Cape Town – We all grew up wanting to be superheroes.
Don’t deny it – the thought of us mere mortals doing something heroic has been a fantasy of all men and women during their childhood, whether you grew up in the era of Superman or Ironman.
James Bond is my hero. And although he doesn’t have superpowers (besides his powers of persuasion when it comes to the fairer sex), he is brave and would risk his life to save the day. But I think my mom wanted me to be Dishwashing Man, as they always made me do the dishes with a dishcloth stuck on the back of my T-shirt as a cape …
Anyway, I wonder who Gordon Igesund’s superhero is? What poster was on his wall when he grew up?
What he probably doesn’t know is that I’m thinking of putting a poster of him on my bedroom wall. Why? Because I think over the last few weeks, he has been the most courageous man in South Africa.
Dropping crowd favourites and picking youngsters, unheralded on the international stage, and playing attacking football with flair and pace after their disastrous Africa Cup of Nations opening match, has made a country believe in Bafana Bafana again. And Gordon’s star will continue to rise if he sticks to his guns for Saturday night’s quarter-final clash against Mali at the Slaughter House that is the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
There seems to be a school of thought that the coach must bring back a player like Kagisho Dikgacoi to combat the physical Malians. And normally I would buy into the notion of bringing in a bruiser like KG for the midfield battle.
However, I feel Gordon must stick to the same central midfield partnership of May Mahlangu and the Oldham terrier Dean Furman. In fact, I think Thulani Serero should be added to that mix in place of one of the strikers to add even more pace and creativity to the midfield.
All three players are rather lightweight when compared to some of the monsters Mali possess, but their speed and agility could just be the key to book a place in the last-four.
I would drop both Tokelo Rantie and Katlego Mphela and stick Lehlohonolo Majoro upfront, with Serero slotting in just behind him, and try and run the opposition off their feet. Majoro is also the only Bafana striker who has scored in the tournament so far, and his confidence must be sky-high.
Furman might not be built like an outhouse, but he is smart, and his reading of the game and his commitment makes up for his shortcomings in physicality. Dikgacoi is anyway far off his best at the moment.
Gordon has gone back to a more traditional South African approach, something that has been neglected over the last decade. He is playing to the players’ strengths, and has given them the confidence to play and express themselves.
This plan should be no different in the knockout phase, even though there will be a lot more pressure on them to perform.
Gordon can become the nation’s superhero if he sticks to his guns and does the brave thing. And if Bafana can do the impossible and win the competition, 50 million people might have his smiling face on their bedroom walls. – Cape Times
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
@Larry_Cohen (The Chippa United midfielder a few moments after news of Farouk Abrahams’s sacking ...): What a f...ing Joke!
@Larry_Cohen (later in the day ...): My last tweet had nothing to do with Chippa United or the firing of the coach!
@Larry_Cohen (a day later ...): I have been released from my duties at Chippa United it had NOTHING to do with my tweet. I wish @ChippaUtd all the best.
WHO TO FOLLOW
@GeorgeComitis: The Ajax Cape Town chief executive has finally broken the silence on their new signings.
*Follow John Goliath on Twitter: @JohnGoliath82