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Reader’s View: Our mentality needs re-working

Posted: 14 May 2012 Time: 14:23

The Israeli league has often been ridiculed by many in South Africa as lacking class and panache when compared to other European leagues.

The reality is that Israel has a team competing in arguably the biggest football tournament in the world, the UEFA Champions League. Whether it is Maccaibi Haifa or Netanya slugging it out in the group stages, the fact is that there is always an Israeli team amongst the best.

So it is worrying that when one of our players signs for an Israeli team, our fans and media receive such news with a cold attitude at best. Who the hell are we in the bigger scheme of football things?

We have no team competing in the CAF Champions League. We did not qualify for the last African Nations Cup. We are lying in the lower levels of the FIFA rankings and we virtually have no more than 10 players in the top three European leagues. We are nobody!!

So it was with a tinge of sadness when I watched a highlights package of Dino Ndlovu, who is currently playing in Israel. What a player! He was moving like a man possessed and reports that he is doing wonders up there were justified by the YouTube video.

This was the same player Mamelodi Sundowns discarded without seeing any action. It was the same player Bloemfontein Celtic left on the bench to rot. Did he magically discover his scoring boots? Did he become a classy striker over night? I do not think so.

The problem lies with our football thinking in South Africa. Our fascination with Tik-Taka type of football is killing us. Functional footballers who would get us results are discarded for more stylish footballers who can do a trick or five. In our heads we are the most skilful football nation that ever existed.

However, the evidence above points to the contrary. We do not have world-class and skilful players like Messi and Aguero, who cannot only beat a man, but will score a bucketful of goals.

We have to stop thinking that one day we are going to start winning games by playing ‘keep the ball’. Frankly, judging by the PSL games, our players are incapable of keeping possession going forward for more than two minutes.

We need to be more functional and win-oriented in our mentality than we currently are. It is time that we give work-horses like Dino Ndlovu more of a chance and we might get somewhere before it’s too late.

Siyavuya Madikane

Previous comments on this story...

posted: 04:38 pm
i do not understand your point. Doesnt this prove our point correct. if for example Dino Ndlovu failed in South Africa and is making it in Israel, there are two cenarios there, 1. our league is too strong to accomodate average players. 2. Israel league is too weak and anyone who cares can play there. The fact that Israel always has a team that competes in Champions league does not mean they have a better league. Namibia always compete in world cup Rugby because they have a slot allocated to them not because they are a rugby nation. Running with fat people does not make you fast, but weak competition.
Mgugudi: The Treble Addict
posted: 05:40 pm
@ Siyavuya Madikane

I went over your article more than 10 times hoping that I would get to the gist of your argument but I failed dismally. It’s not because you posted an intelligent piece but it’s that you pulled us down to the gutter which the KO readers do not need.

1.The mentality of SAns that need to change: You use a blanket to judge our thinking which is absurd. You go further & argue that we prefer tik-taka football & skillful players that are killing us & will not take us anywhere. Firstly, skill is a broad term, what I saw in that video was pure skill at its best. So, what is this hullabaloo about skill? Secondly, what is tik-tak football? Your version of football is not a universal truth; let me say South African truth to be precise. We have had European coaches in this country that eliminated your so-called tik-tak football & those who have a skill or five, what did they achieve? What has Santos achieved which your version of football? The kind of football played in each country, reflects it culture & its translation of the game of the billions. Therefore, adopting a foreign culture without harnessing & giving meaning to how we must uniquely play football is what has been killing our football not the other way around.

2.Israel plays in the UEFA by virtue of being an EU member not because of their ability. You further shoot yourself in the foot by admitting that Israel teams get eliminated early. What is your argument then?

3.No South African Player who plays in Israel has been denied an opportunity to play. Do Fransman, Fanteni among others ring a bell? If Dino is good, like others in this country who are yet to represent their country, will get his chance.

4.Thousands of players have been lost have been lost through the system, so blaming Downs or Celtics for Dino’s ill-fortune is imprudent. There are number of factors such as his attitude, the system played by the teams, competition, etc.

5.Your last stanza is based on lazy thinking. Keeping the ball is a trademark of small built players hence they rely on skill & movement. This is because playing direct football against gigantically build opponents is suicidal; you tire them by keeping possession. “Football is not play station” VV, ex-coach of KC.

6.To be more functional and win-oriented in our mentality requires more & sadly differently from what you have stated. It requires a holistic approach from world class scouting, development, adoption of a single style of play by national teams, full participation in CAF competition, zeal to be the best in the world amongst our players to elimination of mediocrity of all forms by our teams as well as national teams, etc. It does not only require Dino or elimination of tik-tak….
Mgugudi: The Treble Addict
posted: 05:49 pm

They play in UEFA because of geography, politics & that EU has close ties to them than the Asian Federation which had Arab countries as members.
Champ Vince (Treble Specialist)
posted: 09:25 pm
Sometimes I wonder what criteria KickOff uses when it hires its writers. Has this Siyavuya dude even checked the records in terms of how Israeli teams do in the UEFA champions league to state to boldly that "The reality is that Israel has a team COMPETING in arguably the biggest football tournament in the world, the UEFA Champions League."????

Dude check the records and then check and understand the definition of the word COMPETE. Just because you show up for a game and play does not mean you are competing. Those guys are hardly any competition. Hell when Masilela played for Macabi Haifa they left the competition without a single point and a meaninless goal scoring record.

Dude dude stop ranting and actually write something of value and understand the words you use when writing a piece otherwise we will critique your lack of journalism to the atom. Utter drivel

Football 101 was indoctrinated at the University of Orlando
Dooba (Glory Reclaimed)
posted: 09:53 am
Good points there mate, but aren't you inventing the wheel there- tell us what we don't know! For example, tell why Black Leopards is progressing in Africa and fighting relegation in their domestic league; tell us why a team faught relegation last year, and competing for a top honour this year (i.e. Swallows=level of consistency); tell us about why Pitso is still coach, and what is Kompela doing there- and most importantly why SA administrators are quick to hire and fire (i.e. tell us why Dr. Khoza hired and fired Leal and Morte at the same time)- give us two reasons why we should believe without doubt why Dr. Khoza is not in the conflict of interest as Chairman of a team, and the body in which that team plays- more like Zuma being president of ANC and SA at the same time, and still call this thing a democracy... tel us ndoda!!!!
posted: 08:42 pm
Well said, I could not agree more with the writer. He forgot to mention that any PSL player going to try his luck in Europe would have to have trail, and normally most of them fail, eg Tshabalala could not even make division 2 in England and his captained Bafana......scary but true. Whether we like it or not the PSL is a Mickey mouse league and Walt Disney should consider sponsoring our league......
posted: 02:44 am
Love it!!! Good article. I watched the highlights package then googled his name and came across this piece. He deserves the mention here so kudos to you and Kickoff.

He looks like a great player in the mold of Yakubu, being fast and able to shoot from anywhere it seems, great first touch, great control.

He looks like an awesome player.

Israeli teams are not the cream of the crop, but they are definitely better than the Psl teams, because to play for yourself and to play for a team are two different things.
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