Baxter explains Rantie omission
Posted: 20 September 2017 Time: 16:45
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has explained why he left out striker Tokelo Rantie from his squad to face Burkina Faso at FNB Stadium on October 7.
The likes of Kermit Eramus, Daylon Claasen and Abbubaker Mobara were also left out of the squad, but Rantie’s exclusion is probably the biggest because he has scored in two of Bafana’s three competitive matches since Baxter took over, including the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Nigeria.
“Tokelo is not included [because] he got a red card and a three-match suspension, which means he’s been very inactive,” he said.
“I think that he was playing wide as a midfield player for his club, and he wasn’t playing every game, then he got a red card, so that inactivity reflected a little bit in his performance in the second game [against Cape Verde].
“I thought it showed that he’s right on that edge and he needs more. Now he’s not going to be active in the next game, so he’ll have very limited game time when we come to what is a very important game for us.
“If you look at Kermit, he’s in the same boat that Thulani Serero was. He’s got no real address, he’s in between, he’s not been playing for a while.
“Again, I could see it on camp that he was getting ring rusty. So he will need to get himself a proper address and get playing, and get wired up because I think Kermit is an asset.
“Daylon Claasen is omitted. He was brought into the squad because we were going on an astro-turf pitch and his quick feet and agility was more important there [in Cape Verde] than it is now.
“Now I’m looking for wide players that will penetrate some more with runs, and I’d like to take them on more one-on-one than we did now in the two Cape Verde games.
“We didn’t impose ourselves on the game, by challenging them one-v-one. We tended to get forward and then look square instead of probing and taking them on and playing combinations – now I’m looking for more of that.
“Mobara is not playing his [usual position]. If we’re going to use him as a right-back, which I’ve been looking to use him as – I saw him play very well against Neymar [at the Olympics] – and he gave me the impression that there he can develop.
"He’s played as a bit of a centre-back bit-part, a bit of a centre-midfielder bit-part, not getting enough game-time and not playing his true position.
“Again, on camp, I could see that attitude of looking a little bit lost, so I bring in a younger one in Reeve Frosler to give him the experience, and I bring in a taller one in Mkhize, who can help us both physically and I liked the look of him on the ball playing last night [against Orlando Pirates].”