Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bafana's final 23 announced

Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has announced his final 23-man squad for the World Cup. For the squad in full, click here.

The main headline in South Africa right now is that West Ham United striker Benni McCarthy has sensationally been dropped. I say sensationally as few people expected the chunky forward to be left out despite questions surrounding his fitness. This worrying leaves Bafana with three recognised strikers, Bernard Parker of Dutch club FC Twente, the PSL's top goalscorer Katlego Mphela and Moroka Swallows Siyabonga Nomvethe. While Nomvethe is a donkey with a whopping 6 GOALS in the PSL this season, Mphela has yet to convince the public that he can carry his goal-scoring form into the international scene but he did score this peach against Spain last year. Parker has played sporadically this season but his goal v the footballing giants of Guatamala last night shows what he is capable of (it's the last goal on the clip). Midlfielder Surprise Moriri of Mamelodi Sundowns can also play up front but with a massive 2 goals in the league, it's hard to see where the goals will come from. That being said, Benni has not looked anywhere near his best form in the warm-up friendlies. In fact his form has been bordering on woeful in the past two seasons. And why has Parreira completely overlooked Golden Arrows striker Richard Henyekane?

Midfield looks as strong as it could be with the inclusion of defensive midfielders Kagisho Dikagcoi, Macbeth Sibaya and Renilwe Letsholonyane alongside the creativity of Steven Pienaar and Siphiwe Tshabalala. Orlando Pirates' "star" player Teko Modise is unsurprisingly included but yet again, he had a poor match against Guatemala; a poor first touch and a selfish streak meant that he constantly gave the ball away.

In defence, it is hard to see why Parreira has gone for the mediocre Anele Ngcongca, who plays for Racing Genk of Belgium rather than Greece-based Bryce Moon. Moon offers an attacking full back option and can be pushed into midfield whereas Ngcongca offers , well, I don't know what he offers. Not a lot. Maybe it has something to do with the furore surrounding Moon's criminal charges?

Finally, the first two goalkeeping positions were set in stone. The battle for the third spot between Rowan Fernandez of German side Arminia Bielefeld and Maritzburg United's Shu-Aib Walters was little more than a side issue, with Walters the coach's preferred choice. This squad isn't going to win the World Cup but with a bit/ a lot of luck, Bafana could edge into the second round.

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