Josephs defends under-fire Ronwen
Posted: 5 September 2017 Time: 14:23
Former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs has offered advice to beleaguered national team shot-stopper Ronwen Williams.
Williams has come under heavy criticism once again after letting in two goals that saw South Africa lose 2-1 to Cape Verde in their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier last Friday.
The SuperSport United keeper has now conceded 10 goals in his five senior international appearances, with many losing faith in his ability to guard the nation’s goals.
However, Josephs has no doubt in Williams’ ability and feels the defense has let him down at key moments.
“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Ronwen’s talent and ability, it’s just unfortunate for him,” Josephs tells KickOff.com.
“I’ve been in that situation as well. In different games the defense lets you down sometimes, and you can’t fault or question yourself. Although the public will always look at the goalkeepers if goals are conceded, but as a goalkeeper you can’t doubt your ability.
“Ronwen is a good goalkeeper, he’s there [in Bafana] for a reason and [Bafana coach Stuart] Baxter has full faith in him as well, there’s no question about him.
“He needs to hold his mind strong at this present moment, and work with his defense. He’s just found himself in situations where his defense has let him down, but it’s something they can work on.”
With Itumeleng Khune currently out with a chest infection, and Darren Keet carrying a knee injury, Baxter has Wayne Sandilands and Reeyad Pieterse as his other goalkeeping options, with both as inexperienced as Williams.
Josephs, who earned 22 caps before retiring from international football in 2012, believes the struggle to find a suitable replacement for Khune is down to the lack of opportunities given to others.
“There are players competing [with Khune], it’s just the selection that has been bad,” explains the 37-year-old Bidvest Wits man.
“Not many goalkeepers have had the opportunity Khune has had – to stabilise himself and find his feet in the national team over a period of time. Most goalkeepers get two or three games to prove themselves, whereas Khune has had the opportunity to play for years – and that helps a lot with his confidence.
“You need to be given a fair go to find and stabilise yourself within the national team environment, and grow into it in the sense of getting enough time to play.
“For example, if we know Khune is unavailable, allow one goalkeeper to have a full go in his absence. But everything is so results-driven that decisions are made out of emotion, and so the goalkeeper gets dropped when we lose. You need playing time to gain confidence in the national team,” concludes Josephs.