I really don’t want to be harsh here against South African coach Joel Santana, but I cannot sit back and not shed my thoughts on SAFA’s decision in contracting him.
There is no doubt that he is talented, and can put together a team to win tournaments: he has shown this in Brazil. But glory in Samba land doesn’t guarantee success elsewhere and I see two factors that keep Joel from making SA football worthy of watching.
First: South Africa has no players! All respect to Pienaar and the boys, but there was no renewing of the team after the Dr. Kumalo/Bartlett/Fish etc generation called it a day. They, SAFA, probably thought a fresh batch of players would just pop out of fertile mother Africa. Did anyone see them water the ground atleast? Or were they too busy counting the cash in their own pockets?
Second: This one is Joel’s own Achilles Heel – language. Even though South Africa is a country of eleven official languages, Santana speaks none. Ok, he tries to scrape some English out, but how can you get respect if you don’t know how to communicate? Remember Scolari in Chelsea? No English? No job!
SAFA should have tried Guus Hiddink or SA’s own Clive Barker: the former speaks English and has freakin’ wide experience, and the latter knows what SA clubs have to offer in terms of players.
I just hope Bafana-Bafana make it through to the second round or they will have No-fan-a No-fan-a.