NELSPRUIT – There is no way South Africa’s national team is going to do well with a team of Kaizer Chiefs’ standards as the country’s biggest club.
This is the view of Acornbush United coach MacDonald Makhubedu following his team’s 2-1 defeat by Amakhosi in the Nedbank Cup last-16 at Kabokweni Stadium on Sunday.
“Write this on paper, you can bring (Jose) Mourinho, you can bring whoever to coach the national team, they are not gonna do well. Let me tell you this, if this is the biggest team, if these are the biggest players, then we are not going to do well.”
Makhubedu questioned Chiefs’ failure to put away his ABC Motsepe League outfit early despite being reduced to 10 men early in the game.
“How can you struggle against nine amateur boys and come and score on the 91st and 95th minute; how can you do that?” he questioned, adding that as a South African, he was very disappointed with Chiefs.
“If this is our biggest team, I’m very, very disappointed. They are a good team; they’ve got history. But my father told me that Kaizer Chiefs died in 1992 when everyone went to Turkey and Rhoo (Lucas Radebe) went to Leeds (United). That was the downfall. They never came back again.”
Granted Chiefs took forever (a decade) to win the league after their championship triumph under Jeff Butler in that glorious 1992 season, which also delivered the top eight and FA Cup (BobSave Super Bowl) titles.
But they have won the PSL title on no less than four occasions as well as an incredible 16 knockout cup trophies, plus the Caf Cup Winners Cup since that glorious year.
All that, though, didn’t show on Sunday, at least not in Makhubedu’s eyes.
“If this is our biggest team, then we are suffering,” he lamented. “People are disappointed outside. They drove all the way and they are very, very disappointed.
“We got a red card (before the game was 30 minutes old), but the momentum of the game stayed the same, the tempo stayed the same.”
Makhubedu was disappointed with Siphiwe Tshabalala.
“Shabba (Tshabalala) hit my boy with an elbow. That’s why we suffered for 10 years in the national team here. Now I see it. I watched them close, being part of the game. I watched them closely as a coach.
“We will change coaches in the national team. Now I see why we failed for 10 years, with these players in the national team, but I was closer to the ground. These people played for the national team for seven years; we’re not going to compete with Mozambique. That’s why Zimbabwe are all over us now.”
He also felt a player of Erick Mathoho’s calibre shouldn’t have been beaten as easily as he was in the first half when the home side nearly took the lead.
“Before we went out, we had a one-on-one against our national team defender and we beat him. We even rounded the keeper (Bafana Bafana’s number one Itumeleng Khune), but we missed it. Come on, national team players?”