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Analysing Shakes Mashaba's Bafana squad

Posted: 18 December 2014 Time: 11:43

Shakes Mashaba today announced his 34-man preliminary squad for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, and predictably there has been an outcry over some selections – or non-selections.

Of course a coach will always be criticised – not everyone will agree with all his selections – so let’s look through each department and see who is there, who is missing, and who possibly shouldn’t be there.

GOALKEEPERS

Selected: Darren Keet, Jackson Mabokgwane, Siyabonga Mpontshane, Brilliant Khuzwayo

Fair calls: Keet is a shoo-in after an excellent season in Belgium and some fine showings for Bafana since replacing the late Senzo Meyiwa. Khuzwayo has been a more than suitable stand-in for Itumeleng Khune and Kaizer Chiefs, while Mabokgwane has done well for Black Aces.

The surprise: Mpontshane has not yet kept a clean-sheet for Platinum Stars this season, and has also recently lost his place in the starting XI to Kabelo Dambe.

Notable absentees: Khune is the big-name missing. The former Bafana Bafana first-choice and captain is fit again after ankle surgery, but is yet to reclaim his spot in the Chiefs line-up. Ronwen Williams could also feel aggrieved – he’s had another solid season, keeping a clean-sheet every third game.

 

DEFENDERS

Selected: Siyabonga Nhlapo, Patrick Phungwayo, Anele Ngconcga, Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Kwanda Mngonyama, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Erick Mathoho, Rivaldo Coetzee, Thabo Matlaba, Mzikayise Mashaba

Fair calls: Mashaba seems settled on most of his back-four, with Ngconcga, Hlatshwayo and Mathoho set to start, while Rivaldo Coetzee has proven his capabilities too. It’s at leftback where the problem could lie, with Matlaba having lost his place in the Pirates first team to Phungwayo, who started the Mandela Challenge for Bafana.

The surprises: Nyauza is a fine talent, but hardly a regular for Pirates, where he has made seven starts. Mashaba is another with limited game-time, having only started three games for Sundowns this season in the absence of Tebogo Langerman.

Notable absentees: Tefu Mashamaite is the form player in the PSL and top points scorer in KICK OFF’s Fantasy League, while Tsepo Masilela has rediscovered the form that made him a star player a few years back. Wits’ Buhle Mkhwanazi is another form player left out.

 

MIDFIELDERS

Selected: Themba Zwane, Andile Jali, Asavele Mbekile, Vuyisile Wana, Jabulani Shongwe, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Bongani Zungu, Thamsanqa Sangweni, Dean Furman, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Oupa Manyisa, Mondi Cele, Mandla Masango, Thulani Serero, Thuso Phala

Fair calls: Jali and Furman will again be the engine which drives Bafana, while Serero is expected to provide the creativity. Manyisa, Vilakazi, Letsholonyane and Masango will all play around that, while Zwane, Shongwe, Phala and Maritzburg’s Mondli Cele are rewarded for fine seasons. 

The surprises: Mbekile has made one start for Sundowns ALL season, and often doesn’t even make the bench. Wana is also used predominantly as a substitute at struggling Moroka Swallows.

Notable absentees: Mokotjo has made a huge name for himself in the Netherlands, where he stars for FC Twente. Keagan Dolly had been injured but will be ready for the camp and, as it is a preliminary squad, why not give Cole Alexander, one of the season’s form players, a run?

 

STRIKERS

Selected: Ayanda Patosi, Bernard Parker, David Zulu, Tokelo Rantie, Bongani Ndulula

Fair calls: Rantie and Ndulula have carried the burden throughout the qualifiers. Parker has found his form upon his return to Chiefs – and his experience will prove invaluable at the tournament – while Patosi is starring at Belgian club Lokeren.

The surprise: David Zulu has been in the mix throughout Mashaba's reign, though he been out of form recently and starting off the bench.

Notable absentees: People are calling for either Kermit Erasmus or Lehlohonolo Majoro to be called up, but the League’s leading scorer, Puleng Tlolane, must be wondering what more he must do to get a look-in.

Livefyre comments on this story...

Ntswelaboya
posted: 2014-12-18 09:53:15

@mashaba

Clive is the man to beat. I don't buy ur crap of 2022

Ntswelaboya
posted: 2014-12-18 09:55:52

Let the games begin. Can't wait 4 this cheap coach 2 bite the dust.

Ntswelaboya
posted: 2014-12-18 09:57:19

Mahlaba better than Masilela ?

deleted_21083860_deleted_21083860_SisterP
posted: 2014-12-18 09:57:29

it seems Ryan Cooper is watching same soccer like some of us. How does a player from the stands make the national team squad. is Mbekile better than Kekane or even Mubara from Ajax. I suspect agents in all of this

Ntswelaboya
posted: 2014-12-18 09:57:54

Coetzee better than Masha?

Ntswelaboya
posted: 2014-12-18 09:59:45

@sister P

Some selections fishy

KhosiBorn
posted: 2014-12-18 10:00:50

Masha, Masilela, Lebese i really feel bad for these guys, no matter how much they try they will neveer be good enough for Mashaba....been selected ahead of Nyauza (lacks game time), Matlaba (coming from injury)

Chief Murphy
posted: 2014-12-18 10:01:10

On soccer Africa the u23 coach made it clear that he will select player due to form and fine performance and he will not want fridges..Plasmas...microwaves.

Lol but seems like our coach is taking bribery plus with da gama in the mix...we know what happened at platinum stars with da gama

Khosi laseNanda
posted: 2014-12-18 10:01:27

Aiy I'm disappointed in this squad let go n add numbers n come back home

Chief Murphy
posted: 2014-12-18 10:02:29

Not lebese for me but Masha and Masilela only for chiefs

Khosi laseNanda
posted: 2014-12-18 10:03:27

Our leading goal scorer is not evn selected tht guy from polokwan city mnxm aiysuka shakes

Diagonal12
posted: 2014-12-18 10:04:26

Let us wait and see if he can call me while I'm injured. Or not. Cruz noted left back he fumbled big time

The General IV
posted: 2014-12-18 10:04:41

Someone ( Agents ) is behind Bafana 's selection and de truth will come out after de AFCON

Chief Murphy
posted: 2014-12-18 10:04:57

How can you have matlaba and phungwayo?

Chief Murphy
posted: 2014-12-18 10:05:59

Which team are you playing for and your name?

Delire FS
posted: 2014-12-18 10:06:45

Mashaba is useless man

Delire FS
posted: 2014-12-18 10:08:42

Shakes is taking us nowhere....big nose

Chief Murphy
posted: 2014-12-18 10:08:48

So Mashaba called his nephew Mashaba in the squad and leave Masilela yah neh...blood is thicker than water

Sir T
posted: 2014-12-18 10:09:44

1. Keet will do well and keep a few clean sheets. Mpontshane is equally good [as for experience, that's not for sale]

2. Villa and Manyisa will be key....Zwane and Masango for pace when we need one....Jali and Furman have been tested.....Yeye and Zungu, a good cover. Serero wont do much though.

3. A fit Ranti is like Nkatha...his absence is more painful than missing clear cut chances. Ndulula will continue to silence his detractors. Parker does not miss as much as Erasmus does...good cover.

4. Tyson has past the test and so is Mathoho.

5. Left -back......????????????? Mashaba maybe? Let us hope that Matlaba will be fit and ready.

Chief Murphy
posted: 2014-12-18 10:11:11

Mbekile one start but exclude Alexandra yah neh thats shakes for you

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