Can Stuart Baxter be the guy that turns the Bafana Bafana ship around and build a culture of winning football in South Africa?
It would be understandable if you thought Stuart Baxter isn’t the best fit for the Bafana job. Firstly, he was hired after SAFA fired beloved Shakes Mashaba over some bull shit and secondly, his team’s performance in the World Cup qualifiers was embarrassing, to say the least. As you know an international coach is judged on whether his side qualified for the World Cup or not, rather than how many irrelevant soccer nations he can beat up in the Cosafa Cup.
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter seems to think the only reason South Africa didn’t qualify for the World Cup was that his team didn’t score enough goals.
Stuart Baxter reckons scoring goals is what wins you games.
“…our biggest shortcoming, which has been the country’s perennial problem, has been scoring goals,” Baxter said.
Bafana Bafana’s slim World Cup qualifying hopes were crushed last night with a 0-2 defeat to Senegal on home soil. As if they didn’t know what to expect, the country is heartbroken, enraged, and looking for a scapegoat, I say let’s blame Stuart Baxter.
I’m making a promise to myself and to you my loyal reader that I will never watch a Bafana Bafana game for the next 36 months. Watching them play isn’t good for my health, they give me headaches, heart palpitations and last night after Mkhize’s own goal-Senegal’s second- I got a seizure.
Stuart Baxter led Bafana Bafana to a historic win against Nigeria this past weekend but his euphoria was short-lived as his team lost to Zambia the following Tuesday evening. With only two games under his belt, what have we learnt about Baxter’s Bafana Bafana?
Two games, one win, and one loss is the record of the second coming of Stuart Baxter. Last month Baxter was brought back by SAFA as Bafana coach, his preceding tenure as the main man in charge wasn’t all that impressive. But, this time Baxter has more experience in international football and extensive knowledge of the South African game.
I suppose judging a coach’s performance after two matches is a bit unfair. Truthfully speaking, there isn’t much we can decipher from a couple of games but we’ll to scrutinise as best as we can.
1. Stuart Baxter hasn’t changed much… yet.
Baxter employed former Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba’s 4-2-3-1 system, sticking to pretty much the same squad, only changing a few players here and there against the Super Eagles on Saturday.
This could be the formation that suits the team he has.