These are some of the reasons Safa must consider when deciding if the Bafana coach should get the axe or a reprieve
Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba’s fate will, in all probability be decided on Thursday.
Here, soccer writer Mazola Molefe, takes a look at the reasons the under-fire manager should stay or go.
He should stay because:
1 Safa could do with some continuity
The chopping and changing of coaches in the senior men’s team borders on the ridiculous, to be honest. The last six coaches failed to see out their contracts due to either poor results or for personal reasons - and Mashaba’s imminent sacking is neither.
Bafana are currently in the driving seat, along with Burkina Faso, in their 2018 World Cup qualification campaign.
Why fix what’s not broken?
2 It should be all about the results
Mashaba knew he did not have the backing of his employers, but still played into their hands regardless after his tirade in Polokwane three weeks ago. As he has been pointed out, his win ratio over four stints in chargeis not too shabby.
3 All things considered, he is the cheap option
No not like that. Despite the charges of insubordination, misconduct and bringing the association into disrepute, Bra Shakes is actually very low maintenance for Safa. When in camp, Bafana usually settle for less - the Milpark Garden Court Hotel, university training grounds in Soweto and, most recently, a three-star accommodation in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, with food that will give you a stomach ailment for days. Ask Itumeleng Khune. Mashaba’s predecessors were living la vida loca.
4 How about those press conferences
This is more for the media’s benefit than his bosses. When Mashaba is on the podium, you can trust that half of what he says will make little sense, but somewhere in there he will drop those quotable quotes. Remember his “in the absence of the best, use the worst” mantra when Bafana were hit by injuries ahead of a crucial qualifier? That’s what I’m talking about.
5 It’s all in the name ... man, we love it
Very few coaches have such a catchy name. Bra Shakes most certainly has a nice ring to it, although he warned us to stop calling him “Bra” because he’s a grandfather now. It makes for great headlines whether he’s winning or losing.
He should go because:
1 His position is untenable
It’s difficult to see how things would return to normal with everyone aware of the divisions within the Safa hierarchy regarding the coaching position.
When you’ve shown your bosses the middle finger as spectacularly as Mashaba did, it’s virtually impossible to pretend there are no hard feelings, especially when you know you don’t have their backing.
2 Just like the bounty, there is a mutiny on the cards
Mashaba tried to sweep this one under the carpet, but he’s not everyone’s cup of tea in the dressing room given his limitations in modern football. It’s believed players often shoulder the responsibility of the game-plan since being forced to, unknowingly, play on an artificial pitch against Mauritania in an Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier in September last year against an opposition they barely got to research. Bafana got hammered 3-1 in that match.
3 His successes in Africa are not enough
This is two fold.
Although Mashaba guided Bafana to the 2015 edition of the continental competition for the first time in seven years, besides taking part in it as hosts, his approach in the defeat to Algeria and the draws against both Senegal and Ghana, left a bitter taste in the mouth. He would have had a chance to make amends now in January during the upcoming tournament in Gabon, but his poor planning - by his own admission - in the qualifiers denied him the opportunity.
His bosses are still pretty miffed about that.
4 You shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you
His tirade in Polokwane three weeks ago in front of SABC cameras and Safa officials - president Danny Jordaan and CEO Dennis Mumble - is proof of Mashaba’s stubborn nature.
The coach has apparently been issued with several warnings about his outbursts at press conferences and barbs aimed at his employers. Safa’s communication policy on punishment for insubordination and misconduct is clear: Dismissal.
5 His grandkids need him ...
Mashaba doesn’t pass on the opportunity to inform the press of his little bundle of joys at home. The 66-year-old says he’s often annoyed at having to sometimes explain why the media labels their beloved gramps as “arrogant”. Well, if he’s sacked he won’t be pushed against the wall any longer and can spend as much time as possible nurturing the future generation.