fast little loans
Jonty Mark, my colleague covering Bafana Bafana in Brazil for Independent Newspapers, is hiding from Gordon Igesund.
Apparently the national coach saw Jonty kick a ball back during training in Sao Paulo this week and was impressed by what he saw. Igesund then approached Jonty to be on standby for Friday’s match against the Samba Boys, because of the all the injuries in the camp.
Unfortunately Jonty isn’t too keen on facing the five-times world champions, even if his “sweet” left foot has been known to bring opposition footballers to their knees (with laughter).
Igesund has had a nightmare week with players withdrawing because of injuries, as well as a couple of players who didn’t pitch up because of “alleged injuries”.
And it seems the wily coach and his charges are on a hiding to nothing against a Brazil that included the likes of Hulk and the sensational Neymar.
However, despite all the obstacles, this is still a great opportunity for Igesund to compare the new faces against some of the best in the world. This will also be a nice learning curve for the four-times league winner himself, to see how the players will respond to his methods at international level after just a few training sessions.
In a sense, the result shouldn’t matter. But what should matter is with what sort of attitude this “new” Bafana team will take into a match of this magnitude.
In the last few months of Pitso Mosimane’s tenure as coach we saw supposedly well-prepared teams play with the energy and attitude of a doorstop. Especially in the last two international friendlies against Ethiopia and Botswana, who, with all due respect, are not quite part of the football elite.
The performances reflected Mosimane’s mood, which seemed to be so flat not even Eskom could spark it into life. And that attitude filtered down to the team.
As I mentioned last week, Igesund has brought a lot of energy to the team, which has also been a feature of some of his less talented teams he has had success with over the years.
Someone once said a less talented team that outworks more gifted teams will always be successful. I don’t entirely agree with that statement, but Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final victory over Barcelona does give it a bit of credibility.
However, I fear hard work will not be enough for Bafana on Friday.
But a gutsy performance, sprinkled with loads of character and spirit will go a long way in regaining the trust and love from the typically fickle South African football supporter who likes to throw missiles and threaten the coach when things aren’t going his or her way (yes Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns supporters I’m looking at you).
A win would of course be better. And if for some reason Bafana do manage to beat Brazil in front of their adoring home fans, it will surely rank up there with the 1996 African Cup of Nations Cup triumph as one of great sporting moments in the history of football in this country.
We are allowed to dream, and those sorts of victories are indeed the stuff of fairytales. But if this Bafana team play without any conviction, it could end up being a total nightmare. Even more so than the sight of Jonty’s skinny, pale legs gracing an international football pitch ...
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
@clint_dempsey (The new Tottenham Hotspur signing tweeted this after Spurs managed to secure his signature short before the transfer window closed): Excited about the next chapter with Tottenham. Also wanted to thank the Fulham fans for 5 1/2 years, many great memories.
WHO TO FOLLOW
@DavidLuiz_4: The Chelsea and Brazil defender is one of the many star players who will face Bafana in Sao Paulo tonight.
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