This week former Bafana Bafana and AmaZulu coach Clive Barker begins his column by taking time to express support for Bafana Bafana’s Pitso Mosimane and the Springboks’ Peter De Villiers.
“I must say that these two coaches find themselves at the coaching crossroads.
Bafana Bafana must beat Sierra Leone at home and hope that Niger loses to Egypt away to head their group. Down under Peter De Villiers’s side comes up against Australia in the pick of the quarter final 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Our prayers and thoughts are with both our national teams. Go for it boys.
Let’s re-live the action from last week’s PSL matches.
Last week was a good week for our local teams. AmaZulu came to the party when they out classed Ajax Cape Town 4-0. It was not only the score line that was impressive, but the way the boys in green and white dismantled the Urban Warriors. It was a dream home start for head coach Roger Palmgren. The reason that the team played so effectively was that they had depth and width in attack. New signing Stanton Lewis pushed forward to give us the depth and Ayanda Dlamini and Namibian international Tangeni Shipahu gave us the width and pace. I always maintained that AmaZulu were an orchestra without a conductor.
Now that they have someone upfront who can put his foot on the ball, and play with his back to the opposing goal the Usuthu will start to win matches. They are not the finished article yet, but you just had to be part of the change room celebrations to realize what a difference a win makes. Next week they face Orlando Pirates away. Stanton Lewis is built on the same lines as the chunky Brazilian striker Ronaldo.
I remember chatting to former Brazilian and Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Pereira, and I enquired of him who was the greatest Brazilian player of all time? His answer was Edison ‘Edson’ Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pele. His next choice was the burly striker Luiz Ronaldo. Pereira said that Ronaldo was the best finisher/striker that he had worked with, especially when one on one with goal keepers. He consistently stuck the ball in the back of the net. Lewis can do the same for the KZN club.
Up North Ian Palmer’s team Maritzburg United continued on their winning ways. They have been the success story of the season so far. But the tough no nonsense coach will be aware that you’re only as good as your last match. The Team of Choice will welcome the under rated Fadlu Davids back. This likeable footballer has just returned from a fractured cheekbone injury, and his presence will strengthen Ian Palmer’s options. I remember clearly the Maritzburg team winning the Castle Cup in the late 60s. In goal was Len Wilkinson, Mike James was the central defender who could play on concrete and enjoy it. In the midfield they had the elegant but classy Alan Varner whose specialty was the dead ball situations. Out wide they had the skilful Robby Davidson and the hard working Robby Geils, and upfront they had the silky skills of Francis Exall combined with the power and accuracy of the incomparable Bobby Charmers. Bobby went on to score 270 goals in his fabulous career. Ian Palmer’s boys might yet emulate this talented team.
Lamontville Golden Arrows beat Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 away. Arrows survived a dubious Kaizer Chiefs penalty to record their second victory of the season. However this result was not enough to save Ernst Middendorp. Tough Chairlady Mato Madlala had publicly come out in support of the fiery German coach. After the Chiefs result Middendorp must have been singing the great Shirley Bassey ballad ‘What a difference a day/result makes ‘. He received his marching orders the following day.