The field is a stage for prima donna’s

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iol spt may27 Moeneeb Gallo Images Lungani Zama thinks Orlando Pirates Moeneeb Josephs and Chelseas Fernando Torres should get over themselves.

Well, thank goodness the Indian Premier League circus is over.

No more Orange Caps, Purple Caps, time-outs, maximums and whatever else they have got going on. It’s actually been more exciting to watch the West Indies playing Test cricket. At least, even when they crumble, it looks and sounds like normal cricket.

There is even an occasional hush when things get tense. On Friday, when the Windies fought back brilliantly on the first day at Trent Bridge, the home crowd fell silent for a while.

In an age where singles in India are greeted with almost as much hysteria as a wicket, the silence is refreshingly golden.

Sadly, it seems that the powers that be are only too happy to let the IPL circus grow. There were more fixtures this year, to accommodate the puny Warriors.

And you can be sure that there will be more teams queueing up to join the party.

It’s inevitable, and the lure of easy money will keep bringing the game’s stars back for more. When you see the quality of the fringe players they come up against, you understand why the likes of Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo have prioritised dollars over the distinction of playing for their once proud nation. But what do we know about loyalty, or the things that go through a sportsman's head? I had to laugh when I heard that Moeneeb Josephs is “retiring” from international football.

For those, like me, who thought you actually had to be active before you could retire, the news was a non-issue.

But when word got out that Josephs was fed up at being Itumeleng Khune’s number two for the number one – if that makes sense – the veterans were up in arms about it.

How dare he, they asked. Doesn’t he know that gentlemen like Andre Arendse twiddle thumbs for years themselves before making the jersey their own?

I am still trying to figure out what the fuss is about. A look at Josephs this season – and even last Saturday in the season finale – showed a man who makes a lot of errors, and spends more time screaming at his defence than making saves. Goodness knows what he was doing for Dillon Sheppard’s long-range goal for Arrows.

I say Safa should embrace his retirement.Heck, they should make a meal of it, complete with a sending-off, like companies do for those who have served with distinction. They should make him know, in no uncertain terms, that there is no return.

He can't change his mind if – and that's a big if – Bafana qualify for Brazil 2014, and suddenly being on the bench and the beaches of Rio is not such a bad consolation.

As long as players believe that their musings are gospel, we will get such ridiculous stand-offs. Across the pond, Fernando Torres was busy ruining the end-of-season party at Chelsea, claiming that being left out of the starting line-up for the Champions League final was the worst moment of his career.

Clearly, he has a wonderful sports psychologist, because his mind seems to have completely erased that howler at Old Trafford, when he missed an open net. The Spaniard was apparently considering his future, until Didier Drogba said his goodbyes.

Now there was a proper striker. When he was in the mood – and stayed on his feet – Drogba was the perfect centre-forward for the English game. Quick, powerful, and able to score from anywhere. And he had hair that put most weaves to shame.

So how do they replace the incredible one? Well, rumour has it that Chelsea may be getting “the Hulk” (Givanildo de Souza) from Porto.

But before you get too excited, it’s worth remembering that the Brazilian is a bit of a fragile superhero. When Porto played Manchester City, he wailed that the English fans were having a go at him. Things got so bad that his club considered lodging a complaint with Uefa.

And what was all the fuss about?

The City fans had made a song just for him, you see.

“You’re not Incredible, you’re not Incredible!”

With him and touchy Torres upfront, Chelsea will surely have all of Europe quaking in their boots next season ...


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