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PITSO Mosimane should have been fired a long time ago as Bafana Bafana coach and it is not difficult to see why Gordon Igesund and Gavin Hunt are being widely touted as favourites for the job.
This is the honest and practical view of the under-performing national team’s most successful coach to date, Clive Barker, after Mosimane finally got the bullet from his concerned paymasters at the SA Football Association (Safa) on Monday night.
He has been temporarily replaced by Steve Komphela for this weekend’s crucial assignment in Gaborone, a World Cup qualifier against Botswana.
Barker believes that 48-year-old Mosimane was lucky not to have been axed after the “Bomb of Mbombela” in October, when he notoriously miscalculated Bafana’s qualification for the 2012 African Nations Cup finals and made the country the laughing stock of the football world.
If Mosimane had better principles as a coach, he would have resigned at that stage, according to Barker (pictured).
At worst, he should have stepped down straight after Sunday’s come-from-behind stalemate with lowly Ethiopia at Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace instead of forcing the emergency committee of Safa to act on his seven-match winless run and hold a meeting at Royal Marang Hotel in Phokeng near Rustenburg, with both parties agreeing to part ways amicably in the best interests of the country and the national team.
Mosimane, rumoured to have earned around R800 000 a month as the successor to the even more expensive Carlos Alberto Parreira, registered more draws than anything else during his tenure, in addition to failing to qualify for the latest Nations Cup finals and fuelling concerns at Safa that he might also fail to qualify Bafana for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“He had plenty of time to prove himself, having been part of the Bafana set-up for four years or so as either assistant coach, caretaker coach or head coach,” said Barker.
“But he simply failed to get the results demanded of him.
“When you are the national coach you have the country’s best players at your disposal and you basically need to get them fired up on match day and work together to get the results.
But Mosimane came short, forcing Safa to act,” said Barker, who also serves on a part-time basis on Safa’s technical task team designing a development programme for the country’s ailing football.
Barker, who guided Bafana to their only Nations Cup trophy and first World Cup qualification in 1997, said Safa officials could see the national team was going nowhere and did not even need to consult the technical task team in making their decision to release Mosimane and find somebody who could get more out of the same players.
And that somebody could only be Igesund or Hunt.
“I believe we need a local coach in charge of the national team and you can’t look further than Gordon or Gavin,” said Barker.
“They have the track record and the right ego for such a big job.
“It would be a photo-finish between them for the position. They are simply winning coaches.
“It is not time for Steve to get the job yet. He does not have the same coaching pedigree as the other two at this stage.”
The semi-retired coach noted that Igesund and Hunt had both been accused of playing football that was too direct, but said there was not much getting away from the old philosophy of there needing to be a mix of European-styled discipline and African flair for a successful national team.
“I don’t see the players having a problem with Gordon or Gavin,” he said.
“You have to get the players to move the ball quickly and fairly directly, but you must also give them room to express themselves.
“South Africans love to express themselves, as we saw during the Comrades Marathon on Sunday.”