts one can understand why I can get confused.  The two clubs are both owned by millionaires who made their money in mining – Roman Abramovich vs Patrice Motsepe.  They both won the championship with a former player at the helm - Roberto di Mateo vs. Neil Tovey.   In the last year, they both had former players on the bench as assistant coaches - Eddie Newton vs. Herold Legodi. They both made headlines for their unusual habit of firing head coaches at a whim - Chelsea FC 9 coaches since 2004 and Mamelodi Sundowns FC 14 coaches since 2004.  They both have supporters who have no qualms in coming to the stadium just to let everybody know their misgivings about the coach - Johan Neeskens and Rafa Benitez can provide testament to that.

 

Perhaps the biggest similarity between the two clubs is their ability to achieve success, despite the unorthodox methodology they apply in the navigation of the challenging milieu of the Premiership football.  From nine coaches in eight seasons Chelsea FC has four FA cups, a UEFA Champion’s league title and two Premier League Championships to show for it. And despite, their drought in recent seasons,   Mamelodi Sundowns still remains the club with the most championship titles since the inception of the PSL (5).  It is very difficult to argue that both clubs’ strategic approach does not work, albeit convoluted. 

 

In the same breath, one could say that it is because of this very success that both these clubs seem to have high standards, what with Chelsea and Roberto Di Mateo’s parting of ways.  One would hardly think it justified after Di Mateo delivered and FA Cup and UEFA Champion’s league trophy.  If you set aside the current league position and consider for a moment the torrid time Mamelodi Sundowns have had in recent seasons (by their standards).  Johan Neeskens remain the most successful coach at Mamelodi Sundowns FC in five seasons; this after having managed to actually play two Cup finals in the last seven months.  Anywhere else this would be considered an impressive turnaround when viewed against the backdrop of taking over the reins at club where the best thing achieved was a 2nd place finish under Hristo Stoichkov.  And the last Cup final played dated back all the way to 2008 Nedbank Cup.  Yet today, Hristo Stoichkov and Johan Neeskens are gone!

 

So as Pitso Mosimane settles in as head coach at Chloorkop, one cannot help but imagine who would be more elated between Teko Tsholofelo Modise and Katlego Abel Mphela?  Or better yet, could it be that Fernando José Torres is dancing on tables in the Chelsea FC club house at the prospect of Rafa Benitez’s leadership?

 

I ask again, is it Mamelodi Chelsea or Chelsea Sundowns!  Help me please, I get confused.

 

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A. Dikgale

 

14/11/2012

 

FROM COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD TO THOMAS MADIGAGE AWARD

 

The eleventh chapter in the book of Hebrews describes Faith as the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  This is somewhat different to religion; for Religion is a collection of belief systems and world views that relate humanity to particular values.  The practice of a religion is largely personified in ceremonies and rituals, which when performed; they serve to remind us of specific values which resonate with the behavioural system fostered by the religion itself.  

 

Okay, that sounds like claptrap. If I had to tone it down, I could do so by use of the following examples.

 

Muslims are taught to wash their bodies before reading the Qur'an. This ritual is derived from the Islamic belief that – cleanliness is half of faith.  When they perform this practice, Muslims are reminded of the idea that when one presents himself to GOD he needs not only be physically clean, but of be clean conscience as well.  If you consider that Islam requires a Muslim to read the Qur'an five times a day, the idea of treating others in a way that allows them to be of clean conscience is fundamental to the Muslim’s belief system and is embodied in the daily ritual of wudu.

 

Christians break bread and take a sip of wine in a ritual of Holy Communion to commemorate the death of Jesus.  They observe the body and blood of Christ sacrificed for the forgiveness of their sins.   In this ceremony, values relating forgiveness and self-sacrifice for the good of others are embodied in order to forester a behavioural system engendered within Christian outlook.

 

So what does this have to do with football?

 

The process of creating rituals, ceremonies and commemorations of previous people and events is the key to relating any group of people to particular set of values which cultivate a desired behavioural system.  Therefore it could be said that choosing to forget that Ellis Park disaster ever happened was a big opportunity missed by South African football.  For if ceremonies were established to commemorate this tragic event, a defined set of values regarding spectator conduct, spectator appreciation for sportsmanship etc could be embodied to engender the desired behavioural system within the fandom psyche of South Africa. 

 

The passing of Thomas Madigage is yet another such opportunity.  This is a figure in the football industry that was respected for his playing excellence, and coaching talent. A man who served the game at all levels with expeditious diligence and meticulousness execution. A man who not only served football but served his fellow man through his structured programmes to facilitate his generous spirit. 

 

Naming the Coach of the Year Award after Thomas Madigage Award will not only be an apt celebration of his life on the part of the PSL.  But it would be the start of a new ritual, from which the indispensable values of exemplary leadership by an organisational head can be fostered and engendered in a lighthouse industry which captures the imagination of a nation young and old.  It would be just the type of act that is correctly pitched at not only reminding us of the loss of this gifted man, but the things that he stood for in terms of selflessness service to his fellow man.  Like Christians and Muslims this is an opportunity to establish a ritual that embodies values that our society cannot do without; this is an occasion we cannot allow ourselves to forego.

 

Just a thought!

 

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale.


30/10/2012

 

AFCON 2013 DRAW - The SADC LULLABY 
 

The second half of the first round in the PSL is quite a difficult run-in.  Because match 9 to 15 is the period in which clubs finally get players who came thought the transfer window fit and accustomed to the system used in their new found homes.  It is in this phase that the PSL gets even more unpredictable, points get dropped easily and log leaders fall by the way side at the blink of an eye (as we have seen in the past).

 

For that reason Kaiser Chiefs FC’s (KCFC) loss to Bivest Wits FC (BWFC) in the Telkom Knock-Out must be a blessing in disguise.   As progression in this tournament would mean KCFC would have had to juggle an additional 4 cup fixtures over and above the 7 PSL fixtures (which include a Soweto Derby against Orlando Pirates FC).  They would have needed to do so without Jumbo, without Gould, without Gaxa, without Tau, without Mathoho; all the while managing a possible 6 Bafana Bafana call-ups as the national team prepares for AFCON 2013. 

 

So, as the referee blew the whistle three times to signal the end of the KCFC match against BWFC, I could not help but imagine Gordon George Igesund dressed in American Indian attire doing a rain dance in the SAFA offices – asking the football gods for a Kaiser Chiefs loss.  Because let’s face it, that loss did make his job a lot easier when it comes to the resting of key players in the Bafana Bafana set up.

 

One could expect that for the Bafana boss, the planning for the imminent tournament would have become clearer in his mind after CAF finalised the group draw on Wednesday last.  Morocco, Cape Verde and Angola are the teams drawn against South Africa in what most describe as a favourable draw for the host nation.  This an opinion based on conventional wisdom that says previous results have a bearing on the outcomes of the tournament.  Having played both Morocco and Angola three times each, Bafana Bafana is yet to lose to either one of these two countries.  Furthermore, as debutants to the tournament Cape Verde are ostensibly perceived as the group’s whipping boys.  However, it is important to note that the bulk of the South African national team has no AFCON experience having failed to qualify for the last two tournaments.  And even though one could say, there are at least six players with FIFA World Cup experience in the Bafana BAfana set up, but we all know that the AFCON is completely different cattle of fish.  It should also be noted that Cape Verde though appearing for the first time in the tournament, the eliminated Cameroon, and Egypt and are ranked tenth in Africa.  They may not have pedigree but they are a dark horse nonetheless.

 

Zambia comes into this tournament as defending champions, and while South Africa had fingers crossed to avoid Nigeria and Niger. Zambia ended up with Nigeria in the same group.  Bearing in mind that the last time Zambia beat Nigeria was in a three goal thriller back 1982, Chipolopolo would do well do approach this game with some cautious trepidation.  Furthermore, Zambia is also drawn against another country which is known for expeditiously executing their mandate without much ululation - namely Burkina Faso.

 

All in all, this draw has the potential of lulling SADC countries into a false sense of security.  If you think about it, South Africa and Angola run the risk of eliminating each other, while Bwala’a men might be ambushed by Burkina Faso after a historically near impossible fixture against Nigeria.  Or it very well could be that, to be the best you need to beat the best.  We will all have to wait and see.

 

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale   

26/10/2012

2013 AFCON

South Africa has been drawn with Cape Verde; Angola and Morocco. This has brought joy to the South Africans. No one considers Cape Verde as a threat to group A. Cape Verde has a team which has been playing together for some time and they managed to qualify with flying colours. They are not coming here by mistake. South Africa has not yet consolidated a final team to compete in the coming tournament. It is possible that Cape Verde can be here as party spoilers for group A.  To everyone came Jan 19 2013 anything is possible. Sannyboy, Phitshane  

22/10/2012

TRIBUTE TO THOMAS MADIGAGE

All who knew Thomas Madigage, knew him as an excellent tactical footballer but privileged are those who knew him personally. They knew him as a remarkable human being – an example perhaps of how amiable footballers should be. Send your tributes here; mythoughts@oshebeng.co.za

Meanwhile for Madigage’s football montage, visit http://www.motswedingfm.co.za/

THE TRIBUTE TO THOMAS MADIGAGE

 

If you stay on WF Nkomo from the CBD in Pretoria and go west past Bosman, past Kgosi Mampuru, past E’skia Mphahlele; if you stay on it for eleven kilometres or so you should find Atteridgeville on your left. 

 

Atteridgeville – the small 1936 established township, which has since exploded in its expansion that it now flirts with the North West Provincial lines.  Back when it was still a place buzzing with the enthusiastic anticipation of greater things, without the persuasion of such novelties as community newspapers and community radio, young men and women could still become revered household names, celebrated for their talent. 

 

In those days three to five thousand people descending on Supa Stadium (now Lucas Moripe Stadium) on a Wednesday afternoon to watch a clash between two high schools was not unusual.  We didn’t know who these people would one day become, but we knew they were talented.  Whether it was Aubrey Lekoane for Hofmeyer High, or Bazil Gwangwa for Saulsridge Secondary, Ewe Khambule for Phelindaba High, or Brian Nyezi, Mandla Mabena, David Notoane, Raymond Seopa the talent was galore. 

 

Thomas Madigage was a part of that glorious generation.  I make mention of his name separately particularly because his was a distinctive name; in many ways an ENIGMA. It is a name that everybody who wants to claim football playing credentials use to validate importance in their football opinion.  People say “I used to play alongside Tommy at Banthala FC, or Hans FC, or African Wanderes FC etc.”  Even if it is plain as day that the person was too old to be in the same age group as Thomas Madigage, but still they claim.  Even if it is just plain lying, still they will claim. For they think mentioning their own name in the same sentence as this man’s was proof enough of a talent that once was.  Such is the magnitude of the respect people have for that name. 

 

For the record, Thomas Madigage played for Atlanta Callies under Nick Chauke before moving to Arcadia Sheppard’s where he was spotted for Jomo Cosmos by Roy Matthews.  

 

His was a soft temperament, ostensibly stern yet deceptively side-splitting.  My first interaction with him was in Standard 4 at Patogeng Higher Primary School.  It was on the eve of Bra Tommy’s departure to Scotland, and our Sports Master Mr Choma, asked him to speak to us as an alumnus.  On that day, he said the obvious things – education is the key, listen to your parent’s etc. But he also said something which has since stayed with me till this day (some 23 years later). 

 

He said, “Try your best at everything you do!  Don’t hold back to try and do better the next time!”

 

If I look back, he really practiced what he preached.  Although his career was cut short by his unfortunate injuries, but the time he played, he gave his all.  A Mamelodi Sundowns vs. Jomo Cosmos fixture was always chalk a block at Supa Stadium, because we all knew it was a titans’ clash between Samuel “Ewe” Khambule and Thomas “Chencha Guluva” Madigage on the left.  At a time when English teams avoided signing black players, let alone Africans, Manchester United and Manchester City were trying to pull strings to make “the new Pelé” acquisition a possibility.  People forget that even though he was younger than the Ronnie Zondies and Christopher Bongo’s of this world, he was the then Pretoria City captain who led the team to a Bob Save Super bowl win; thus becoming the only club to win the SA version of the FA Cup while playing in the National First Division.  He also lead the team to a PSL promotion later that year with Pretoria City (later to be renamed Super Sport United FC) joining the big league already qualified to compete in a continental championship.  The only other team to do that was Black Leopards FC and that was on a technicality.  As an ex-FC Zürich player returning home, he did his best for Super Sport United.  He did not wait to do better when he joined the PSL; he gave his best every day.

 

No one can forget that, he was part of the six cup final in a row coaching team combination with Pitso John Mosimane at Super Sport United; which some could argue was the character building process which led to a the three championship in a row winning side under Gavin Hunt (of which Bra Tommy  was a part).  He did not wait to become a head coach to give his all; he gave his best every day.  This was why even though there are many assistant coaches in all the teams, but none are as respected for their roles as assistant coaches as Thomas Madigage is.

 

While he still had a lot to give as a player, his career was cut short by his injuries.  None of us can complain for while he could, he served the game well.  While we were still expecting to see more from him as an assistant coach for Bafana Bafana or even Head coach somewhere, fate had other plans.  But none of us can complain, for he served the game well.   And as we all prepare to for his final send off, it is important to acknowledge that Football has lost a gifted servant, Bafana Bafana has lost a talisman and the country has lost a son. But amidst it all, it is even more critical to remember that while he could, he gave his best.  All in all he served the game well.

   

Robala ka kgotso Mokgalabe!

 

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale


18/10/2012

 

100 DAYS OF BAFANA

 

It would appear, to me at least, that in South Africa we first decide whether or not we like an individual; and then only do we make up our minds about the way he executes his mandate as a coach.  The first 100 days of Gordon George Igesund’s time as head coach of Bafana Bafana is a prime example of that.

 

Upon appointment, the coach made some bold statements about, not selecting favourites, selecting players on the basis of form and nothing else, playing more offensive football, players earning their place in the team etc. One may be forgiven for thinking those statements sound like a swipe at the previous regime, considering that the statements address the exact issues for which the previous coach was ejected. Or, by some long shot, that this is indeed what the coach really believes. 

 

However, consistent with my statement above, none of these declarations were met with criticism.

But anyway, I digress.

 

Physiologist Herbert Gasser (1888 –1963) and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (1944) once shared some words of wisdom which I think everyone should do well to remember at a time like this.

 

“We may always forget the times of distress, but we should never forget what they taught us.”

 

While many may shelve time under Pitso John Mosimane as a time of distress, we should never forget what it taught us.  Under his leadership, Bafana Bafana was good at keeping possession but progressively better at defence.  Under him the first and second thirds of the pitch were sorted. All Gordon George Igesund inherited was a team that could defend and absorb tones of pressure but struggled to score. If I may ask, what do we have today? We have a team that although manages to score goals, it is also looking progressively shaky in defence.

 

My goodness! I don’t think I have seen our goalkeepers having to work this hard to keep us in the game.

 

Although French author Andre Gide (1869 – 1951) said “a man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”  It is important to remember that strikers win you matches, but defence wins you tournaments (Gavin John Hunt 1964-).  Therefore, in reaching the moon, we should not fail to see the flowers that blossom at our feet (Albert Schweitzer 1875 – 1965).  We should not seek to find new names for sake of avoiding the eminent accusation of using the previous coach’s favourites.  The defensive pack is there; the transitional pack is there, tried and tested.  Just fix the attack and profit from the possession.  We have two months left before AFCON 2013.   We don’t have time to be testing players; we have enough time to test players in the 16 months leading up FIFA World Cup 2014.

 

Poet and artist Khalil Gibran (1883 – 1931) once said: “Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream” The images of Bafana Bafana dancing in Nelspruit are carved in our collective memory as merciless reminder of our hapless march in the corridors of under-achievement today; and winning the AFCON 2013 is but tomorrow’s dream.    Even though that is the case we should not lose sight of the fact that the whole point of replacing a South African with another was so that we could have continuity. 

 

So I ask with tears in my eyes, where is this continuity, when it would appear we are starting from scratch.

 

The tempest prognosticatorThemba A Dikgale 
 

04/10/2012

 

BAFANA BAFANA THE TWO FACED MONSTER

 

When we were little boys, one of the easiest ways to deal with the long walk from school, was to engage in a debate on who could win the fight between Chuck Norris and BA Barracus;  Bruce Lee and John Rambo or Superman and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Whoever was featured in the match up, the debate would be tumultuous, emotionally charged and highly energised; composite variables juxtaposed and analysed in a veiled effort to ignore the pounding heat of the scotching sun. 

 

In many respects, the discussions around the Bafana Bafana squad selection are a lot like that.  Once the coach makes his announcement, like moths to the dancing flame of a lit candle, analysts, journalists, commentators, Sunday coaches, Monday coaches and couch potatoes alike; all flock to social media, radio talk shows, sound bites, shebeen tables and street corners to ensure that our opinions and observations do not go unheard.   Composite variables are juxtaposed and analysed to express who plays where, who’s form is good, who deserves to be there, who doesn’t deserve to be there and who could be doing a job better for us there. 

 

This expected phenomenon is further detonated to a whole new scale as soon as one of the overseas based players makes the announcement that he chooses his club over country;  even more so if such a player is the captain of Bafana Bafana. 

 

Not wanting to spend time on the politics, this is what I want to ask South Africa. 

 

Given the response we have heard about Steven Pienaar’s decision, are we not being two-faced about the value of our patriotic service to the nation? Are we not lost as to what exactly do we mean when we talk patriotism?  By that I mean, are we not selling the Bafana Bafana jersey too cheaply?

 

The reason why I ask this question is this. Steven Pienaar says he retires from Bafana Bafana – acrimonious out roar! 

 

But this is the same nation that is happy to give the same green and yellow jersey “we so treasure”, to a player who SETTLED for Bafana because Portugal did not select him.  After he represented Portugal at under-17 and under-18 levels, you have to ask yourself, would Ricardo Nunes have said NO to Portugal had they opted to call him up for their first team?  I suppose since Portugal never called him, we will never know.

 

Why is it a problem when Steven Pienaar retires to focus on his club Everton FC?  But it is OK when Davide Somma goes into a press conference and says – he wants to beat USA because he wanted to play for them and they did not want to select him? 

 

Why is it OK for us to select players who opt to play for South Africa because the countries they wanted to play for snubbed them?  If patriotism is so important to us, we should be selecting players who actually want to play for South Africa, not settling for the green and gold as an opportunity to play at international level. 

 

I suppose, Giuseppe Rossi did this to USA when he chose to play for Italy, and Anderson Luís de Souza commonly known as Deco made a similar choice when he played for Portugal because Brazil would not have him.  The same could be said about Kevin-Prince Boateng when he opted to make himself available to play for Ghana, after Germany got rid of him (due to incidents that happened in the junior team's camp during the June 2007).  In all fairness, one could argue that this sort of thing happens all over the world.  When players make the choice based on the options available.  But as a nation, when we brush over these things, are we not being two-faced? Are we not saying one thing about Pienaar but doing something completely opposite with Nunes, Somma or everybody else that might come along.   

 

These are the questions we need to ask ourselves when we begin to talk PATRIOTISM. 

 

PS. Remember when the Minister Fikile Mbalula was doing that brilliant selling job about the return of the SPORTS AWARDS, he was using Steven Pienaar as an example of an selfless citizen who has never said NO to a call up. I wonder what his take is on the man now.

 

The Tempest Prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale

IGESUND CONFIDENT OF AFCON VICTORY

 

Bafana coach, Gordon Igesund believes his charges are good enough to lift 2013 AFCON trophy the team last won when hosting in 1996. The team has been taking a step back with every tournament since then. They failed to qualify for the last two tournaments and embarrassed themselves by dancing thinking they have qualified in 2012 edition only for their bubble to bust after being told they misinterpreted the qualification rules. Do we have enough to conquer Africa? Your thoughts on mythoughts@oshebeng.co.za



NFD MUTINY AGAINST THE PSL

 

Almost six weeks since the 2012/2013 season has started, the National First Division are yet to kick a ball. Only Roses United from Bloemfontein has so far honoured two of their rearranged fixtures. Only for John Tlale’s team to find opponents nowhere to be found –every time. Exactly what is going on? Those in the know seem to be very economical with the truth. How should we understand this exercise of democratic right, which at best could be described as mutiny? What do you think is going on? Send your comments to mythoughts@oshebeng.co.za 

25/09/2012

 

National First Division - I want to break free. 

 

An Income Statement tells tale of monetary consolidation; in which a business evaluates how much it cost them to earn its proceeds.  The difference between the cost and revenue is what business calls PROFITS. 

 

A Balance Sheet on the other hand is a report which summarizes an organization’s assets, equity and liabilities, in a way that describes the manner in which an investor’s capital was employed by way of assets in order to generate the PROFITS. 

 

The intersection of these two documents is a complex list of computation called the FINANCIAL RATIOS.  And these ratios are simply designed to answer the question – “is this business worth the effort?”   

 

It does not matter whether one understands the above business rigmarole or not, the reality is that basic arithmetic teaches us that zero divided by zero remains zero.  Therefore, if the business does not generate enough revenue to create profits, irrespective of the size of the assets invested, the return will remain zero.  And any investor who finds himself in this situation will instantaneously voice their concern in a disgruntled rendition of the Rolling Stones’ - I can't get no satisfaction.

 

We’ve long made mention of the change in cost structure for clubs in the National First Division (ref: A professional football career is a blessing or a curse? 22/06/2012).  And given the grievances articulated by the club owners regarding the apparent injustices in income distribution within the PSL, the current strike comes as no surprise.  It is a revolutionary act of self-actualisation made by a business people who have long been asking themselves if this whole thing is worth their time or are they just being taken for a ride on Professor’s car (imoto etshontsha imali).

 

Having said that, it should also be said that Roses United’s stance on this matter is correct; because as soon as the articulation of the objection includes anything that says – “we have long been saying that...”  Then it is to be accepted that Roses United’s are automatically excluded.  For when these lies were told, promises broken and opinions disregarded, Roses United were not there.  Therefore, participating in this strike would be disingenuous to the course, than simply honouring their fixtures would be.

 

That being said, it is my firm belief that this strike is a lot like going to the dentist; uncomfortable but necessary.  It is uncomfortable because, as a football fan, this strike means that football suffers. No games are played, players loose fitness, and fans are left in limbo.  But economically, this is the only way the football industry can grow. When clubs are allowed to employ their capital effectively, turn their assets efficiently and optimise their returns.  Because only then can they reinvest their profits for the betterment and growth of their businesses, thus making a bigger contribution to the country’s GDP. 

 

Therefore, as football fans, rather than sitting idly lamenting the unattended fixtures all the while singing – Senzeni na? It would be better for football if we join the NFD clubs in a thunderous chorus of British Band, Queen - I want to break free. 

 

The tempest prognosticator;  Themba A Dikgale


23/09/2012

Rodger De Sa joins Orlando Pirates FC – praise for the fallen shadow

When the season starts in the PSL, or any other league for that matter, you expect coaches to be dismissed from the clubs they served in the previous season. It does not matter if it happens quietly like it was with ODG (Owen da Gama) at Platinum Stars or ends in a runt like Vladislav Heric’s exit from Black Leopards. As sure as the sun will rise, we all know that this is something that is going to happen. Having said that, on the eve of the 2012/2013 season kick-off, the most shocking dismissal for me, was that of Rodger De Sa from Bidvest Wits.

However, true to the Maori proverb that says when you turn your face to the sun then your shadow falls behind you. Rodger De Sa’s went from being hailed a brilliant football manager on the “Chairman’s Chair” interview with Robert Marawa alongside Graeme Joffe, to being fired a month later by the same man and being unemployed for a few weeks. And when things looked bleak he turned to the sun and managed to reel in one of the biggest jobs in the South African Football industry; the head coach of the double treble winners’ ensemble of 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 seasons, Orlando Pirates FC (OPFC).  Without question, as the shadow falls behind him, Rodger De Sa’s twelve year coaching career looked poised for an exciting time.

Or is it?

There is no question that his appointment at Orlando Pirates FC is an amazing step for South African football.  This is so for three reasons.  Firstly, having a South African at the helm at a big club like Orlando Pirates FC is always brilliant for South African football. Especially if the appointment of such a coach is not just a symbolic gesture; but an appointment of a man who has really paid his dues.  This is a man who has coached in this league almost as long as this league has been around.  Secondly, Orlando Pirates are also getting a coach who is vastly experienced after the work done over the last five years at Bivest Wits building a successful development academy.  Lastly, they are getting a coach who has played against this OPFC team on a number of occasions over the last what five seasons. And logic dictates that De Sa shouldn’t really struggle to adapt to the clubs newly established winning formula.

Nonetheless, there are a few challenges to the success of this appointment for him and for the club itself. I shan’t talk about the obvious issue with Bennie McCarthy. – e ya madoda imhamb’iphele (meaning: conflict between men eventually dies down)!

But when you take over a club that has won two trebles back to back, it is inevitable that you will be evaluated on that basis. So in the eyes of the average OPFC fan, even if he wins the league or a trophy this season, if it is not a treble; he could be deemed a failure.  Secondly, there is the burning issue of participating in the African Champions League, as a coach De Sa does not really have much experience travelling Africa.  If that is part of his mandate, it could prove a bridge to far. Lastly, De Sa has had fantastic results moulding young, impressionable players into mature professionals when they come into their own.  Josta Dladla is one such fine example of that.  However working with a mixture of young, maturing and very mature players may very well present a completely different challenge. This challenge may very well be further exacerbated by his fiery temper which may easily unsettle the team, as the older players raise their concerns for being spoken to in a disrespectful way.  We have seen a similar thing with VV at Kaizer Chiefs FC last season. Therefore, one shudders to think of the possibility of such a fate befalling such a buoyant, mature and well put together team as OPFC.

Be that as it may, the man has faced the sun and the shadow has fallen behind him, as he takes firm strides to write another exciting chapter in his career.  And while all of this unfolds, spare a thought for Agusto Palacious.  The man has had a shot at the biggest jobs in SA football Kaiser Chiefs FC, Mamelodi Sundowns FC, Bafana Bafana and alas he bows out of this Orlando Pirates FC opportunity without a thing he can lay a claim to.  The history books will have him in charge of Orlando Pirates FC’s second treble, but there is only one way a coach can win the treble and not receive a nomination for “Coach of the Year.”

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale.

13/09/2012

GOD BLESS TEAM SOUTH AFRICA LONDON 2012

I am not a clever man. All I am is a person who knows how to use excel, and know a bit about plugging in a specific number in a specific spreadsheet; to facilitate the computation of a decided formula. If you give me half a chance, I might leave you mesmerized, as I wax lyrical explaining the meaning of whatever it is the

25/08/2012

BAFANA COACH

I believe the appointment of Gordon Igesund as Bafana Bafana coach is an appropriate one. No disrespect to other candidates but the man has been around and has proved his worth with consistency over a long period. When Pitso was appointed, I was one of those who disagreed with his appointment, even chatting to you on Mamepe. This was mainly due to lack of maturity and ill-discipline on his part. This time around as a football-loving fan, I say “all the best COACH”. Thank you SAFA for finally making the correct appointment in a long time. Mosala Marumo

08/08/2012

I just want to highlight some of the highlights of the game between Chiefs and Downs. I think  with the back line that they have other 17 teams will struggle to score against them but I was surprised to see the score line and how the goals were scored against Mathoho, Gould, Pa and Khune.  I think it is a wakeup call for our national Coach not to consider that partnership, as we will not accept to concede goals like that. For now, it seems as another national team property is on the way to aturena and it will only takes a wise man to make a decision. People are still saying they beat Bafana Bafana on Sunday and the Pirates Penalty was not supposed to be given, as they know they will face Mbuyane show in the final of the MTN.
Do not be surprised to see E Van Heerden on Chiefs colours is because Mr Baxter knows him as an asset of the national team at his era. I was so impressed with the partnership of Sangweni and Kekana but I am not on their side. My team is Up The Bucs not because they are winning because I had loved the team since I was still a young boy as my brother was Called Chippa Chauke. I ask myself who is Chippa and I found him in the pirates’ colours and I turn my back against Chiefs, Swallows, and Downs
Let the game begin; Section Mokobane

06/08/2012

LONDON 2012 GAMES – the penny drops.

I once saw an interview on the Tonight show with David Michael Letterman about the book titled “A hand guide to me” on the life story of Denzel Washington; in which a salient point was made succinctly.  In the interview Denzel Washington related a story about an earlier time in his academic career where he sought the assistance of a former teacher for a testimonial to be included in his application dossier to some prestigious school in the USA.  In the letter the teacher wrote something to the effect that “…in my twenty years of teaching drama, I am yet to see a student with such talent.  I therefore humbly request that you accept Denzel Hayes Washington’s application to your school; and hope to God that your institution does have the teaching talent required to handle this child’s gift.” (For the record; Washington earned a B.A. in Drama and Journalism from Fordham University in 1977). 

Anyway, this statement has always lingered at the back on my mind as a major complement paid by a skilled professional to a talented protégé.  That’s all it was until last week’s antiques by one Chad Le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh in the London 2012 Olympic Games; when both swimmers made South Africa proud by bringing home two gold medals, one silver, an Olympic and World Record all rolled up in a week’s work.  Not only was this celebrated as a magnificent achievement all over South Africa, but it was also celebrated as a tremendous achievement of home-grown talent.  Or was it?

To me Denzel Washington’s recommendation letter avers an important aspect of talent management, which may very well have eluded us for many years.  And that is, while we tirelessly endeavour to put in place programmes of development to build the pool of talent to assist us in competing at the highest level.  Do we have the pool of gifted coaches to handle this talent that we so desperately seek to unearth?  Therefore, as we celebrate having produced two home-grown Olympic swimming champions for the first time in 20yrs, could it be that it has taken us just as long to produce coaches with enough skill and know-how to handle such talent as Chad Le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh?

Therefore, as we wave the flag to welcome athletes back home from the London 2012 Olympic Games, spare a thought for the talent that fall through the cracks because it may have fallen into the hands of coaches who just don’t know what to do with it.



18/07/2012

 

MANCHESTER UNITED VISITS TO SOUTH AFRICA AND A DYSFUCNTIONAL SOCIETY IS EXPOSED

 

Societies are created differently.  For example in April, 2012 the manager of the Miami Marlins (American baseball club) Ozzie Guillen inferred that he liked the Cuban President Fidel Castro’s leadership style.  A public backlash ensued, people protesting outside club offices, the man was almost fired.  He had to make a public apology, and suffered a five match suspension as a result.  In the USA, a statement such as that will get you fired.  In South Africa a statement such as that one is considered a demonstration of heightened political consciousness.  Why?  It’s because societies are created differently.

 

In England, you can shout derogatory racist slurs at a fellow competitor on the field of play; you will probably get away with a fine and a few match suspensions.  And then life will carry on like nothing happened (ala Luis Suárez and John Terry) Terry has just been exonerated by the court and there are those who are now calling for FA to take similar sanctions to Suarez.  But in South Africa, if you do something like this in a private conversation you can get fired (ala Andre Markgraaff). Why?  It’s because societies are created differently.

 

In Botswana, it is not unusual to see a Black man and an Indian man talking about the weather on a street corner, in pure Setswana. Because in Botswana it is not acceptable to call yourself Motswana, carry a Botswana passport and not speak Setswana. Like in Netherlands where you are expected to be fluent in Dutch to qualify to be a citizen if you are an expat. Ivorian international, Salomon Kalou would have qualified for them but failed Dutch exams. But in South Africa, you can walk into a meeting with three black people and one white person and immediately assume that it is OKAY to chair the meeting in English.  Why?  Because this is the society we have created.

 

Over the years, South Africans may have intended to create a society ideologically oblivious of racial differences; but methodically – and perhaps historically - went on to create a society that accommodates the craters that are the divisions created by systems of our past. This perhaps is the underlying fact that we are not homogenous society, however hard we may wish we were/are. As a result, after twenty years we still have unspoken rules which recognise some things reserved for other people and other things reserved for some.  It is for this precise reason that when Loftus Stadium is packed to the rafters for the celebrated enjoyment of a rugby match (at R350 a ticket mind you); the demographic make up of those attending does not match the greater demographics in our country. Just as much as the demographic make up of people who attend a football match at Orlando Stadium to watch the world renowned Soweto derby present a conspicuous absence of certain sectors of our population. 

 

In our infinite wisdom, we can argue that the reason is the uneven distribution of disposable income or lack of historic interest etc; but the reality is this is the society we have created.  Because the same person, who claims not to have a historic interest in South African football, happens to be the same person who could not help but trip over himself in an effort to buy tickets for a Manchester United match two weeks before the actual game. Or spend R100 000 on a table at a mayoral gala dinner, just because it is Manchester United on the bill.  This is the society we have created.

 

This is yet another example of the destructive venom of self contempt which permeates our every being as South Africans. For this type of expenditure comes from that section of the population which believes it is okay to lay out the coat for the Reds; while South African clubs are unworthy.  A behaviour veiled by vaguely fathomed arguments about the quality of our football; while we continue to incubate a malignant cancer in our national self esteem.  This is the society we have created.

 

So as thousands descend on Moses Mabida and Cape Town Stadium to watch Man United this week, please remember this.  It is not the economy that crafted the diabolical contradiction of stadiums hosting PSL matches standing empty, while Manchester United sells out two weeks before the event.  It is the challenges related to complex matters such as social cohesion, or the lack thereof.  Because in South Africa, it is okay to go about your life blissfully not wanting to learn the difference between Ntshingila and Ntshangase; all the while being proud of having an intimate knowledge of the difference between Scholes and Cole. 

 

Because, this is the society we have created.

 

The tempest prognosticator Themba A. Dikgale   



11/07/2012

 

2012 THE YEAR OF MIRRACLES – TOP TEN JAW DROPPERS OF THE YEAR

 

TEN Andy Murray – first English man to play a Wimbledon final in 74 years.  He is actually a Scotsman, but the English will claim him anyway.  In actual fact it is actually the first man who hails the Queen of England to achieve this.  Pandits were saying it’s his last chance, but in his acceptance speech Roger Federer indicated that Andy Murray will win Wimbledon in future. I guess only time will tell.

 

NINE LeBron James Finally got win his first NBA championship.  People have for many years been very critical of this man, given the amount of talent he has and his apparent inability to win anything.  But people forget that he has managed to win his first championship at the age of 28, and that is a year or so younger than when Michael Jordan won his first. And Jordan went on to win six of these things.

 

EIGHT Fernando Torres the first man ever to score twice in the Euro Championship Final.  He did this in 2008 when Spain won the tittle and managed to repeat his goal scoring ways in 2012 to seal the deal against Italy.  He also managed to create the fourth goal which was put away by Juan Matta in the final against Italy. He was credited with Golden Boot award, for managing to score 3 goals in the least amount of time spent on the pitch (which feels a little bit like rewarding mediocrity to me).

 

SEVEN Oscar Pistorius the first man ever to gain Olympic qualification for London 2012 to participate in the 200m and 400m track events against the able bodied and Paralympic. Need I say more?

 

SIX Vicente del Bosque Gonzalez the first man ever to win and defend the European Championship title. Thus giving birth to the debate; “is this Spanish team indeed the best national football team ever”?

 

FIVE Chelsea FC for their first ever UEFA Champions league title under Roberto di Matteo, who was initially called in to pick up the pieces after the team parted ways with ex Porto boss Andre Villas Boas.

 

FOUR Manchester City winning the EPL for the first time in 44 years under Roberto Mancini, even with the fight he has had with players including Carlos Tevez who spent six months back home in Argentina playing golf.

 

THREE Egyptian National team lost their first official match at home for the first time in 30 years. This happened with Bob Bradley at the helm after coach; Hassan Shehata lost his job with political unrest which saw the government over turned.

 

TWO Zambia became the first SADC country to win the AFCON since South Africa did so in 1996. Thus redeeming the souls lost in a tragic accident on the shores of Gabon (in 1993) when a whole national team perished in a plane crash. At that moment, I don’t think you had to be Zambian to be moved.  But just seeing that, one would have been moved nonetheless.

 

ONE Orlando Pirates. The fact that winning a triple in the South African PSL was unheard off before Orlando Pirates pulled it in the 2010/ 2012 is one thing.  But to go and do it AGAIN? AND AGAIN? That is phenomenal! I did not think it was possible, but like I have always said there are some clubs that win some of the things all the time, and those that win big things sometimes.  And when they do they make history and set records.  Orlando Pirates is definitely the latter.

 

I thought about stuff, like Gavin Hunt playing and actually winning a Cup final, and an albatross in a PGA tournament.  But these made my list based on their design and institutional magnitude.  And they all happened in the first six months of the year.  We still have the Olympics to go through, can you believe it?  I wonder what this list will look like come December 2012.

 

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A. Dikgale.        



03/07/2012

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS 2012 REVIEW

The tournament has come and gone I thought the following be my two cents worth on the tournament as a whole.

Flop of the Tournament Award goes to – Netherlands
- From a World Cup finalist in 2010 to a first round collapse. The Netherlands has really let themselves down in this tournament.  Dropping points when they shouldn’t have, and lacking the killer instinct when necessary.

Cataclysmic Disaster of the Tournament Award goes to – Arjen Robben
- After missing the sitter in the World Cup final against Spain, and then the penalty against Chelsea in the Champions’ leagues final.  One wonders if the decision to take him to the tournament was indeed wise.  And if he was in any state mind to take on the kind of responsibility of a national team at a tournament of this magnitude.

Oxygen thieve of the Tournament Award goes to – Zlatan Ibrahimovich
- The least said the better.

Revelation of the Tournament Award goes to - Theodore Gebra-Selasi
- The 25 year old, who plays for Werde Breman in Germany represented Czech Republic at right back
- If you consider the work he had to do to contain Christiano Ronaldo, Coantrao and Nani, I think he acquitted himself very well.

Young Players to Watch Award goes to – Daniel Nitaki Mensa Walbeck or Danny Walbeck to you…
- The 21 year old Manchester United striker who is of Ghanaian linage.
- He had to carry the touch in Wayne Rooney’s absence, and proceeded to make seasoned professionals like Andy Carrol look very ordinary.

Master of the Long Pass Award goes to – Andreas Pirlo
- The 33 year old former Inter and AC Milan player won the Serie A championship and UEFA Champion’s league twice with AC Milian and then went on to win the championship with Juventus FC last season.
- He has since become a something of a talisman in the Italian set up, leading his country with class thought-out this tournament.

Complete Players of the Tournament Award goes to – Cesc Fabrigas
- The question has always lurked at the back of my mind as to whether the ‘tika taka’ works without Lionel Messi?  And Spain’s answer to that was Cesc Fabrigas.  
- If one considers the role he played for Arsenal FC at centre half, and then Barcelona FC and now the national team.  All different, calling of different skills and competencies as a player.  You have to accept that Cesc Fabrigas is indeed a complete player, capable of doing anything at the coach’s request.

Coach of the Tournament Award goes to – Italian Manager Prandelli
- When Marcello Lippi left after 2010, the Azurri was a depleted squad.  With a mass exodus of aging players like Gattusso, Totti, Materratzi etc ensuing. This man had a mammoth task in front of him.
- He managed to build the team around Pirlo, he managed to get Balotelli to deliver for him and he managed to take Italy to the final of a continental championship in just two years. And boy did he did he do that well.

Player of the Tournament – Andrea Inesta without question.

This is my Euro 2012 Tournament Review

The tempest prognosticator;  Themba A Dikgale.

30/06/2012

It is very interesting that Gordon Igesund has been appointed as Bafana Bafana coach and has been given the mandate to reach the Semi Final in the AFCON next year and qualify for world cup in 2014, The way I see Gordon Igesund has a two year contract and He will be on Probation for one year, and below is details for my observations. 
Should Bafana Bafana fail to reach the semifinals of AFCON to be staged from 19 January 2013 to 10 Feb 2013, Gordon Igesund would have failed his first mandate and I assume He will be fired, that means he has eight months to pass the first test.
Then should HE PASS the first test then second test continues on the 23 March and 08 June 2013 with home and away world cup qualifiers against Central African Republic, should Bafana Bafana lose both matches mathematically they will not be able to qualify for 2014 world cup therefore Gordon would have failed his second test within four months of passing the first and therefore He will be fired.
This means it is either Bafana Bafana will be having a new Coach in March or in June next year. May be this was part of his presentation during the interview but to me it does not make sense to set such targets for the National Team Coach, it takes year to build a team and I do not see how it is expected that Gordon will be able to turn things around within a space of 8 to 12 months.
Considering the short term goals set by SAFA I think it would have been better to continue with Steve Komphela because, he has been with the team for about six months already and knows the team a little bit better than Gordon. Gordon does not have much experience coaching at National Team level and I believe he will need more time to settle in.
IF SAFA wanted a FIRE MAN SAM they should have appointed Steve, but for long term purpose I would agree Gordon is the man to go to. We will have to wait and see and hopefully Gordon will do a Magic and achieve the short term goals and start to plan for long term purpose. I think the under 23 coach should be assistant to the senior team coach so that there can be continuity.
Peter Sebonyane

29/06/2012 

I am disappointed with the way SAFA run the national team as they don’t want to make the country proud /happy with the team they run it like an individuals who run his/her own company like a law firm. To be honest with you Prof my main man is Mr Mashaba he was the only coach, which shows the signs of success after Mr Clive Barker, and his job was interrupted by SAFA members until he was fired National team is not Chiefs nor Pirates is for the nation. Look we have all resources that can make our national team to be successful than other African countries but we are taking steps backwards not forward. According to me there is still a group who does not support SAFA President amongst the organization but they are there for the money and busy plotting his down fall. We can hire Frank Reikaard  or Jose Mourinho to coach our national team {sorry for the spelling} we can’t go anywhere with our football leaders that we have now. We do not understand the word Development from SAFA to PSL, Why should the Organization force NFD to use certain age numbers quota and not been implemented on the PSL.
Sorry to mention this one to you; why Pitso went to Sundowns to represent Mphela and cant he went to Chiefs to speak with Kaizer about Sthembiso to be given game time so that he can use him as he was selected before for the National team’ very interesting issue.
How many players represent their countries at the National teams without getting game time to their respected clubs or even without the clubs? Section Mokobane

29/06/2012

I think SAFA will name Komphela as a coach and he has to name his assistant, on that matter I wish he could pick Neil Tovey. he’s still young in terms of being a couch but he has already make a progress in a big way he did well at Sundowns and look and Thanda Royal Zulu royal he was just two games away from PSL. Most of successful former players they do well when given a chance to lead a national team.
Shakes Thabang

27/06/2012

It’s a pity shakes was not shortlisted. He’s my choice. He gets South Africans believing in themselves, one thing lacking in our sports. He took a team picked by Khoza to the Olympic qualifiers and won some matches when we all expected a rout. When he was dismissed as Bafana coach he still did well. He commands respect. Whoever he chooses will play as he wants and he gets results. From the two remaining, Ingesund is the next best. Although we might see the return of all “veterans”. He’ll get SAFA quick fix. That’s what they want. Unfortunately when we start winning they will forget what Pitso kept saying “development”. We do not have strikers who score habitually, since the departure of the likes of “Mambush”. Ingesund will recall Moriri, who I still rate him the best finisher currently playing. Neeskens messes him up playing him defensive.



22/06/2012

 

A professional football career is a blessing or a curse?

 

A professional football career is a blessing. It is a blessing because winning something can be a moving and fulfilling experience laden with memories which can be shared for as long as one lives.  But it is also a curse, because a career in football is a short career; not only because of the risk of injury and old age. But because the South African transfer market is fast becoming a shark tank. 

 

Let me explain why I say this.

 

The 2011/2012 season saw the implementation of the single stream format in the National First Division (NFD), as opposed to the 8 team coastal and in-land format followed in the past.  This means where clubs had before managed to run their business on a shoe string budget travelling to and from 8 return fixture along the coast or in-land.   They now they have to make means to travel to and from 16 return fixtures all over the country on the very same shoe string budget. 

 

Not only that, but this decision has far reaching effects than the above.  In fact it has the potential to turn the transfer market on its head.  For the reason that the increase in pressure on the NFD clubs’ cost structure will have certainly driven the cost of players sold to PSL clubs higher; as clubs in the NFD try desperate means to contain their exploded expenditure.  On the other hand PSL clubs, by ‘pure coincidence,” have suddenly started releasing players they do not need on free clearances (a move which could not possibly result in a flooded labour market).

 

As Adams Smith, the father of Economics (in his book The Affluent Society) said when the supply of any commodity increases, the price of such commodity will most certainly decrease. You have to wonder what all of this means for the value and salaries of players in the South African football industry.  Once you are done wondering about that, think about the value and salaries of players in the context of the mandatory under 23 rule applied to NFD clubs.  The rule states that, a club must field at least five players under the age of 23 years in their first eleven for each game they play.  This means that if a player over the age of 23 has been released from the PSL and is still fit enough to be absorbed into the NFD; he has to be prepared to take a pay cut, since there are only so many spots available in the NFD club.

 

So the under 23 rule, was introduced by the football association in order to short circuit the development process by making the clubs pay to develop their own labour pool instead of the football association taking responsibility for establishing and running the development structures themselves.  But you have to wonder where the wisdom of such a decision is, when the net effect is the very same football association having to walk into a meeting cap in hand asking for access to the very same players to use for the Olympics from the very same clubs.  You have to wonder what is wise about this decision when all is said and done, there are plenty of players whose careers are going to end pre-maturely because the PSL clubs do not want them and they just happen to be too old to play in the NFD.

 

The irony of all of this is that COSATU is currently waging a war to stop the Youth Wage Subsidy, and at the same time the South African Professional Football Union which is affiliated to CASATU sees nothing wrong with single stream NFD and Under 23 rule.  One would think that because the Youth Wage Subsidy and under 23 rule seem to have the same effect on the football industry’s labour market as what COSATU argues will be the Youth Wage Subsidy effect on older workers; SAPFU’s gloves would be off? 

 

All I can say at a time like this, please spare a though for the likes of Moses Spandeel.

 

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale      


18/06/2012

SAFA announced that following the interaction, they now have only Steve Komphela and Gordon Ingesund left following interviews and are to be interviewed again. General feeling is that Ingesund should be head coach and Komphela should continue in his current responsibilities as assistant. mythoughts@oshebeng.co.za

18/06/2012

 
Eric Mathoho
 
Speculations has been going around the name of Mathoho, associated with signing for Kaizer Chiefs. Sundowns on the other hand are keen on registering the Player. When the REGULAR players were send home with Bongani Khumalo included I told my self something is going to happen on the 2012-06-15. 
 
Last week Chiefs set aside an amount of 5M only for the signature of Molomowandao, he was very colourful when Bafana beat Gabon on Friday by 3-0. Is Mathoho still worth 5M or more?. 
 
 
Steve Kompela
 
Will be attending interviews for the Bafana Coach. He only need to report to the panel that after 9 months the team has finally won on Friday with a beautiful margin of goals and nothing else. Mr Kompela's attitude is very good for this hot seat. 
 
 
Sannyboy
Phitshane 



16/06/2012

BAFANA COACH

Who do you think should be Bafana’s next coach following departure of Pitso Mosimane. SAFA has shortlisted Neil Tovey, Gavin Hunt, Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba, Gordon Igesund and Steve Komphela. The technical team that will finalise the next coach among others include Serame Letsoaka, SAFA CEO Dr Robin Petersen, Jomo Sono, Clive Barker and Farouk Khan. mythoughts@oshebeng.co.za


11/06/2012

 

Bafana Bafana - Victim of Circumstances?

 

Mr Minister, I beg of you the NATION IS BLEEDING!

 

 

The dismissal of a National Team coach in our country has become as expected as a winter season.  We all know that when leaves fall off trees, and the days become colder and shorter - then winter is upon us.  In the same way when it is six months before a major tournament it can be expected that a Bafana Bafana coach WILL BE SACKED.

 

The reality is if a man gets married to fifteen different women, and gets divorced fifteen times. I doubt if people will blame his kids, the design of his house or the clothes that he wears.  At the very least, people will admit that there is something incredibly wrong with the man himself.

 

In lieu of recent events, I believe it is high time South Africa acknowledges our history and admits our abnormalities. We need to accept that our history has made the structures in our football abnormal and therefore the solution to our national team woes cannot be normal. 

 

In the rest of the world, clubs were formed, Football Associations were formed and then the league was formed.  In South Africa, clubs were formed, the league was formed and then the Football Association was formed.  In the rest of the world FA leaders stay at the helm for years and years, while club Chairmen, CEO’s and MD’s come and go like all companies going through leadership changes on an active stock exchange.  In South Africa, club Chairmen stay for years while the leadership in the FA comes and goes by the choice of the ballot.

 

I am not in any way blaming Bafana Bafana’s performance on the club owners or the league.  But I do not think it is a coincidence that in the last twenty years, the most successful time enjoyed by the national football team is characterised by a SAFA leadership which was made of people who had mentored today’s club chairmen.

 

The way our football industry is structured and established is the way history decided it to be.  But the reality is it cannot work for as long as good men stand idly by. The reality is we need revisionist leadership that will take the bull by the horns and shake things up from a higher office.  Or else whoever gets appointed.  It does not matter if it is Luiz Felipe Scolari, Mário Jorge Lobo Zagallo, José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix, Guus Hiddink, Louis van Gaal or Gordon Igesund –THEY WILL BE OUT OF A JOB COME January 2014.  

 

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale.

 

05/06/2012

Now that Pitso Mosimane is gone, who do you think should coach Bafana? Was the decision to fire him correct? mythoughts@oshebeng.co.za

30/05/2012

I think Augusto Palacios must be given a chance; He made a lot of changes since he took over. Let’s see if given long term he will deliver. Players responded well under him he brought wining mentality on the camp, with that attitude I think they can compete in Africa I don’t doubt that. Odirile Makabanyane

30/05/2012

FOOTBALL HOOLIGANISM

Football hooliganism is widely considered to be unruly and destructive behaviour. Actions such as brawling, vandalism and intimidation are enacted by association football club fans participating in football hooliganism. The behaviour is often based upon rivalry between different teams and conflict may take place before or after football matches. Participants often select locations away from stadia in order to avoid arrest by the police, but conflict can also erupt spontaneously inside the stadium or in the surrounding streets. We have experienced several incidents like in Orkney in 1991 where forty people lost their lives. This happened on 14th January 1991 died when fans surged toward a jammed exit to escape rival brawling fans at a match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.
Football hooliganism can range from shouts and small-scale fistfights, through to huge riots where firms attack each other with deadly weapons (including, but not limited to, sports bats, glass bottles, rocks, knives, machetes and pistols). In some cases, stadium brawls have caused fans to flee in panic and injuries have been caused when fences or walls have collapsed from the pressure of the exiting crowd. In the most extreme cases, hooligans, police, and bystanders have been killed, and riot police have intervened with tear gas, armoured vehicles and water cannons.
In January 2006 riot police had to attack Libyan fans in the Cairo International Stadium after they threw missiles at the Egyptian fans in the tier above them during a match between the Egypt national football team and the Morocco national team. The Libyan fans had stayed on to watch the match after they had seen Libya lose 2-1 to Ivory Coast and had started taunting the home supporters. The Egyptian fans responded by asking them to leave the stadium and verbally attacking them at half time, and when, despite a plea to stop, it continued into the second half, the riot police were called in. The Libyan Football Association were fined $7,000 by the Confederation of African Football disciplinary Commission.
 A melee broke out on February 1, 2012, after fans of Al-Masry, the home team in Port Said, stormed the field after a rare 3-1 win against Al-Ahly, Egypt's top team. Al-Masry supporters attacked the Al-Ahly players and their fans, who tried to escape, with knives, swords, clubs, stones, bottles, and fireworks. At least 79 people were killed and over 1,000 were injured in the Mediterranean port city.
Such behaviuor should not be allowed in the beautiful games and should be rooted out with it’s roots. Soccer is a sport of gentlemen and should be like that. Maluti Obuseng

30/05/2012

Teko Modise the victim.

The 2011-2012 Nedbank Cup Final has come and gone. This phenomenal event was staged at Orlando Stadium amid acrimonious lament over the decision to host this auspicious occasion in a location outside Tshwane.  It was a phenomenal event nonetheless; although the crowing of Supersport United as Nedbank Cup champions has rehashed yet another bug bear of mine; and that is the constant taunting of Teko Modise for his inability to win any silver wear.

Admittedly, it is a fact that when Teko Modise left Suppersport United, Matsatsantsa went on to win three championships in a row.  When he left Orlando Pirates, they went on to win two tittles in a row.  All these are facts.  But when did winning a championship become an inditement on a player’s quality on talent.

Teko Modise has captained Bafana Bafana, Orlanndo Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns; there are very few people in the world who can actually say that.  He was crowned Mvela Golden League Player of the Season (2005–06), COSAFA Cup Player of the Tournament (2007) and the inaugural PSL Footballer of the Year (2008, 2009).  And he has actually produced 10 national team goals in 57 appearances. In fact there hasn’t been a single coach who has worked with this man who has not built a team around him. There is no question that this is a talented man and that his credentials are impeccable.

The amount of time spent talking about Teko being a failure; just because he has constantly missed the enviable opportunity to hoist the league trophy is yet another example of the destructive venom of self contempt which permeates our every being. This is a man who has been part of a silent crusade to attract endorsement money back to South African football players after the damage done by the likes of Steve Lekoleya and Jabu Pule (with their off the pitch antics). This is man who made the back pages of our favourite newspapers because of his form.  That alone is a complement of note.

Our self contempt has left us failing to celebrate the revelation that is Mofat Zwane.  Or the major milestone in Gavin Hunt’s career, that is a cup championship.  All that has been discussed is how Teko has failed.  Since when did winning the league actually become a declaration on a player’s ability?  Surely if winning the league makes one a star then Mark Manyambela must be a meteor, for winning two tittles in twenty four months.

Let’s rethink this, shall we?

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikglae 

Teko Modise Honours

Telkom Charity Cup: 2008, 2009 with Orlando Pirates

COSAFA Cup: 2007 with Bafana Bafana

Mvela Golden League Player of the Season: 2005–06 with City Pillars

PSL Footballer of the Year: 2008, 2009 with Orlando Pirates

COSAFA Cup Player of the Tournament: 2007
Ed

23/05/2012

Orlando Pirates caretaker coach Augusto Palacios, is waiting for club chairman Dr Irvin Khoza to decide where the championship winning coach will be deployed. The Peruvian born mentor has lost only two matches since taking over after the departure of Brazilian, Julio Céasar Leal.  The Buccaneers were in disarray when he took over and along the way, lost only to Santos and Free State Stars in extra time in a NedBank cup. Senior players like Benni McCarthy feel the Peruvian is the right man for the job. What do you think? mythoughts@oshebeng.co.za

23/05/2012

Spare a thought

A minute wave of blue flags flew amid a sea of red shirts in the Munich’s Allianz Arena, as Chelsea FC fans celebrated their conquest of the UEFA Champion’s league.  While head honchos at the Adidas head office breathe a sigh of relieve as three stripes conquer yet another major trophy this season. 

Irrespective of which side of the fence you sit, spare a though for Arjen Roben for the man’s career hangs on a knife’s edge.  What happened this weekend is the kind of thing that can actually destroy a player; especially if you think that his missed penalty is compounded by the sitter he fumbled in the 2010 World Cup Final. Do you remember the penalty Roberto Baggio missed in the 1994 world cup final? Sure he went on to win the tittle with Juventus the season thereafter.  But he did so struggling through a season riddled with injuries, only to be released by Marcelo Lippi because Lippi felt he would rather spend his time on Alexandro Delpiero.  Baggio then struggled to make the first team after joining AC Milan only for Fabio Capello to release him because he felt Baggio couldn’t keep up with Marcel Desailly.  At the tender age of 30, a man with enough talent to captain the Azzurri to a World Cup final, found himself needing tracking all the way to Bologna FC to resurrect his career.  I fear if Roben is unable to put what happened behind him, this too could happen to his career too.

Spare a thought for Harry Redknapp, as Chelsea’s generous serving of the UEFA champion’s league meat turns out to be Tottenham Hot Spurs’ poison. Remember while Chelsea has earned a place in the champion’s league as defending champions, it means Spurs are out of the Champion’s league participation next season.  And so Harry Redknapp finds out he is snubbed twice in one month.  He wasn’t good enough to be England coach, and now he isn’t good enough to participate in next season’s champion’s league.
 
Spare a thought for Agusto Palacios who, like Roberto de Matteo was asked to pick the pieces.  And what did he do? He went and over delivered.  Now given the club’s ambition there is no doubt that Orlando Pirates will probably offer him the coaching job.  On the one hand that would be phenomenal opportunity to write his name up in lights.  But somewhere in the back of his mind, he has to be thinking that if this thing goes horribly wrong he not only stands a chance to loose a job but a comfortable retirement too.  The fact is the man is 60 years old. You can certainly see why this puts him between a rock and hard place.

Spare a thought for Gordon Ingusand, a man who pulled out all the stops to convince a bunch of players to believe they could achieve the unthinkable.  And know he needs to go back and do that all over again.  The only saving grace is that he knows that winning the tittle with a club that has not seen the tittle in 45 years, sound a hell of a lot better than winning the tittle with a club that has not won in 44 years.

Spare a thought for Lucas Twala, who after years of service to Orlando Pirates, an ill-fated injury caused him to miss all of this.  Spare a thought for Happy Jele and the late Mzaion, who are both there but not really there.

And once you are done, consider this.  It is all well and good that the Daine Klate has managed to set a new record by being the first man to clinch tittle five times in a row.  But just remember that there isn’t a single man at Orlando Pirates who has had a better season than Isaac Chansa.  The man won six trophies in two years and somewhere in there he also managed to conquer the continent.   

 The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale


WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE ONCE MIGHTY KAIZER CHIEFS? GET INVOLVED, SEND YOUR COMMENT: mythoughts@oshebeng.co.za

BAXTER SIGNED FOR CHIEFS
Kaizer Chiefs has announced the former Bafana coach, Stuart Baxter, as the new coach. Baxter has signed for a 2 year deal with an option to renew. Do you think he is the right man for the job? mythoughts@oshebeng.co.za

21/05/2012

Doctor Khumalo must vacate his chair in the first team then Bobby must stop interfering with the players t pains me to see the mighty Amakhosi going down the drains and being the laughing stock of everyone. With the acquisition of Tower Mathoho, Morgan Gould , Gaxa, Manxele, Motshweneng & Rogers from Santos and Nonyane from Cosmos then the Phefeni glamour boys will be the force to be reckoned with. Consistency is the name of the game and luck as well ooooohh!!! We lost games that we shouldn’t have lost. Wrong substitutions. Game plan and victimization of players by VV. With due respect VV was the worst coach Chiefs have ever hired. Remember the game against pirates vv lost it from the bench because he had his favorites. Martin – Chiefs supporter

18/05/2012

A guide to South Africa's football divisions

There's probably no quicker way to "break the ice" with the South African on the street than to demonstrate some knowledge of local soccer. To help you improve your conversational skills, here's a crash course on the country's most important teams and competitions.
Soccer in South Africa has a huge following, and the quality of the local game keeps improving – as demonstrated by the increasing number of South African players in exile among the glamorous European clubs.

Local teams, organised in a national league plus a plethora of knock-out cups, are followed with passion by paint-daubed, costumed, whistling and cheering fans. Mercifully, the country has been spared the spectre of football hooliganism.

There's probably no quicker way to "break the ice" with the South African on the street than to demonstrate some knowledge of local soccer. To help you improve your conversational skills, here's a crash course on the country's most important teams and competitions.
Mosimane Maluti Obuseng

17/05/2012

I'm very disappointed with Kaizer to appoint someone like Baxter the man had no knowledge of Coaching he came as Bafana Bafana coach and he failed all over where he went he failed look at Finland ranking. it shows that our chairman got no any interest with the team he just doing what Bobby is doing to go and bring inexperience players from Zimbabwe to the Team. There are many coaches out there who can change this team like Ruud Guilit, Troussier, and Bruno Metsu etc even locally we got big guys Like Khompela, Gavin Hunt and Gordon. Why he can't hire. One of them? Because he wants cheap stuff. it definitely shows that Mr Chairman doesn’t want spend but get cheap people and cheap players.If he want Chiefs to be considered as big team he must do what other Presidents of big teams are doing. Look at Pirates, AlAhly, Kotoko Ashate, Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan. Times had come for chiefs to start fight for relegation in the league under this clueless coach. Lebza Ledwaba


17/05/2012

ABSA Premiership has reached the climax. This is the most exciting time for football in South Africa. It is the time of year when league champion is crowned. Let’s take a look at previous league winners in South Africa. Note that Moroka Swallows does not appear in league winners table since 1971. Will this, like Manchester City be their year? 

The roll of honour

1. Kaizer Chiefs FC    - 10 League titles
2. Mamelodi Sundowns FC   - 8 League titles
3. Orlando Pirates FC      - 8 League titles
4. Supersport United FC   - 3 League titles
5. Durban City FC               - 2 League titles
6. Bush Bucks, Cape Town Spurs, Highland Park, Jomo Cosmos, Lusitano, Manning Rangers, (Johannesburg) Rangers, Santos & Zulu Royals – 1

You be the judge.

Maluti Obuseng

16/05/2012

The Following players deserve the best and they outdone themselves
 
Lucky Baloyi rookie of the year
Ronwen Williams Hottest keeper
Most improved Player David Mathebula
Coach Of the year Gordon Igersund
Player of the year Siyabonga Eugene (Bhele) Nomvethe
Players Player of the year Siyabonga Eugene (Bhele) Nomvethe

Martin (Chiefs supporter)

16/05/2012

South Africa is not ready for a South African at Kaizer Chiefs
Kaizer Chief is a big club.  It is probably the strongest brand in South African sports industry. I think it is even stronger than Puma, Adidas and NIKE and this why I say that. 

When Puma appoints a supervisor to look after operations on the shop floor, they do not call a press conference. But when Kaizer Chiefs appoints a captain, they do.  Not even the national team captain gets announced that way.  When the NIKE changes their in-store staff uniform, national radio stations do not open lines to get the nation’s reaction; but when Kaizer Chiefs launches a new jersey - it happens.  This brand is so big that a child born and bred in the remote town of Riebeckstaad already has an opinion about them by the time he turns six. 

But there is a price you pay for this success, and that is too much attention from observers, detractors, analysts and journalist a like.  If you consider that even though there is an ongoing ownership dispute in Cape Town over Ajax, Jimmy Agusto’s name remains covered with the black cloud of alleged staff assault, and murmurs of ODG’s suspension over football payola are still hanging over Platinum Stars. It is actually ridiculous that a Kaizer Chiefs coach will still find himself defending a team selection decision from a game lost 10 days ago.  That alone should tell you that the coaching job at Kaizer Chiefs is no child’s play. It is a job in which pressure is abundant, and criticism comes from all sides.  Furthermore, I have no doubt that it is a job that would be 10 times more difficult, if it was done by a South African. Especially if that South African was black (yes I said it!).

The word RESPECT comes from the Greek respectatus, which means ‘to see one another.’ As a fellow South African I really challenge you to think about us and whether or not we actually see the good work that we do in our respective fields. 

For an example, ever wonder why every Bafana Bafana coach who is South African and black is referred to by his first name.  People call Mr Sono, Jomo.  People call Mr Mosimane, Pitso. People call Mr Moloto, Trott. People call Mr Tshabalala, Screamer.  In fact even Mr Motaung is referred to as Kaizer. Seriously, these are grown men, some of them some of them with grandkids.  But let it be a foreigner, people make the effort to honour them by using their full names. Joel Natalino Santana, Carlos Queroz, Carlos Alberto Perreira and so on and so forth.

This has a lot more to do with RESPECT, or self-respect as it were. We just do not respect one another. We don’t respect OURSELVES; even though our history compels us to conduct ourselves impeccably, on matters related to patriotism. But do we? 

If Franklin Cale takes a set piece, curves it past the wall and puts it beyond the keeper’s reach to hit the onion bag.  We will spend the week discussing the keeper’s poor positioning. But if Rafael van der Watt does the same thing, we will spend the year congratulating him.  If Manchester United squanders an 8 point lead only to loose the championship to their noisy neighbours, we call it unfortunate. But if Mamelodi Sundowns does the same we call them pathetic.
This is why Kaizer Chiefs has to appoint a foreigner, albeit gingerly.  Because the reality is, until we find a way to purge the destructive venom of self contempt which permeates our every being.  The management at Kaizer Chiefs has to constantly make the sad decision to protect yet another deserving South African from our vicious condemnation which would be ten times worse if his last name ended with a vowel.     

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale

15/05/2012

For me Stuart Baxter is the way for Amakhosi. Football is a game of opinions hence 1 is entitled to express himself. Though Doctor Khumalo with due respect for the 16V but he is not the coach he might have played soccer at the highest level. I think he should stick to the under 12 as Keizer chiefs. He will destroy our Players. Remember Thato Mokoena the list is endless.

it’s sad coz we thought that we are advancing to be on par with the rest of the world but we seem to be taking a ( thousand steps backwards) we should be having the necessary equipments to take care of  our players  in the field of play.

I wish pirates can loose on Saturday and Swallows win by 3:1 I believe it’s the time for the Dube birds. They deserve something this season after 46 years. Like Man City it’s been long since both teams experienced any silverware. My heart is with the birds and particularly with Gordon coz he will be the 1st coach to win the league with 5 different teams.

PSL administrators should change the fixtures or look for the new format. The league should be interesting.
Martin (Chiefs supporter)

15/05/2012

I believe in your research and the way you present things to us.  I remember when Nigeria beat South Africa 2-0 courtesy of Tijani Babangida in 2000 AFCON, you said something  like, South Africa are beaten in the AFCON semi final, the next edition they will lose in quarter finals, and the group stages and lastly they will fail to qualify and it happened like that in ascendancy. When Nigeria were beaten by Cameroon at Surulere stadium in 2000 AFCON final, you mentioned something like the last team to host the AFCON finals and won on home soil was South Africa in 1996 and it is still like that. 

(Tunisia won in 2004 and Egypt in 2006 when both were hosts - ed)

Now back to the PSL, I still remember your words clearly when you were telling Cebo that regardless whether Pirates is behind the log leaders with the 7 and 10 points, they will bounce back as they did so last season and he chose to write them off at his own peril, now he simply cannot believe as he believes in the outsiders.  Kutlo Tlhagwane (Pirates supporter)

11/05/2012

Well I think Chiefs deserve the right to appoint a new coach like they did. It just shows how determined Baxter is. I know it is too early to say that but for now well done to Kaizer Chiefs for their first win. Chiefs has suffered a couple of looses several times, let’s hope this is the best appointment that chiefs has made. Kabelo

10/05/2012

Its just shows Bobby knows nothing about soccer, what criteria did he use to select Baxter, leaving behind Ted Dumitru, Steve Kompela, Donald Ace Khuse. Chiefs will never get instant results because they only buy mediocre players...I feel for Simphiwe, Yeye, Khune and Majoro; Loja 1010

08/05/2012

Two issues stand out for me about this appointment; team effort and the issue of foreign coaches. On team effort; Khune said they would use their three remaining league matches to showcase their capabilities to their new coach Stuart Baxter. Does this mean they did not bother to impress VV prior to his sacking? Secondly; when VV was sacked, Khune said the team (and I’m assuming he represents the views of his fellow players), prefers a local coach. Surely Khune (& I’d like to believe his fellow players too) are contradicting themselves. First they preferred a local coach, but now they are willing to go all out for Baxter, who happens to be a foreign coach. Is it just me or did Kaizer Chiefs players perform badly to get VV sacked?
Marothi Kutu


07/05/2012

New England manager – dead man walking!

In the book 'Stumped! The Sports Fan's Book of Answers', Nicholas Hobbes tries to answer question that have had sports fans stunned for years.  One of the most interesting topics he deals with is the question as to why England has only managed to win one World Cup Competitions, despite having the unenviable historic credit of being the investors of the game.   Another author who has dealt with this question is a man named Simon Kuper in his article “Why England loose.”   As a football fan, I would recommend that you do find and read these pieces, as they go a long way in widening one’s horizons with respect to football.

These articles and many others go long way in hypothesising the reasons for England’s poor performance.  But the week after Fabio Capello has resigned as England coach and Harry Redknapp, the Spurs manager, emerged as players’ choice to succeed him. The answer was there plain for everybody to see. 

On this week, English players proved conclusively that the reason England does not win is that in English Football the tail wags the dog.  For the mere fact that players such as Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney saw it fit to put out tweets saying that they want Harry Redknapp means that they believe it does not matter who gets appointed and England boss; their names are engraved in the national squad. 

Anybody who has ever played in a team will know that a coach is in trouble when the players do not believe that they need to earn their place in a team.  And therefore, what those tweets were basically saying is that the players don’t care what the FA decides. Whoever they appoint cannot make it without them. 

In all practicality how on God’s green earth is Roy Hodgson supposed to make objective decisions for benefit of the team?  The poor man walked into a catch 22 from day one.  If he does not select Rooney, then people will ask if he left him out because Rooney publicly said he does not want him.  If he plays him and does not replace him even if Rooney is having a bad day at the office, people will ask if he left him in the team because he is brown-nosing the striker.  How is the man supposed to do his job when players feel comfortable enough to make such irresponsible public proclamations?

And so the reality is, the day those tweets went out, that was a sad day indeed for English football.   Even before he was appointed, it was on that day that Roy Hodgson began his shameful journey towards his dismissal as England coach. 

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale


04/05/2012

Its only one season that chiefs will remain crownless and people are already starting to complain but next season things there is going to be big changes I still have hope, chiefs players should learn to shoot from range. Isaac Mkhuma

02/05/2012

Kaizer Chiefs – the Barcelona story.

What’s wrong with Kaizer Chiefs, you ask?  NOTHING!  Kaizer Chiefs goes through the season without winning anything and then suddenly people say “there is a crisis?”  The fact is the glass is half full.  For the first time in many years, fans of the team that has become accustoms to lifting silverware now know what it feels like to be a Pirates fan (going  8 seasons without a trophy).  Or being a Sundowns fan, playing four seasons without even a cup final; or dare I say a Swallows Fan.

The reality is that what happened to Kaiser Chiefs is exactly the same as what happened to Barcelona.  And that is, they lost too many key players to injury all at the same time.  Now I know that you will almost immediately say that the team should have depth, in other words people on the bench who should step in to take over from those who are injured.  And that’s true.  But the depth argument falls short if the players lost are key players around whom the team is built.

If you cast your mind back, Barcelona lost Eric Abbidal early this season due to some transplant operation, while Carles Puyol was still recovering from last season’s operation.  Then Gerard Pique was on and off, only to loose all three of them sometime in the middle of the season.  The reality is you can have depth, but no team can budget for that.  Then as if that is not enough, David Villa was for out for the whole season.  Then Andres Inesta was out at the beginning of the season and then for some ten game somewhere in the middle; then Pedro and the Ebrahim Affelay. Not only that but Keita was gone for four weeks playing in the AfCon, and so was Danny Alves, Victor Valdez, Leonel Messi, Javier Mascherano and Alexis Sanchez all playing in the Copa Amerigas. I don’t care who you are, if you loose such key players in your team at the same time, you will look like you don’t have depth.  Which is more than I can say for Real Madrid, all they lost were Marcello, De Maria and Kaka.

Kaizer Chiefs went through the same thing. Yeye Letsholonyane was out for most of the first third of the season, and that’s when they were using the inexperienced Lucky Baloyi in his place.  And then they lost Itumeleng Khune in Bloemfontein, for about six weeks all the way into the mid season break.  By that time Yeye Letsholonyane was back and the team had stabilised their PSL challenge by the mid season break.  Then they lost, both Yeye Letsholonyane and Sphiwe Tshabalala at the beginning of the second round.  Even when Shabba was back for the Soweto derby, you could see he was not 100%.  And off course Jimmy Tau was also present in body, but not in mind.  Then Itumeleng Khune was out for most of the final third. Then Thomas Sweswe. Not to mention that SpheleleNgcobo and Kaizer Motaung Jnr were both gone for most of the season too.  This is why I say, I don’t care who you are if you experience the season Kaiser Chiefs has you will look like you don’t have depth.

The reality is, for both teams, it was bound to happen sooner or later.  For Barcelona, if you consider that they club has at least 80% of the Spanish National team. And that crop of players was part of the Spanish Euro 2008, Confed Cup 2009, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 qualifications campaigns. Add to that winning a few league championships, UEFA Champions Leagues and Club world cup. Basically the wheels had to come off at some point.  The team has been playing too much football.

For Kaizer Chiefs, the reality is this.  This club challenges for everything. So in one season, a Chiefs player is going to play more than 40 matches (if you include trophies, Vodacom Challenge and Carling Cup).  Therefore, the conditioning of a Kaizer Chiefs player needs to be much higher that than of Sundowns or SuperSport United player, because lets face it for the last few years they have only been challenging for the league.  And this unprecedented spate of injuries started happening when the club lost Elsa Strom, their fitness trainer.  Apparently she is one of the best in the world, and has been working with these players well into the days of Midendorp and Dimitru.  And in my view, unless they get her back or replace her with someone who knows how to restore the players’ conditioning, this problem is not going away. 

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A. Dikgale


29/04/2012

Anyteam between Pirates,Sundows,Supersport United,Free Stars, Swallows.  A game between Sundowns and Santos will give the light.  It is very interesting there will be an upset (I like upset) at the end of this league. There is no more one horse race.

Sannyboy, Phitshane

26/04/2012

Swallows, Supersport United and Free State State might be having something similar to win PSL League. These teams except Mr Khompela are coach by coaches who know how to win PSL League. These teams are also big dark horses or party spoilers.  

De Matteo and Doctor Khumalo, Ace Khuze and Zwane are campaigning to get permanent jobs. De Matteo has UEFA.  (Chelsea are in UEFA FINAL). Doctor Khumalo, Ace Khuze and Arthur Zwane manage to qualify for NETBANK quarter final.  Sannyboy Phitshane, Gladwin Moseje.

25/04/2012

LIVERPOOL’S CONCENTRATION (2005)

The world will eternally remember the 2005 champion’s league final between Liverpool and AC Milan at Ataturk Stadium, Instanbul in Turkey. It was on May 25th when AC Milan took a 3 – 0 lead to half-time in what seemed to be one way traffic. What we’ll always remember, is how Liverpool came back in the second half to pull back all 3 goals and force the match into extra time and penalties, which they won. What every football coach would like to know is what exactly Rafael Benitez said to his team at half time, which got them to believe again and put up such an unforgettable fight.
Football, in particular, is a game with many psychological demands, such as confidence, motivation and concentration, and these demands can be influenced by the situation in the game. I believe these characteristics came to the fore and where turned to life by the 11 Anfield men on the pitch at that time under the stewardship of the great Steven Gerrard. Concentration in particular was important in that match to both teams; Liverpool had to exercise more concentration than AC Milan. Perhaps, AC Milan’s lapse of concentration led them to lose the championship.

CONCENTRATION

Concentration is demanded throughout the match, especially in the defense because that’s where goals are scored or defended. Generally, in life, it is easier to concentrate at the beginning and lose it towards the end, it is just natural. So the last few minutes of the match are of utmost importance when it comes to concentrating. Some even refer to that period as “concentration time”. Lack of concentration has seen many teams lose their important matches in the last minutes, and this is not foreign to the local South African football.
In sport psychology they refer to concentration as the ability to completely focus one’s attention on something for a period of time. When athletes concentrate well they can take in all the information they need to make good decisions like responding to their opponent or adapting to their environment.
In general life/social sciences it is believed that people who are able to concentrate completely on the task at hand are great achievers--brilliant professionals, big business people, executives, leaders in the world of finance, science, invention, literature, education—-it doesn't matter what kind of work. The point is that when these people pitch hay, they pitch hay; when they write a book, they write a book; when they manage a sales campaign, they manage a sales campaign. They focus on that one thing they do at that one time, and nothing else, and every ounce they have goes into it. But behind of all this has been a lot of mental discipline, a lot of habit-forming, a lot of brain-building. 

LAST 14 MINUTES OF COSMOS

Jomo Cosmos are well on their way out the ABSA Premier League 2011/2012 season, and one might want to look back at the road they have travelled or failed to travelled with the view of taking a leaf from their dying tree, and perhaps, as a way for them to go back to the first division and fix whatever went wrong.
We’ll all remember when the 2011/2012 season started in August 2011; Jomo Cosmos’ first game was against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium. I was lucky to have been there. Chiefs took a lead on the very 2nd minute of the game, through LehlohonoloMajoro.
Usually when goals are scored as early as this in a match, this isalluded to lack of concentration. On the 82nd minute, TshidisoTukane pulled a goal back for Cosmos through an amazing strike. Thereafter, Chiefs pressed for a winner and it seemed as if it was not going to come, but eventually on 89th minute, it came through JostaDladla. Cosmos lost their first match!! They conceded two goals in the first and last minutes (1 goal each) and this is lack of concentration.
Jomo Cosmos’ second match was against MamelodiSundowns four days later. They lost that match by 2 -0. Sundowns’ second goal was scored by DominguesPelembe on the 87th minute. Once again, Cosmos conceding a goal during what they refer to as ‘concentration time”. At this point, it seemed as if Cosmos were unlucky to concede in the last minutes. That proved not to be the case, when they met Free State Stars a week later and they conceded a penalty on the 80th minute. Kennedy Mweene became a hero goalkeeper by slotting the ball in the net to give Stars 3 points. At this time, Cosmos had lost all their first 3 matches and conceded 3 goals in the last minutes of the match.
If something unusual happens once, it may come as a surprise and perhaps can be wiped off as a mistake. If something unusual happens regularly, we ought to find a trend and justify the proceedings. There has to be a reason, there has to be a cause-effect relationship! At the time of writing this piece, Cosmos had already conceded 38 goals from 25 matches. That leaves them with a goal difference of -18!!.
Out of the 38 goals conceded, 15 of them came in the last 14 minutes of the game! That is almost 40% of the goals they conceded. 40% or 15 goals is a high number for a team facing relegation especially if one considers that they lost most games by an odd goal. Lack of concentration in the last 14 minutes had let in 15 goals and assisted in handing Cosmos 13 loses off 25 matches. For example, their last match to date, was against Golden Arrows where they lost by 3 -1, the two winning goals of Arrows were scored in the last 2 minutes.
As they go back to the drawing board, perhaps in a way to strengthen their concentration, psychologists suggest different methods to uphold concentration. We can look at the following 4 steps that could lead to Jomo Cosmos turning into Liverpool when it comes to concentration (the Liverpool of 2005, just to clear confusion).

4 STEPS

1. Relax. It may seem paradoxical that the first step to better concentration refers to relaxation, but there are many intense intellects who fail in their concentration because they never relax. Failure to let go between efforts is their chief stumbling block.
Cosmos defense must apply a defending strategy as opposed to a backline strategy. We know Cosmos to be a hard tackling team, perhaps they should ease up on that because that consumes a lot of energy and leads to unnecessary fouls such as penalties. Once relaxed, the defense can help the whole team to build up from the back and allow the full backs to overlap. In relaxing, they win the ball and keep it, they don’t just boot it as far away as possible (defend = win the ball vs. backline = get rid of the ball and the man).

2. Free the mind. Nothing is of greater aid to concentration. In fact, unless you are able to do this, concentration is impossible. When harassed by the three devils, hurry, worry, and fear, the mind never has a fair chance to center on anything.
Cosmos defense must free their minds of other things, when the mind is freed there will be no day dreaming on the pitch and the concentration will remain high. In that situation they will not be in hurry to get rid of the ball or to send it forward, they will take their time and actually enjoy football. If you look at the best players in the world, you can actually see that they enjoy the game.

3. Find the right conditions. It's true that a trained mind can concentrate under any conditions—-in the roar of crowded cities or the busy hum of traffic, in the midst of telephone calls or a thousand and one other interruptions. 

Cosmos defense must make the conditions of the game or environment favourable to them. If you play against Chiefs or Pirates and you are attacked in the last minutes, you are bound to be disturbed by the whistles, songs and vuvuzelas, at that point the defense must stay calm and adjust to the situation. In fact, they must defend so cleanly that they frustrate the opposition and its supporters. In that way, they will find a Cosmos way of defending, a unique and stylish way

4. Make a daily schedule. Your daily schedule helps to focus the mind, holding it steadily to one thing at a time and in the right order. Following a logical sequence tends to eliminate confusion.
Cosmos defense must have a tight routine that is practiced at training. They must have a unique strategy to defend. How to turn defense into attack, how to allow room for fullbacks to overlap, how to cover for each other, how to master offside trap, when and when not to play offside trap, they need to know the strengths and weaknesses of AvrilPhali and work around those, but most importantly, how to turn defense into attack


CONCLUSION
At the end of the day, I know that football is unpredictable and cannot be played methodologically. I understand that variables change and emotions are involved, I understand players change and get injured; but I also know that if something happens regularly, the best cure is to look into it and find the problem which should instigate solution. I am no expert of football, nor have I played it at a senior professional level, but I write what I think. Brian Basiame Letsogo 

23/04/2012

JOMO SONO is MISUNDERSTOOD.

I first discovered what I wanted to do for a living when I was in standard 8.  Big deal every doctor, nurse, teacher and football player could say the same thing too.  But knowing how many people out there despise their jobs, I consider myself lucky.   I consider myself to be amongst a privileged group of people who go to work and love it. 

Alex Ferguson is one such person.  Every time he talks about Ryan Giggs’ goal against Arsenal in the FA cup Semi Final, which saw Manchester United to the finals after Denis Berkamp missed a penalty; he still gets excited with a sparkle in his eye.  Almost wants to jump out of his chair. Years after the fact, the man behaves as if the goal happened last week.  If you have ever seen him, you have to accept that the man will never retire.  HE LOVES THE GAME TOO MUCH.     

If you can cast your mind forward to the day the Cebo Manyapelo has to retire, you can almost imagine that unless someone throws a big retirement party and confiscates his access card. The management at SABC will get a phone call the Monday thereafter from CC, wanting to know why his name does not appear on the roster.  The man will struggle to retire, HE LOVES THE GAME TOO MUCH.      

And so if you take the time to walk in these men’s shoes, you can almost understand Jomo Sono’s predicament.  It does not matter how loud the call for him to give up the reigns, the gut wrenching thought that he might have to spend a full seven days without stepping on a football pitch is just too much.  The man is struggling to retire, HE LOVES THE GAME TOO MUCH.  And while the team goes up and down and critics have plenty to say about Bra J, the Black Prince continues to live his dream.

So long Ezenkosi, see you in 2014.

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale      

19/04/2012

VV is gone! What? When the news of Vladimir Vermezovic hit the press, I could not help but imagine him sitting on a rock saying – “Eissssssssshhhhhhh OJ, o nkhostile man!” (You’ve cost me). 
Anyway jokes aside, the reality is these were horrendous news.  When a team like Kaizer Chiefs which is known for being bastions of coach support, makes a decision to fire a coach with 8 matches to go; then you have to admit that the PAW PAW has hit the proverbial fan. In fact as a follower of South African Football I struggled to remember the last coach who was dismissed like this at Kaizer Chiefs.  And so for a team to let go of a record they have held for so many years and waved so proudly in the face of detractors as a sign of true professionalism; the reasons had to be more than what was happening on the field of play.  So I was not surprised when stories of conflict of interest and team selection manipulation starting to rear their head less than a week after he was gone.
Having said that, this silly thought crossed my mind; given the fact that Kaizer Chiefs had 8 matches to go, with a match in hand. And still waiting to play Sundowns, mathematically it would mean that all they had to do was match Sundowns’ result point for point, beat Ajax, beat Sundowns and they could have won this championship by a single point. The fact that the Executive made the decision to dismiss the coach in order to give both parties the opportunity to prepare for next season; means that the Executive at Kaizer Chiefs has already given up on this season.
Therefore, the question begs, does the same Executive expect the FAN to go to the stadium, pay R40, invest their emotions to support a team who’s leadership has already given up on the season?
Honestly, I don’t think that is fair!
The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale

19/04/2012

The original Soweto derby did live up to the expectation. Lots of action and the Mighty buccaneers were very unlucky with cross bar costing us two goals. Swallows also demonstrated a serious character with Greg Itafia closing down the poles. Its a draw and Pirates are on top with a point, a difference which is very important. The following game of the league contenders, which will also provide direction, is that of Chiefs and Sundowns. Not sure what difference will Chiefs add but it is one of the teams that have no respect for Sundowns. Currently Sundowns is lacking consistençy, while Pirates still displaying a champioship character. It remain to be seen what is likely to transpire out of the game. However Pirates are on the track thus far to defend Absa PSL Championship.to me the raise is now clearly between Sundowns and Pirates, let the best team win the championship. Thebeetsile Daddy Keameditse

12/04/2012

Obviously Pirates. I’m biased to Pirates because it’s my team but with the last minutes winning trend that the Mighty Buccaneers are picking up, we are on the right direction. Remember this is the same trend that has secured us the 2010-11 championship when no one expected, thanks to Ajax which choked. On the same breath I dought consistence on Pirates though, but currently there is no consistency in any in the PSL unless Sundowns go back to their winning trend. But with the goal difference they posses they can surprise us. To me the raise is between Sundowns and Pirates. A game between Pirates and Swallows as well as the game between Chiefs and Sundowns will provide direction.  Thebeetsile Daddy Keameditse

11/04/2012

I think is too early for a soccer fan or anyone with a philosophy of football, but I think that's where we'll need the psychic of the late octopus Paul... My thought is Sundowns will make it for this season, I've a huge doubt for the defending champs because they don't play as a unit even they have the whole quality athletes. Moroka swallows might be a threat to other top teams, they climb high with silence but I got what it takes to be crowned at the end of the season. For Kaizer Chiefs I don't see any chance to challenge PSL race, I'm a Khosi (Chiefs)  deadly fan but I don't think we are still have a chance even VV has that faith, then if they'll manage to end at the 1st position, then that's where we'll see the continent meets the ocean floor. My bottom-line is Mamelodi Sundowns will be crowned. Alilution Seemela, Suurman, Hammanskraal

10/04/2012

TRADITIONS -THE PHILOSOPHY OF A WINNING TEAM

I cannot count the number of times that I have been left dazed and bemused, after a Steve Khompela interview.  But that man, ahhhh!  He is a philosopher.    I think it was he who once said; “when things go wrong either there is something that you used to do that you are not doing anymore.  Or there is something new that you are doing that you did not do before.” Never a truer word said in jest. For an example, in the true traditions of Ezenkosi, every single Jomo Cosmos team you can remember from yester-years had one common characteristic in place;  a hard centre half who packed a ferocious bite to instil discipline in the middle of the park.  These names go back to Lawrence Siyangaphi, Innocent Mcwango, Linda Buthelezi, Godfrey Sapula and Reneyilwe Letsholonyane.  And in many ways, if there is one thing lacking the 2011/2012 Jomo Cosmos squad, it is that they seem to be lacking bite in the midfield (consistent with the traditions of   a Jomo Cosmos team).  Despite the fact that they play attractive football when they have the ball, they seem to loose all midfield battles they find themselves in, game after game. And that is why at 23 games and 33 goals conceded, they look set to break their previous record of 40 goals conceded in a 30 games. But then again, what do I know?  If my theory is sound then all Kaiser Chiefs has to do to get back to the glory years, is find a white man in his mid-30’s to play centre back, and BOBBY’s your uncle.  

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale 
      
04/04/2012

Coaching Youth Soccer For Success

It is up to the soccer coaches and parents of young players to develop good or even great soccer players and in doing so develop great people too! Failure to prepare is to prepare to fail. Preparation and organization are the key components for success, which doesn't come easy.
Youth soccer coaching tips addresses a lot of different aspects, including team structure, team selection, what topics to cover at training, training session structure, psychology of players, soccer player fitness, developing youth soccer players, ensuring that a good team spirit is developed. It may seem overwhelming, but by using the proven strategies and you will give yourself every chance of succeeding at coaching young soccer players.
To ensure success you should consider doing the following
• Develop your players faster so the whole squad plays as a co-ordinated, unbeatable, goal scoring unit
• Decide which is the best formation for your team, based on the players you have in your squad
• Effectively coach and develop individual players and team tactics
• Successfully use small sided games to get the best out of your training sessions
• Condition your drills and small sided games, using the best 10 conditions to progress your players to even higher levels
• Coach youth soccer players so that they really get to grips with tactical situations and crush their opponents
• Ensure that you keep your entire squad and more importantly, the sidelines happy throughout the whole season!
• ... and a whole lot more...

Mosimanegape Maluti Obuseng



03/04/2012

The Nedbank Cup 2012

The 2012 Nedbank Cup draw is an eye catching affair. The clash between Kaizer Chiefs and Free State Stars is sure to be an epic battle. Stars arrived in quarterfinals after eliminating the defending champions Orlando Pirates and this is a massive confidence booster. Steve Komphela will be happy to make it two out of two with Soweto giants. Komphela has proven over the years that he is a master planner and he can plot giants’ downfall. The verdict is Chiefs will progress after a hard fought battle. Chiefs’ only advantage is home ground and passionate supporters.

The current ABSA Premiership log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns found themselves at home against an unpredictable Maritzburg United. Last season Maritzburg United eliminated Sundowns from this competition. Sundowns will be seeking revenge. I give this to Sundowns. The clash of the southern and eastern coast of South Africa AmaZulu and Santos is also a big drawcard. Santos is currently not doing well in the league and the cup competition may be their only hope of redemption in the current season. Expect Santos to eliminate AmaZulu, who are doing very well in league lately. AmaZulu lack the goal scoring instinct and on the other hand Santos can bang! them in.

It’s been a while since SuperSport United made it to the cup final. SuperSport United will be looking to change this. They have been to more than five cup finals and winning only two. Jomo Cosmos is lagging dangerously at the basement of the log and this may be a distraction in their quest for cup glory. Expect Super Sport United to progress to the next round at the expense of Jomo Cosmos. The 2012 Nedbank cup tournament is going to give us the new winner of this cup competition. None of the teams that won this cup have successfully defended their trophy in the last three seasons.

The Nedbank quarterfinals draw (host teams first): SuperSport United vs Jomo Cosmos, Chiefs vs Free State Stars, AmaZulu vs Santos and Sundowns vs Maritzburg United. Mosimanegape Maluti Obuseng.


DENIAL THE NEW TRUTH?

After thirty days of fasting, Muslims know that the sighting of the moon signals the end of the month of Ramadan and the beginning of the feast know as Eid Mubharak.  In the same way, we the devotees of the football faith knew that when Oatile Jacobs of Motsweding FM was assigned commentary for the Soweto derby, VV’s grasp on the Kaizer Chiefs helm was slipping away. Ours is a new faith relative to Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  Thus, observation is the only tool that we can use to craft our dogma.  And of late it would appear that the first sign that something is going to happen is when those whose names are mentioned in the middle of a strong rumour, DENY. For an example, when Teko Modise was rumoured to be moving to Mamelodi Sundowns Alex Chakoane DENIED the transaction; as if it was an implausible proposition.  When Orlando Pirates were said to be negotiating with Louis Boa Morte and Sfiso Myeni; Micky Modisane DENIED the transactions on both occasions.  When players at Orlando Pirates were asked about their dissatisfaction with Julio Leal, they all DENIED any such feelings in the camp.  But now all of a sudden, every Orlando Pirates player who gets an interview makes it a point to sing the praises of Agusto Palacios in his efforts to restore “the Pirates way of playing.” Isn’t that bizarre?  Denial or not, one has to ask – Is denial the new truth?  Nonetheless, this like many others is a loaded theological question. While high ranking officials at Free State Stars DENY any knowledge of Steve Khompela’s eminent move to a job in the technical team of Bafana Bafana; devotees of the football faith – particularly those of the Kaizer Chiefs denomination - wait patiently for their Messiah. 
The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale

SOCCER DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA

Soccer development in Africa is still miles behind overseas counterparts. This is evident on Gauteng Future Championship played in South Africa since 2009. South African teams have never won these tournaments since its inception. Watching a game between Orlando Pirates and Nacional of Uruguay proved that our players lack physical strength and they are short. Soccer development should be at the top of the list for the powers that be.  Maluti Obuseng

22/03/2012

We greatly appreciate the work that you are putting into sport development through your book and website. You are truly an inspiration to many of us.
Kabelo Molope

12/03/2012

IS SOUTH AFRICA A RUGBY NATION?

A Martian landed on the Atlantic Ocean in a spaceship; and true to the South African way of seeking external validation before we can believe anything about ourselves.  A party of naval officers were sent to seek an objective opinion on a burning question.  The question asked was as follows:

…”Given the very high turnout at Rugby matches, the two time Rugby World Cup tittles, and the broadcast ratings would you say that South Africa is a football or rugby nation?” 

Astonished by this line of questioning, the Martian responded “but you are not a nation.”

The word nation originates from the Latin word natio literally meaning "that which has been born."   However, in modern day English the word nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. If we were honest with ourselves, those of us who call ourselves South African do so because “we have been born” either in South Africa or are of South African parenthood.  But other than that, we really cannot claim to be a community, share a common language, culture or ethnicity. In fact, if we refer to the reaction to Dr Pieter Mulder’s comment about Voortreker diaries in Parliament a few weeks ago, we seem to be disagreeing about history too.

The reality is, Rugby may be outselling Football even at an exceedingly higher price, but that is a reflection of the state of our economic disparity albeit defined along racial lines.  I don’t think anybody can dispute that part of our history.  At R200 - R350 a ticket, only the middle class can afford that, and it just so happens that this portion of our society happens to be mostly white. Therefore, we cannot begin to call ourselves a Rugby nation, when the appreciation of Rugby matches does not reflect the different make-up of our society and country.  To this end I concur with the Martian’s sentiments, we are not a football of a rugby nation. We are not a nation!

Over and above the challenges with our economic inequalities, part of the reason why there is an aura of negativity around football, is the continued comforts we seem to find in the process of self-denigration we call ANALYSIS.  In many ways I think, we are comfortable in thinking we are terrible at this sport. And that anything else is better.  To site an example, at the beginning of this season Tottenham Hot Spurs FC came to South Africa to participate in the Vodacom Challenge.  In their first match they lost to second rate Kaiser Chiefs team which did not even have its first team on the field.  In the analysis, we did not extrapolate Tottenham Hot Spurs FC’s performance to include the English Premier League.  Tottenham Hot Spurs FC’s performance was exactly that, Tottenham Hot Spurs FC’s performance. But a week later Tottenham Hot Spurs FC beat an Orlando Pirates FC 3-0. An Orlando Pirates FC outfit which had played 3 matches in 5 days (one of which was a taxing Soweto derby).  In the analysis,   Orlando Pirates FC’s performance was extrapolated to include the whole Premier Soccer League.   All of a sudden, “SOUTH AFRICAN players lacked tactical discipline.”  A whole nation’s football aptitude was reduced to Mark Manyambela’s misdemeanours. 

There are plenty other examples of such a nature, none which we have time to get into right now.  But the bottom line is this; if you say something to yourself daily for long enough you will eventually start to believe it.  It is no wonder, the sentiment is so negative.  But if we learn to be objective in our analysis, the love and joy of football will be restored in the hearts of the people.   

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A. Dikgale    


09/03/2012

 
IS SOUTH AFRICA A FOOTBALL NATION OR A RUGBY NATION?

This is an interesting topic that has been making rounds and different people have had different thoughts based on their point of departure. To an ordinary man, this question would have never even be a debate; it would easily be assumed that football is bigger than rugby in South Africa. The reason would be simple, that football is a “black” sport and rugby is a “white”, there are more blacks than whites therefore football would win hands down.

Lately, more and more black people are getting into rugby, through supporting, participation and even ownership; equally so, more white people are starting to enjoy football stadia. This one of those dynamics that could probably bring a bit of confusion to the simple logic given in the first paragraph that football is a “black” sport and rugby is a “white”, there are more blacks than whites therefore football would win hands down. So, if we have this cross-participation of different races in rugby and football, then automatically my simple logic above falls away.

Having said that, one thing remains, and that is the dynamics of both sporting codes and the followership. Let’s bear in mind that I am not even convinced that we are comparing comparable items here, but let’s carry on with the assumption that football and rugby are comparable. Firstly, there is a socio-economic issue.

·         Socio-Economic Factor

This issue is very relevant because of you are talking about attendance, then you have to look at the social and economic feasibilities thereof. It is a given that most football supporters are from lower LSM’s in comparison to rugby supporters. This means that every cent is of paramount importance to them; this goes beyond R40 for match ticket, but includes transportation and meals. So, attending a football match does not necessarily cost R40.00, it’s more, say around R100.00 provided you don’t leave in a different province, if you it’s even more. A rugby supporter in most instances is off a higher LSM and income and lives in the area. Football supporters are scattered all over the country and have to travel far to watch matches. If you agree that a rugby supporter is your white collar and a football supporter a blue collar employee, of the two, then who has a better chance of attending night match? Given where they live, working hours and transportation?

·         Geographical Factor

Most rugby supporters choose the teams based on their place of origin or birth. It is for that reason that most people in Durban will support The Sharks, most people in Gauteng support Lions, most people in Pretoria support Bulls etc. So, when these teams are playing at home you are expected to see the local supporters coming through to the stadium, because it’s their local team and they live around. A rugby match in Cape Town will be full because the Capetonians support The Stormers, it is that simple.

 Football is different, there are mainly two teams that enjoy majority support, namely Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.  About 70% (if not more) of the football supporters in South Africa support either of the two teams. These supporters are scattered all over the country, from Thohoyandou all the way to the Cape Flats. However, these two teams are Soweto teams, and thus will play their home matches in and around Soweto. This means that supporters from the rest of the country should travel to watch these two teams, and they do.

My point, is that people do not support football teams based on their geography or place of birth, unlike rugby. Therefore, if Ajax CT plays against Santos, you are bound to have few people there, because majority of the people in Cape Town will be supporting either Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates. This is the major difference between attending rugby and attending football. The rugby match in Cape Town will be packed because the supporters are locals who support the local rugby team, whereas football supporters in Cape Town do not necessarily support Ajax or Santos because they support Chiefs or Pirates.

·         Statistical Factor

More people watch football than rugby in South Africa, this is evident from the conversations we hear on our radio stations, in the streets, at pubs etc. Soccer Laduma, a football weekly newspaper sells 300 488 copies every week at R3.50, which rugby publication comes close to that?

We all know that motor racing is one of the highest attended sports worldwide (if not the highest) and of course there are reasons for that, but does that make motoring the biggest sport in the world? Bigger than football? I ask this question because some assumptions are based on the people attending a rugby match vs. a football match.

SABC 1 broadcasts local football and rugby is broadcast on Supersport 1, there are changes from time to time but this is the norm, so let us work on this. In the past 7 days, 26 563 000 people watched SABC 1 compared to a mere 3 953 000 people who watched All Supersport channels, all the channels. SABC 1 ( a single channel) is bigger than ALL Supersport channels, so how could more people watch rugby on TV than football?

Let’s bring it closer to home; once again, Supersport 1 broadcasts rugby and Supersport 4 broadcasts local football. In the past 7 days, 1, 840 000 people watched Supersport 1(rugby channel) and 2,299 000 people watched Supersport 4 (A Football channel), in other words, there are 459 000 more people who watched the football channel than those who watched rugby. Even then, this is not a true reflection of what it is, because many many more football supporters cannot afford Supersport 4, so the numbers would be even higher.

Finally, out of the 34 020 000 people who attended a sporting activity in the past 12 months, 6 154 000 people attended football match compared to only 1 510 000 who attended rugby. In fact, more people have attended a dancing activity in the past 12 months than they have attended a rugby match! Over 6 million people attended a football match compared to about 1,5 million attending rugby!

Everything above and that which I didn’t state, points to the undisputable FACT that South Africa is more of a footballing nation than a rugby. 

Brian Basiame Letsogo.


Are Bafana hopeless? What do you think of SAFA administration? Express your views - please write formally

02/03/2012

IS SAFA IN TROUBLE?

One of the most difficult things to do as a patriot is watching a flesh eating cancer continues to devour us from within because of a deeply entrenched silo mentality.   The reality is while the nation is collectively pointing a finger of disapproval at SAFA’s top brass for their “incompetence.”  Things keep falling apart all over in the area of South African sports. 

There is no question that things are bad.  Bafana Bafana, and Amajita failed to qualify for the AFCON and Olympic games.  In fact the only beacon of hope at SAFA is the Banyana Banyana’s 2012 London Olympic qualification.  But the reality is we forget that we went to the Common Wealth Games where there is no Cuba, no Puerto Rico, no Mexico and no USA (all recognised boxing nations) and we still failed to produce a medal.  People forget that we went to the Olympic Games four years ago and brought back only one medal (Kgotso Mokoena’s Silver medal).  In cricket, South Africa is yet to successfully win a knock-out match in the world cup since 1999.  In rugby, we are currently laying fourth, the lowest ranking in four years.  And as if that’s not enough, now on the eve of the 2012 Olympic Games, we are only talking about one swimming medal hopeful, Cameron van der Burgh.

Such is the desperate state of our national sporting performance.  But like horses with blinkers at the Durban July we are intent to pointing out that the “nation is bleeding because of SAFA.”  If we took the time to step back, and look at the bigger picture, we would all be able to see that the problem is bigger than SAFA.  The problem stems from a higher office.

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A. Dikgale

 
28/02/12

RUUD KROL AND STEVE KHOMPELA…REPORT OR SPECULATION

When I was in primary school my English teacher used to insist on us reading the newspaper.  He used to say, it is not only good for language skills but it is a practice that is best suited for all “well rounded people.”  In his preachy demeanour,   he would say “the wise man is he who knows what is happening in the world in which he lives.”  And so was the daily ritual of coffee and the back-page was engendered.   

For years I have worked with the untainted misconception that a Reporter is a type of journalist who reports. The assumption being that the story being reported on has happened already.  You can imagine my dismay when I see headlines showing stories on things that have not happened yet.  

Rud Krol was sitting in the grand stand taking notes.  Is ODG’s job on the balance?  Khompela was seen with Motaung in a Chinese restaurant.  Is Khompela joining Kaizer Chiefs?  Seriously, are these reports or are these speculations?  One reads the paper to get informed, not walk away with endless questions.  The worst is when a reporter writes something that has not happened yet, and then when it does happen; he actually gloats about having said it before it happened. And then I sit there thinking to myself,” but my man - AREN’T YOU A REPORTER?”

I am great big fan of Mark Gleeson, and have been so for years.  But my appreciation of his work has nothing to do with my earnest support of his opinion on this matter.  The right thing to do is to “wait until the clubs to make the announcements.”  In my mind, the clubs and the coaches deserve that much reverence.  Can you imagine what it must be like in the Da Gama house hold at this moment?
If it was up to me I would say if you want to report, report on things that have happened. If you want to speculate, join the JSE.  Or learn to throw the bones, but seriously. The back page is no place for people to hypothesise.
P.S BASED ON MY ATROCIOUS SPELLING, MY ENGLISH TEACHER MUST HAVE BEEN TARRIBLE AT HIS JOB.
The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale.        
        
20/02/2012

IS THE SOUTH AFRICAN PUBLIC DISCOURSE IN TROUBLE?

In the 2003 World Cup, the Proteas failed to progress to the second round of the tournament on home soil after Shaun Pollock miscalculated the score needed to secure passage. When that happened, we did not focus on the glaring fact that at the core of the order of business, the UCB did not have sufficient controls. Instead, we made jokes about Shaun Pollock needing to learn to how to use a calculator.  And now eight years later, you can almost hear the smack of the hand on the nation’s forehead, as we stand shocked after finding ourselves at the Commission of Enquiry on bonuses paid without the board or the remunerations committee’s knowledge.
At the back of this grand disaster, you would have thought when Bafana Bafana Afcon 2012 qualification debacle unfolded, the first thing South Africa would ask is “what other areas of the SAFA does not have sufficient controls to efficiently manage the order of business.”  Instead we did not do that.  As if responding to the que of a Choirmaster the nation sang calls for Pitso’s head in unison. 
When Shakes Mashaba struggled to get players released for the 8 Nations Olympic qualifiers in Morocco, one thing was clear.  That the Joint Liaison Committee was dysfunctional; not because of the people involved.  But because it saw itself as a process alignment mechanism for the SAFA and the PSL, and not SAFA, the PSL and 16 other organisations in the form of PSL clubs.  This is why clubs tend to kick against decisions made in these meeting, because the feel their decisions were not represented.  But we did not focus on that.  All we did was reduce the whole thing to two people – “Khoza is fighting with Mashaba.”
Unfortunately, you will not see this in sports alone.  In 2008 in the ANCYL conference, Nationalisation was passed as a resolution at the conference.  We didn’t focus on that; all we spoke about was that guy who exposed his buttocks to the camera.
You would think that as nation which has set unprecedented standards in the world though dialogue directed a common interest, we are actually able to discuss issues in a sensible and mature manner.  But we are not; you only have to look at the comments posted at the bottom of any online column to see how bad things really are.  Or post-match comments on Facebook to see the vile and poisonous diatribe that constitutes our public discourse.  Could it be that as a nation, we do not take ourselves seriously enough to think the drivel we spew has a far reaching consequence that the medium selected. 
Remember this!  A democratic government is leadership by public opinion.  And the thing the “People” speak about in the trains, at the street corners, in the bus, on the radio and Facebook is what “Leaders” prioritise.  And if the ideas shared in our public discourse are not well-fathomed and sober, do not expect the leadership to act in a sober and well-fathomed way.

The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale.
             
 
15/02/2012

IS KAIZER CHIEFS REALLY IN TROUBLE?

Fun and games are done and dusted; patriotism aside.  The Afcon is done and dusted; now it’s back to the PSL.  I listened with great interest commentary on coming games on the PSL as we prepare to restart the league.  And the general perception is that there is a CRISI AT KAISER CHIEFS.  Even the players themselves are saying the team is not doing well.  And so I ask myself could it be that its not that the team is not doing well, but that the team’s standards are way too high.
Just think about it…
In the first 15 games, Chiefs collected 3 points from Free State Stars, Platinum Stars, Orlando Pirates, Bidvest Wits and Jomo Cosmos at home.  And as if that is not enough, they did the same to Mamelodi Sundowns, Black Leopards and Moroka Swallows away.  Notwithstanding the fact that they managed to go to Seisa Ramabodu, Moses Mabhida and Nelson Mandela Bay to bring back a point against Celtics, Amazulu and Maritzburg respectively.  And as if that is not enough they played a Top 8 final.  If you offer any other team this record…they would accept it with a smile.  But apparently at Kauiser Chiefs this is not enough.  Probably the only embarrassing result of the first round would have been Golden Arrows at home.  But I don’t thing any Chiefs coach in his right mind would have budgeted for a point against Supper Sport and Ajax Cape Town away.  
So why is it that this seems like Kaiser Chief is in trouble…I say again!  It is because the standards at Kaiser Chief are way too high.
In a radio interview on a radio station late last year Yeye Letsholonyane made a heartfelt statement about how disappointed he is about the team’s performance in the first round. He said “in all my time at Kaiser Chiefs I have never found myself sitting in December without a medal around my neck.”   Never a truer word said in earnest. However in his defence it is also important to note that Punch Masenamela is sitting in exactly the same position as Yeye.  But where Punch is, everything is normal.  In fact, he goes to work; everybody is up beat about the team’s performance.
And so the question begs, is Kaiser Chiefs doing badly.  Or are the ridiculously high standards at Naturena becoming the club’s worst enemy?  Is the team denigrating itself as they walk down the corridors of underachievement?
Only time will tell.
The tempest prognosticator; Themba A. Dikgale.   


13/02/2012

Zambia, the dark horse…or is it?
When South Africa won the AFCON in 1996, many people were shocked.  Out of nowhere a South African squad took on a meteoric rise and a promise of wonderment ensued with the world expecting more.  What people did not realise was that just six weeks before that Orlando Pirates FC had just managed to win the African Champion’s League.  And out of that squad, seven players were instrumental in winning the Champions League title for Orlando Pirates FC were a part of Clive Barker’s 23 man squad which conquered Africa at Soccer City.  Furthermore, four of those players were in the starting line up…Edward Motale, Mark Fish, Linda Buthelezi and Helman Mkhalele.  This trend has followed for many years. When Al-Ahly dominated in champion’s league, Egypt was dominating the AFCON.
Now how does this translate in to Zambia winning the AFCON?
The answer is simply this, out of the 2010 TP Mazhembe FC team that won the Champion’s League, Super Cup and finally finishing 2nd place in the World Club Championship after a loss to the Inter MIlan FC of Raffie Bernitez…five of that twenty eight man TP Mazhembe squad were Zambian.  Understandably the argument is weekended somewhat by the DRC’s inability to qualify, but in the immortal words of one Clement Cebo Manyapelo – “o ke one monate wa kgwele ya dinao.” (the pleasure of football) 
For that reason, the idea that Zambia were somewhat of a dark horse going into this tournament is, well let just call it diatribe completely oblivious of the daily changes on football.  What did make me proud about the Zambian win is not only the fact that a SADC country won this thing.  But a decent portion of that team plies its trade in my beloved PSL.  And while the Zambians knelt down as a team in song, and the English and French League laden Ivory Coast buckled under the sudden death pressure.  All I could do is smile, with pride and appreciation; as I thought, the era of the juggling star is over!      
The tempest prognosticator; Themba A Dikgale   


Big names and popularity does not win you game, this was proved by Zambia this morning(13 Feb 2012) when they gave Ivory Coast a ran for their money. Nonetheless, Ivory Coast proved itself to be a force to be reckoned with. The young Zambian team displayed bravery and fought like real champions in waiting. Congratulations Zambia once again for making Southern Africa proud. Thabo Seadira - Mahikeng 

10/02/2012

If what is normally that "you are as good as your last performance" then we are to watch an epic clash, between Ivory Coast "The Elephants" and Zambia "Chipolopolo" (The Bullets). When you look at the two teams pound for pound i believe Ivory Coast have an upper hand BUT Zambia will give them a hard time I hope it doesn't pour down cause it will destroy the flow, rhythm, momentum of the game because this game is going to be a fight from both sides and I put my money on Zambia. Maungo Dintwe

09/02/2012

Hola, who said that ZAMBIA will make it all the way to the finals? Should Ivory Coast take their foot off the pedal just one notch, ZAMBIA is going to win the 2012 AFCON! I stand behind Chipolopolo all the way, by the way what does Chipolopolo mean? Ivan Chilly Lesetedi

Congratulations; you were the only who seemed to have had a belief in the Zambian team.

What I saw yesterday (08/02/2012) during Ivory Coast v/s Mali AFCON semifinal game was total and complete focus, determination and patriotism from Ivory Coast players. They demonstrated composure, team work and fitness. On the same breath, Zambia made us proud as Borwa jwa Africa (Southern Africa). Looking forward to not to be missed finals. Thabo Seadira

 06/02/2012

Africa Cup of Nation’s tournament has grown steadily over the years. Gabon and Mali made it into last eight. This shows other African nations are developing in terms of football. Am certain these two nations performance had improved their rankings drastically. Mosimanegape Maluti Obuseng

AFCON - I am most impressed by the stadiums at both countries. I hope they maintain them and maybe we’ll see Orlando Pirates play there some time this year!! I was disappointed to see Botswana perform this bad. I hope they learned something out of the tournament. It only leaves us with Zambia from Southern Africa. Humphrey Molemoeng

03/02/2012

It is in my opinion that AFCON is steadily gaining momentum. We are likely to see fire cracking semifinals, paving way for not to be missed finals. Thabo Seadira

What is the reason the future finals were changed from even-number years to odd-number years? I must have missed this while nursing my disappointments with our national team. Humphrey

CAF said the reason for changing from even years to odd years is to avoid having the tournament in the same year as the world cup. The other reason, they say is to improve African teams’ performance at the world which they say is hampered by the tournament coming four months before the world showpiece.

02/02/2012

The ERA of the juggling star is over. If you think about the 1982 FIFA World Cup only one name springs to mind…Paulo Rossi.  For 1986 it would be Diego Armando Maradona.  For 1990, Lothar Herbert Matthäus. For 1994, Roberto Baggio. For 1998, Zinedine Zidane But with the advent of formations such as 4-4-2 and 3-5-2 more and more players get to work with less and less space in the middle of the park. 
From various quarters, much consternation has been expressed with the performance of the big name teams at the AFCON 2012.  But it is my assertion that with the 4-5-1 formation gaining prominence, the kind of football which accommodates individual brilliance is a thing of the past.  The reason being, where everybody plays with nine men behind the ball with the hope for swift and seamless transmission on the offensive, football is becoming less and less accommodating of individual brilliance.  But more appreciative of the cohesive team efforts of a well oiled machine.  Hell, if I was a coach, that’s exactly what I would do.  If I have 9 men behind the ball, I am less likely to concede. And that is one way to avoid loosing my job (the game I mean). 
And so it is my uneducated contention that the time of enterprising wizardry, with jaw dropping tricks to entertain the supporters are gone.  What we are about to witness is the rise of a new star; the player who is industrious, hard working, tenacious and basically dies on the pitch.  Landon Donovan, Wesley Sneijder, Thandani Ntshumayelo, Gervais Yao Kouassi AKA Gervinho, Bastian Schweinsteiger and off course the Sensational, the One and Only Steven George Gerrard (MBE)…For years these types of players were considered necessary but worthy of praise.  But from now on end, these are the type of players World Cups tournaments will be remembered by. 
And so before the dooms day prophets pronounce on the state of African football. I think it will pay to note this. Just like the 2010 FIFA World Cup was a tournament of surprises where it was the better Teams and not the teams with the better individual players who produced the best performances.  In the Afcon 2012 and Euro Cup 2012 the trend will persist.
The tempest prognosticator; Themba A. Dikgale
  
31/01/2012

1. Orlando Pirates signed many players but my interest is to see competition between Boa Moarte, Talatou, Jali,  Manyisa and Mhlongo.

 

2. My comment about Botswana. Yes Botswana qualified for AFCON 2012 but they played poor. South Africa had the very same experience in 2008, when they lose without even a single goal that was very bad. We South Africans And Batswana need to make difference between good and bad, that can take us somewhere. If you played well congratulations but if you played bad hard luck.

 

3. I still have memories of Sydney 2000 when Under 23 managed a win against Brazil but nobody knows where those players are?

 

Sannyboy, Phitshane

 

Congratulations on the new initiative. Wish the side all the best. This is an opportunity to read from the hard working author. I remember the other time you complained about CAF not providing the latest and imperative news that the continent and the world need to know about. THIS IS THE TIME.

Good Luck!

Thabo Seadira

 
The fact of the matter is that, in all entirety the African continent has in some form or magnitude bowed to the European Powers.  The tournament on its own should be on a high pedigree, which I fail to understand, as to why this has not happened. In as far as performance, is concerned, I am disappointed in Senegal, (staunch supporter). I miss the Senegal, which had the likes of El Hadji Diouf, which was a power house back in the days. Now it’s just another team. David Magae 

I have to believe that there is nothing like under dogs because when you look at the performance of the so-called big teams it wasn’t something they can write home about they did not live to the expectations they created among us supporters as for my country Botswana I believe that this was a learning curve we should not bury our heads, we must pick up the pieces and look at the challenges ahead. The other is the organization of the whole tournament where all the teams have to share only four playing fields, look at the game Zambia played in a water-locked pitch the game couldn’t flow. How did CAF award these games to these cities without adequate soccer pitches this is a disgrace to our football. Maungo Dintwe

 30/01/2012

At the risk of rehashing a discussion already in the past, I hope you allow me this opportunity to say this.  After watching with great interest, Niger’s elimination out of the African Nations Cup in just two games, I thought to myself, surely now there is clear evidence that article 14.1 of the AFCON Cup of Nations Rules and Regulations as applied in the elimination of Bafana Bafana LOOKS SILLY. 
Frankly, let’s just think about this.  The whole point of the qualification process is to ensure that the top sixteen teams in Africa go into a tournament and fight it out to be crowned the best team in African by far.  However, when technicalities like article 14.1 allow a countries to sneak through even through they do not deserve to…the rule undermines the qualification process.  In all honesty for a qualification group to have all three of the four teams tied on points, implies that group G was by far the most difficult group to qualify from.  Therefore, what the rules should do is allow the team which best represents the qualities most apt to participate in the finals to qualify.  And if the rule succeeds in that endeavour, the country which qualifies will indeed be able to complete amongst the rest.  Looking at Niger’s performance I wonder if anybody can say article 14.1 has helped us achieve this –Niger had no business being there.
People may say, that the head to head rule needs is used all-over the world.  Which is true, Real Madrid once won the league championship using this rule.  However, the difference between the rule used for the benefit of Real Madrid and Niger are three little words…”in this order.”  One would think that after the ruckus caused by the absence of the three little words in article 14.1, article 72 would be amended accordingly in order to avoid the same situation repeating itself.  But it is not. if CAF had put their hand up and said “in the interest of football, to avoid any confusion lets amend article 72 ahead of the tournament.”  I wonder how many countries would have objected.  But they did not, and alas we are put in a place where Groups C and D could be subjected to the same confusion which reeks of a deliberate lack of foresight.
And as an African lover of the beautiful game…all I can do is pray.  Pray that one day, just one day CAF will get it right in the interest of football.
Yours in sports, The Tempest Prognosticator - Themba A. Dikgale
         

I think for now it will be a tough time to say who will win it but on semifinals, yes I can say something, all teams can make it to the finals but one will win it, i worked at exclusive books I saw that book and it's a book people must go and buy it, all understanding of football is deep insight the book. Khumo Mahlaba

Impressive site. I tip Zambia to go all the way to the final, which can go either way. Arme Zebras. Ivan Chilly Lesetedi

27/01/2012

Can we talk about the amount of goals scored? Compared to European cup campaigns? Is African soccer on par with European countries? Mmakobedi Choabi

The Tournament has not yet lived to my expectations at the same time I am disappointed in my team of choice Senegal that is already out of the competition. Burkina Faso also played well according to me and I am still hurting they are out. KB Molopyane

 I’m speechless! I thought Ivory Coast would have performed better than what they did on their first match against Sudan. Mosela Mokgosi
For me the AFCON has not lived up to the expectations. The so-called big guns for me are yet to starting firing. However I have been impressed by the host nations Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Even though they have been average, but it shows that indeed the 13th player plays a major role..With regard to be big guns I feel that shocking results are still coming our way. Ivory Coast over the two games I have seen them play, they are not convincing, so was Senegal. Ghana they were also not at their best against Botswana..As for Zambia they lift their game only when they play against the so called big-guns. They struggled against Libya having to come twice from behind to level the game. For me Angola led by Manucho could pull off a surprise and go all the way to win. Salvation Mokgatle

I am really disappointed with the way some of the powerhouse countries like Ivory Cost have performed thus far I don’t see them going to the final, so far for me Zambia has displayed some good football and they showed us what a well-conditioned set up can do. Group A has displayed the best football
and the Co-hosts are going to surprise many people watch out! Felix Nhlapo

I don't think the tournament has lived to its expectations was expecting already to see who is a possible winner and we all thought it could be code devoir but I doubt I bet my money on Equatorial Guinea u can see by the way they play that they want the tournament badly. Oageng Mokgosi

I am really disappointed with the way some of the powerhouse countries like Ivory Cost have performed thus far I don’t see them going to the final, so far for me Zambia has displayed some good football and they showed us what a well-conditioned set up can do. Group A has displayed the best football
and the Co-hosts are going to surprise many people watch out!  Felix Nhlapo

 I will only predict the winner during the Semi-finals. Maybe the absence of Bafana, Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Nigeria and also the bowing out of Senegal early in this year’s tournament indicate something wrong about African football. Is it Development, General Administration or overseas Players not really taking it so serious, they just want to honor the call and go back to earn millions at their respective teams? Let’s wait and see.  KB Molopyane


 

 



 




   

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